Product Q&A: Making Creative Production Workflows 2.5x Faster
April 5, 2021 By Celtra
Chat with Matic Tribušon, Sr. Director of Engineering at Celtra
How Celtra’s product team improved core workflows to make the creative production process 2x faster and more efficient.
The product team at Celtra is quite involved in client conversations and proactive in how they approach product development. One of their recent projects evolved into a major initiative which elevated the overall user experience by making workflows nearly 2.5x faster and 2x more efficient. Celtra Creative Automation makes content scaling faster and dramatically more efficient. That said, speed and efficiency are not just signature benefits for our clients; speed and efficiency are at the core of everything that we do and build.
When we think about Creative Automation, we are not just addressing how designers prepare or scale templates. We are focused on the entire process, considering all stakeholders that are involved from media brief to distribution. And, we think about how we can make each step of that process faster and more efficient. Our goal is to help teams increase their creative capacity without growing their team. This means adopting processes that enable them to work smarter.
This is a continuously evolving process. So, we sat down with Sr. Director of Engineering, Matic Tribušon to discuss how they approached this most recent initiative. Matic shared the framework behind their plan that successfully achieved the key objective: developing a workflow that is twice as fast.
Q: How did you identify the need to revamp workflows?
It’s sometimes difficult to identify workflow issues on a product you’ve been working on for a long time. Most of the signals came from being present on client onboarding sessions and even leading some of these sessions. We also always keep track of questions that our team receives from CSMs, solutions consultants, and our Studio team, who are in the product or supporting users on a daily basis. We realized that the existing workflows on the platform did not match the way teams were organized and how they collaborate internally. We saw an opportunity to align the workflows with their internal processes.
Q: What was the ultimate goal of the project?
The end goal was to make the core workflows in the platform easier and more intuitive. We were focused particularly on speed and efficiency, which translated into the number of steps and time required to complete each core workflow. There were some parts of the workflow that we knew were inefficient, particularly because they simply did not reflect how our users were used to working. After defining the scope of the project and evaluating the improvements that would be needed, we set a goal to make the workflows 2x faster.
Q: Could you tell us a bit about the planning process and how you defined the scope of the project?
We started by identifying what we thought needed to change. Then, the scope was crafted by a few phases of validating and iterating. Once we had a solid idea for the final workflow, we made high-fidelity mocks that were presented internally and externally. Based on the feedback at this point, we only had to make minor adjustments to the proposal.
At this point, we could start preparing detailed specs and splitting up the project into milestones.
It quickly became clear that effectively revamping the workflows would touch many different areas of the product. We dedicated a good amount of time in planning, and I think that was a really good investment. We tried to split the project into a few major phases, identifying dependencies and ensuring that we can work on multiple parts in parallel.
Because we had a detailed plan in place, the execution was actually the easier part. We had the system in place to make sure that we were continuously delivering on each subsequent milestone.
Q: How did you validate your assumptions about the workflow improvements that you identified?
We have a Studio team who offers managed service to many of our clients, and so most of the validations in the early phase were done by talking to our internal power users. Once we had a pretty good idea on what the main focus areas should be, we started talking to users on the client-side for external validations. We started with mockups that we refined for each iteration.
Q: How did you measure the success and ultimate impact of the changes that were made?
We had numerous training sessions with the clients before and shortly after the release. The first measurement was qualitative and based on client response in these sessions.
We also set up a comprehensive success measurement framework, in which we outlined the 5 core workflows on the platform and the path from start to finish for each. We then measured the number of steps needed to complete these tasks before and after we implemented the changes. We found that the workflows after the improvements were 2x more efficient, and we had cut the number of steps required in half.
Later, we executed actual user testing. We identified 5 different user groups, based on their role and experience on the platform. We performed live screen sharing sessions with each participant where we asked them to complete the series of tasks for each workflow. We looked at the number of steps and time it took for them to complete each workflow, in order to measure the impact on speed and efficiency.
We also thought it would be interesting to take note of how many hints users needed as they walked through the tasks, to gauge how intuitive the workflows were.
We saw significant improvement across all 5 workflows. On average, the new workflows proved to be over 2x faster, 2x more efficient, and 2.5x more intuitive.
Q: What is your team’s general practice for identifying improvement opportunities and gaps in product?
The best approach here, in my opinion, is talking to clients. We simply need to be involved in all types of client conversations, from sales meetings to onboardings and product trainings and so on. Sometimes it’s hard to balance this with other responsibilities, but at the end of the day, understanding both client challenges and successes is really what helps to shape the product.