Studio

Product Design and Management for GoDaddy Studio — a content creation app formerly known as “Over” and acquired by GoDaddy in 2020.

ROLE

Product Design, Product Management

RESPONSIBILITIES

UI/UX Design, Prototyping, Vision, Strategy, Scoping, Process, Team Management, Analytics.

GoDaddy Studio is a content creation app that empowers everyday entrepreneurs to design distinctive and creative social media content with ease. I have been a member of the Product team since March 2017 when the app was known as "Over". Over was acquired by GoDaddy at the beginning of 2020 and has since become an integral part of the GoDaddy suite of products for small business owners wanting to establish a presence online.

What I do

I believe the core purpose of a Product Manager is to create sustained focus and clarity for teams developing the product.

Some of you may believe in a different purpose – like delivering business impact or helping to create products that people love. Those are certainly not untrue, but I believe those things are requirements of the above purpose. Because in my experience, a team of talented designers and engineers that have focus and clarity WILL deliver those things. And providing that focus and clarity is loaded with responsibilities including stakeholder buy-in, team buy-in, big-picture thinking, opinionated yet collaborative decision-making, data-backed and validated decision-making, evangelistic communication and being able to say NO to many people including your own managers and leaders, over and over and over again. These are some of the things I have learned to do, and continue to learn to do better.

As a Senior Product Manager at GoDaddy I lead a cross-functional, fully remote team of 10+ engineers and designers focused on the core creative experience of GoDaddy Studio. I am responsible for the vision and strategy for this area of the product, user experience guidance and project management, roadmaps, team processes and alignment, release planning and post-release data analysis – all across multiple platforms including iOS, Android and Web.


An example of what a cross-functional, cross-platform team looks like

My role has grown in responsibility and complexity as the product has scaled from iOS-only to a fully cross-platform solution with varying technologies and additionally now integrated into other GoDaddy products since the acquisition. Suffice to say, it has become a highly complex product within the 5 years I have been with the company, and as a manager of that product I have certainly grown with it (in addition to experiencing the shift in the PM role from small startup to big corporate).

How I work

I believe that Product Discovery is the most important work a PM can do, and in order to ensure that there is enough capacity for it I think that the Dual-track Product method works really well where discovery and delivery happen simultaneously. This requires the PM to be thinking far ahead in order to ensure engineers always have work to do as well as more importantly that what they're doing is the most important thing and enabling that sustained focus with consistent validation. Engineers are expensive resources and a waste of engineering effort for the business is extremely costly with no benefit to the customer. Here is a breakdown of my process:

Product Discovery: Developing vision and strategy documents using customer, market and competitor research to obtain insights into what the biggest and most important opportunities for product development are, to ensure that what get's built is the right thing for the product and customer and have a long-term view of how that work comes together to form a cohesive experience for the user.

Opportunity Mapping: Creating an opportunity-tree based on the discovery work and evaluating each opportunity with the team to understand impact vs effort in order to prioritize what gets built first.

Ideation: Running workshops and ideation sessions with designers, product managers and engineers focused on a single opportunity space in order to get everyone involved in the mission. It's important to me to have a rounded view of the problem we're solving with ideas from all members of the team from the beginning. I am a firm believer in a value that was evangelized initially by the founder of Over – Aaron Marshall, which is: “See it big, keep it simple”. I love helping teams envision a big and exciting future for the product and then helping to break that down into simple, iterative pieces that can be shipped in reasonable time-frames.

User Experience Guidance: With experience in Product Design and Front-end Development I am able to empathize with both the design and engineering disciplines and guide the user experience with the Product Designer to ensure that the scope of the project is being managed and that design is not happening in a silo, we're not over-designing with new UI and engineers are being roped in at the right times.

User Story Mapping and Release Planning: Breaking down the user experience design into stories or jobs-to-be-done so that the team can see a clear view of the scope of the project and map these into releases and versions usually starting with Internal Release, then MVP, then v1, v2 etc. Features have versions too.

Project Management: Creating presentations, writing documents and proposals, and tracking progress for projects using tools such as Jira, Notion, Trello, or Asana by adding tasks based on the requirements outlined for the project during user story mapping. The Jira or Trello board acts as a source of truth for what we're working on and where it's at.

Team Management: Running sprints and scheduling ceremonies such as sprint planning, daily/weekly standups, testing sessions and retrospectives, ensuring that the team is happy with the work we're doing, why we're doing it, the quality and the collaboration. As well as helping individuals prioritize their work. This includes experience with fully-remote teams distributed across the globe and across timezones.

Usability Testing: Creating and running usability tests in order to validate the experience of the product or feature using tools such as UsabilityHub, Usertesting.com, Braze, Survey Monkey or Typeform. I have done this on my own as well as in collaboration with dedicated User Researchers.

Release Management: Preparing documents and making decisions around how to release a product or feature whether it's rolling it out in stages, AB testing, creating and managing in-product announcements, release notes and gathering customer feedback on releases.

Data tracking and analysis: Creating documents and proposals for event tracking, creating dashboards and charts for measuring key releases or changes in the product and finding patterns or problem areas in the data using tools such as Amplitude, often in collaboration with Data Scientists.

Select Work

Below is a selection of projects I’ve largely contributed to as a Product Designer or Product Manager for GoDaddy Studio. As a Product Designer at heart, I sketch a lot and I love paging through my Paper 53 journals to see all the things I've imagined over the years...

Strategic Initiative: Video

Problem Space: Customers struggle to stand out on social media
Observation:
Video is the most impactful and engaging format for standing out on social media. It's also difficult to create with existing apps.
Opportunity:
Make it easier and simpler to create an impactful video for social media
Features:
Video Layers, Pages, Multi-scene Preview, Multi-scene Export

Strategic Initiative: Automation

Problem Space: Customers don't have a lot of time to spend designing content for social media due to running their own business
Observation:
Many tasks in our app are manual, time could be saved by automating time-consuming manual tasks
Opportunity:
Make it quicker to remove a background of an image, Make it quicker to change color combinations, Make our templates quicker to use
Features:
Remove Background (using external API remove.bg), Automated Color Palettes, Dynamic Templates (Layouts).

Strategic Initiative: Discover

Problem Space: Customers don't know what content to create for social media
Observation:
If customers had more ideas, they'd be able to know what to make and create more content more often
Opportunity:
Share content ideas for our customers on a regular basis as inspiration
Feature:
Discover – a feed of stories aimed at helping customers with ideas of what to create