“QVC for the iPhone generation”
In late 2014, I took on product management and user experience design for MikMak, an ecommerce startup focused on selling entirely through a nightly feed of quirky, bold informericals.
Starring a recurring cast of upcoming comedians and social media influencers, the business sought to demonstrate the impact and conversion potential of shoppable video. I worked with the team pre-product and funding to build and launch the beta version of the app, then iterated toward the public launch in June 2015.
Alongside the founder, I designed MikMak’s first brand and style guide, which included the logo, wordmark, color palette, graphical elements, user interface elements, and video guidelines to ensure optimal visuals despite the fragmented platform landscape. Hedging against high production costs of video merchandising, I put together a toolkit of reusable backdrops, overlays, and animations to speed up the post-production process.
The iPhone app anchored a four-month beta prior to the media launch. The beta cohort consisted of recruited and organic users, and informed the iteration of UX, streaming optimization, back-end curation tooling, and the brand aesthetic. Throughout, I directed the eventing strategy and analytics capabilities to track our KPIs.
The beta was extremely straightforward: a feed of short infomercials, merchandise details, cart and checkout flows, and a simple menu. During the beta period, we refined browsing and seeking experiences within the video feeds. To drive novelty and variety, we created a flexible tag-driven menu structure that could be curated on the back end. This menu management system allowed the team to create thematic collection and set labeling, color, style, and image content in each section.
To reinforce watching patterns, we developed dynamic segmentation through our analytics platforms, so that we could serve fresh content to highly-engaged users. Along with a configurable menu, our content targeting functions laid the groundwork for video feed personalization.
We had a small product team — just myself and three engineers — but we achieved a lot. I led product and UX design for the flagship iPhone app, named Best New App by Apple in the Lifestyle category. I performed the same role launching an embeddable web player for media partners. And during my time with MikMak, I served as the product manager for admin-facing tools like feed management, scheduling, and retail supply chain tooling.