Ed. note: This case study is a selection from the
competition, in which an esteemed jury
identified submissions that demonstrate the value of design in a clear,
compelling and accessible way. It serves as an example of how to explain design
thinking to clients, students, peers and the public in general, based on
Yieldbot is a startup company tackling a big data problem. Their
web-based software product analyzes website traffic data to help online
publishers optimize their ad revenue. GroupVisual.io was engaged to
design the user interface for their initial software product offering.
Yieldbot’s technology pulls in their clients’ clickstream data and
applies their own proprietary analytics to interpret visitors’ “intention” based upon keywords used and other data. Having insight into
visitors’ intentions enables publishers to better match advertising and
tailor content to those visitors. “We tell publishers why visitors want
to view every page of their website and make those findings actionable
in realtime. To do this we collect massive amounts of data and solve
complex problems with it,” says Jonathan Mendez, Yieldbot’s founder
The application would bundle keywords and phrases into intent “segments”
and serve these to marketers to analyze and choose which ones to
implement. Yieldbot’s technology could not only track the historic
performance of keyword phrases (page views, landings, bounce rates,
etc.), but would also predict future performance. Users would need to see
the data around these keywords, be able to analyze and manipulate the
keywords and segments and implement their choices.
Total design and development budget unknown
Research included detailed study of the client’s technology and data.
The challenge of this project was to make information and data that
advertisers had never seen before—a wholly new concept around online
advertising analytics—engaging, understandable and actionable. This
meant making the vast amounts of session clickstream data and the
algorithms which defined intent segments understandable to a user in
such a way that they would have confidence in adjusting their site
content and strategy. If the black box could not be demystified—and in
a way that was simple and accurate, yet still conveyed its inherent
complexities—there would be big challenges in selling the product. As
Jonathan put it, “None of the hard stuff matters unless we can present
this data to publishers in a simple way that they will understand and
GroupVisual.io’s design strategy was what we call an “apps approach.”
Typically, outputs from a business analytics system would be tabular
reports—lots and lots of grids of data and a series of menus which
would allow the user to query the database. These are usually
consolidated under a “Reports” tab or button, where users go to print
out these lists of data. Users often transfer this data into Excel
to do analysis, and then refer to printouts of their Excel models when
working in, or enabling actions, in the software. Our approach was to
enable, through visualization, appropriate views of the data in line
with their analysis process—in the same way an iPhone application
like Yelp knows to show you all the nearby options when you search for “Italian restaurants,” and then, once you’ve found the one you want,
provides you with directions from your current location. The user’s
experience is then much more fluid, as they are guided through workflows
supported by the data.
This required the design of a visual summary of the underlying analytics in the technology and rich, interactive visualizations that would
expose the key context, dimensions and dynamics of the keywords to
enable easy interpretation and analysis.
These visualizations and the design of the user interface gave an
intuitive and accessible form to a powerful and complex technology. “The
GroupVisual.io design process made that happen.” The design work
enabled the company to bring the technology to market and land key
customers. “We work with some of the largest media companies in the
world and see data on over 500 million page views a month through our platform,”
Jonathan reports. This face to the technology has also helped
fundraising and the company reports that “we have raised $5.5 million to date.” The implementation of this product can ultimately improve the experience
of web users everywhere by connecting them with more targeted content
through less effort (multiple keyword searches). It enables online
advertisers to spend less and reach the right audience.
Integrating visual analysis also alleviates the need to print reports.
Learn more about the jury’s perspective on the competition and their
rationale behind the selections.
Section: Events and Competitions -
AIGA’s national design competitions celebrate exemplary design and
demonstrate the power of design.
Section: Events and Competitions -
Learn more about the jurors’ thoughts on this 2013 “Justified” selection.
Section: Why Design -
IDEO designed a social enterprise combining the sale of pure drinking water with wellness products in low-income communities in Nairobi, Kenya. The result of this project ultimately comprised of creating a strong brand identity, called SmartLife, coupled with a high touch subscription service for clean water, hygiene and nutrition products such as vitamins for children.
Section: Why Design -
Competition, health, business, Justified
AIGA invites all designers and creatives to participate in a virtual Town Hall to solve social issues in our communities by developing tangible engagement tools and generating new, productive conversations.
Section: Tools and Resources -
design thinking, advocacy, social responsibility, Diversity and Inclusion
Video: AIGA medalist Robert Vogele
St. Vincent/Tortoise concert posters