As Creative Director and later as a freelance designer, I helped Postano create social visualization products and built all aspects of the brand. I led a small design team and worked with our engineering team to create the product that big brands use to publish and manage their social content.
Postano has since been acquired by Sprinklr.
After leaving Postano, I continued to work with the team on high-profile projects. In 2016, I had the opportunity to design a data visualization for a Twitter Command Center for both the Republican and Democratic National Conventions for Postano.
It’s hard to capture in a photo but the command center is an impressive sight. It’s 19 feet worth of Planar 4K displays powered by a Mac Pro. Live data streams in giving it a dynamic feel. I architected the content to follow Schniederman’s mantra of data visualization: Overview first, zoom and filter, details on demand.
From left to right, the command center data visualization grounds the user in volume. The overall posts and frequency as well as the share of conversation among social networks. From there, it zooms in on social content while filtering top posts and top influencers. The map shows where posts are coming from and the grid on the far right highlights top photo posts.
For the RNC and DNC, the content would be displayed on several separate screens. I refactored the design to work with the new form factor and reflect the Twitter Politics brand style guide developed specifically for the conventions
I created several custom data visualizations specifically for the content Twitter was monitoring.
Twitter had created special emojis for the conventions and wanted to track the top 3 emojis by usage.
I created several different versions based on feedback. One of the challenges was that I was a hired gun. Since leaving Postano, I have been asked to create several designs for key accounts. When Postano has a big client like Twitter or McDonalds, they bring me in to augment the team.
I had to learn a new way of working with a familiar team and I didn’t have direct access to the client. It was a good opportunity to flex my freelance muscles and embrace the art of iteration.
In order to deal with the fast pace and limited communication with the client, I learned to do two things:
First, communicate early and often. Instead of waiting to respond to feedback, I spend a quick ten minutes to read the email and any supporting documentation and then formulate any questions I have. I then immediately respond via email or a phone call if necessary.
Second , rapidly explore and iterate. One concept presented to the client is usually born from 5 or 6 concepts explored.
For example. For the recent tweets display, I came to a point in the design where the client wanted multiple posts displayed on the screen at one time. I wasn't sure it was effective. In presenting to the team at Postano, I showed them the multiple tweet versions first and how I had struggled with displaying them 3 at a time. I had tried a few options but none seemed to be working. There was just too much information on the screen. Finally, I showed them the single tweet version and talked through the benefits of displaying one at a time.
The examples clearly showed the difference between the options and my rationale for only displaying one at a time. The team agreed and in the end, added a quick cycle through multiple posts which added motion and a dynamic nature to the screen.