📼

(confidential company)
UX Research Focused Case Study

 

A freelance platform connecting
video creators with video editors.

UX research freelance project for 👱 (Youtuber, 1.5+ million subscribers) — My task was to take 👱’s vision for 📼, validate the feasibility, determine product strategy & scope, and provide design requirements & specifications. I collaborated closely with Nhi Nguyen throughout the project.

A sample of the diagrams and tools we used to aid our research. via Mural

Tags:

user profiles, user journey maps, user flow diagrams, service blueprint, competitor analysis, information architecture design, user survey, user interviews.

Dictionary:

📼: Our Client’s Company

👱: Famous Youtuber & Our Client

April 2021 – June 2021

8 min read

Case Study

👱’s Vision

👱 pitched a concept for a platform to make it easier for freelance video editors to connect and work with YouTubers, Twitch streamers, and content creators.
He provided us with detailed mockups that described various features.

👱's description of Projects Page for both clients & editors

We convinced 👱 of the importance of having a comprehensive understanding of the problem and the competitor environment. Before going in-depth with features, we want to understand the problem we are trying to solve.

Research Goals

Through our research, we wanted to figure out…

  1. The user problems and business goals.
  2. What are the competing products and services in this space?
  3. What type of service or product are we building?
  4. The design requirements and specifications.
Our plan of action based on a modified version of The 5 Elements of User Experience by Jesse James Garrett

Strategy

What are the most important things we need to learn first?

We used the lean UX canvas as a starting point to quickly brainstorm ideas and identify gaps in our knowledge.

 

 

Freelance Video Editors (User 1)

  • What are the different editor niches?
  • What is the typical client project process?
  • How do freelance editors find work?
  • How do editors deal with payment?

 

Content Creators (User 2)

  • Where do creators look for editors?
  • When do creators need to hire editors?
  • How do creators manage their editors?
  • What do creators look for in editors?

To find out, we conducted surveys & interviews, we did some digging online, and we also researched potential competitors in this space.

Primary Research

Interviews and Survey Insights

 

Creators…

  • Don’t enjoy using Fiverr and UpWork due to editor credibility issuesmarketplace oversaturation, and difficulty finding quality editors that fit their content niche.
  • Prefer working with editors with social proof. Creators are more likely to work with someone that their friends can vouch for.
  • Are most likely to hire an editor if they have a sufficient budget and a desire to save time to focus on other creative aspects.

 

Editors…

  • Are most comfortable and efficient in editing videos that fit their niche — for example, a League of Legends editor or a vlog editor.
  • Find themselves spending a lot of time and effort reaching out to people to find work. Many editors don’t list on Fiverr because of the saturated market and low-ball rates.
  • Main concern when working with dodgy creators is them taking advantage of them by requesting extra work with no additional charge or flat out not paying them at all. 

Secondary Research

 

The Problem Space

We explored our problem space further by watching Youtube videos, reading forum posts on Reddit (r/editors, r/YoutubeEditorsForHire) and articles on the web.
This further confirmed that hiring a good editor can be a complex and challenging process with multiple steps and unseen risks.

 

Competitive Analysis  

We researched the existing solutions out there.

We looked at the pros and cons of each platform to explore what type of product or service we could offer and how we could differentiate.

Understanding our users

We made user profiles and journey maps based on our research to give us a consumable and detailed overview of our users that we can use later on to determine design requirements and specifications.

Jason's User Profile
Frank's User Profile
Snippet of the Creator Journey Map
Snippet of the Editor Journey Map

Problem Statement

Finding the right editor is difficult and time-consuming for creators. 

Creators are overwhelmed by the excess of talent available on numerous freelancing platforms. Vetting and comparing the skills of editors can be time-consuming. For many creators, back and forth communication is a hassle, especially if both are in different timezones or need to review large files. Unclear communication may lead to extra revisions, delays, and even fraudulent activities.

Design Goals

Creators,

  • save time when looking for the right editor for the job (the right niche, cost, full-time/project-based, and skill level).
  • can collaborate effortlessly with their editor (easy communication and clear workflows).

Editors,

  • can find consistent work.
  • have an opportunity to work with their favourite creators.
  • are within an enriching editor community (friendly competition, educational, talent showcasing).

Business Goals

  • Determine a monetization strategy that can sustain the business.
  • Achieve high user retention on the product/service.
  • Build a community-driven product/service.

Scope

How we got from problem to solution.

Breaking Down the Problem Space

The Hiring Process

This is when creators are searching for the right editor for their project or vice-versa. This includes posting job listings, portfolios, networking, and more.

It is the hiring process where most friction occurs between creators and editors.
This signals to us there is an opportunity to innovate in this area.

The Workflow

This is when creators and editors work together, which includes communication, file transfer, project management, payment, and scheduling.

Our research found that editors and creators all have a different workflow that they are accustomed to. Users already use many existing products that help with their workflow (Google Drive, Calendly, PayPal, etc.). Instead of reinventing these existing products, we proposed that we should focus on innovating the hiring process. Once we have an effective hiring process, we could offer our own workflow products as additional sources of revenue.

Exploring Solutions

The Platform Approach

The platform approach relies more on the self-service and autonomy of creators and editors. It will be a social platform with a homepage for creators and editors to explore each other’s talents and works. Users could visit each other’s profiles where they could go through their portfolios. Users who want to join the platform have to go through a thorough vetting process to access their skills. We could allow users to chat within the platform, moderate payments, send files, and even add project management features. The possibilities are endless with this approach. We figured that building this platform would be the long-term goal of 📼. Therefore we first proposed the Agency Approach to 👱.

Challenges of the platform approach:

  • Expensive to build.
  • The platform will take a long time to build.
  • Greater risk for investors / 👱 (no guarantees of success)
  • The initial userbase will be challenging to accumulate.

The Agency Approach

This approach requires the least amount of resources to initiate. Inspired by the agency, MarketerHire, the agency will gather a database of editors that the team has thoroughly vetted. The agency will provide the service of matching creators with their perfect editor. The agency will also facilitate client-editor interactions by providing project management, payment, and file transfer services.

Benefits of the Agency Approach:

  • Since we are unsure if building a platform is necessary to solve our user problems. Starting as an Agency will help test the idea. It will make scaling into a platform a lot easier as well.
  • Builds the initial talent pool/database of editors
  • Builds the initial client database of content creators
  • Builds reputation and social proof around the 📼 brand
  • Cost-efficient

 

The agency approach was our recommended direction for the start of 📼.
We created a service blueprint to lay out the resources and staff needed to run an agency for 📼.

A snippet of the creator service blueprint used to understand what processes we need to set up.

What we Proposed

Plan of Action

The leading problem creators and editors have come from the hiring process. Creators want to find the perfect editor in a cost-efficient and timely manner. Editors want to find clients that they want to work with. We were challenged to design a product or service that solves all our user problems and generates enough revenue to sustain the business.

The first step is to gather a database of skilled editors and creators by utilizing 👱’s network. Furthermore, we want to build out the reputation for 📼 as the go-to place for recruiting editors and for editors to find work. We can accomplish this by starting as an Agency that helps creators and editors find their match. The Agency will be significantly more cost-effective and will be a method to test out our platform features for the future. Once we validate our platform MVP features, we could use the profits and reinvest them to build the platform MVP.

Our next steps involve:

  • Create the marketing strategy.
  • Branding.
  • Build the website.
  • Populate our creator and editor database.