Rolling Out New Products

Front-end Engineering, Back-end Engineering, Project Management, UI/UX Design, Wireframing, Lo-fi & High-fi Prototyping
Yieldmo
UI/UX Design, SW Engineer
Jun 2016 - May 2017
How do you choose which new products you should build?
This is perhaps one of the most difficult questions. In a startup, you never know the “right” answers. You can only do what you think is the best thing to do and move forward at that moment in time.

During my time at Yieldmo, I rolled out a number of new products and features that helped boost our mobile ad performance. While these improvement enhanced user experience, they also drove business metrics to help close more accounts or help us be more efficient with ad spend.

In the World...
Here’s how Yieldmo’s Ad Format Lab is trying to reinvent the mobile ad via Venture Beat
A/B Testing At Yieldmo via The Yieldmo Blog
Pull up a Side of Meatballs via The Yieldmo Blog
Yieldmo Ad Formats via Yieldmo
Yieldmo Company Profile via Crunchbase

An Existing Portfolio of 10+ Products

Yieldmo’s secret sauce was not limited to its exclusive publisher relationships, but also the portfolio of Ad Formats. These Ad Formats were designed to be at the perfect intersection between data-driven and user-driven interactions, which resulted in higher-performing ads.

Analyzing the Ad Format Builder

The Ad Format Builder was the main touchpoint for clients to interact with Ad Formats. Here’s a simple way to look at the power of the Ad Format Builder.

If you imagine the formats as an empty vessel, then the creatives are the images and pieces of text that fill up that vessel. Clients would use the Ad Format Builder was a to drag and drop assets and churn out beautiful, realistic ads.

I worked with our data team to pull usage and engagement statistics to see what kinds of formats were the most/least used, what types of creatives were being put into the formats, and how they were being used. These metrics were used to help inform which ads we wanted to build out.

Interpreting the Conversion Funnel

We used the Conversion Funnel as a framework to map out the landscape of the Ad Format portfolio. It was clear that some formats were meant to drive brand awareness, while others were meant to spur an immediate action - such as signups or app downloads.

As we codified our formats into the various stages of the conversion funnel, it was easy to go into meetings with clear, executable options and present them to our business teams and executive leadership.

Double Down on Your Strengths

After working with our product managers, sales team, data team, and design team, there was an intentional decision to make sure we could double down on our strengths. Yieldmo had already created a set of Direct-Response formats that were performing extremely well.

In order to continue to boost that kind of performance, the team decided to create a new suite of Direct-Response ad formats that gave clients a bigger opportunity to showcase their business and offerings. I was the owner of this new initiative, where I was able to see a new product from concept all the way through production.

Must-Haves vs. Nice-to-Haves

I led a number of team brainstorms and product prototyping sessions to find new definitions of Direct-Response ad formats. I combined a few elements from our existing formats, and created some new user gestures and immediately created wireframes, prototypes, user journeys, and coded prototypes.

Launch and Learn

Instead of running through the bureaucratic processes of a large corporation, we did things like a startup up. We just launched the product and were pro-active about learning from those results.

I worked with the design team to create the user experience flows and ultimately the final diagrams for the new products. I worked with the engineering team to code, deploy, and QA the products. And I worked with our product managers to create measurable KPIs and performance evaluators to measure how each product launch was doing.

Real Customers

At launch, we were able to launch with two at-scale clients. They were listed on national publications including CNN, Time Inc, Sports Illustrated and more. That gave us immediate, quick access to a statistically significant data set and provide feedback to clients on how the products were performing.

Real Data

The benefit of having real customers meant that we were getting real feedback and real data. After the first few weeks of launch, we were continuously monitoring our metrics to see if we hit our goals.

Like any product launch, we ended up taking away some key learnings where we continued to boost some product efforts, but also turned some of those new product ideas off completely. At the end of the entire experience, I was able to see 2 products from concept to production.