Wrangling Legacy Features
The Salesforce Marketing Cloud has one fundamental goal: to send messages to specific audiences.
But over the years, the number of features for defining those audiences had grown to unmanageable complexity.
Our team was tasked with creating a new type of object; one that would eventually replace all of the existing features.
This project involved lots of moving parts, and coordination with several product teams all throughout Salesforce.
Working with our PM, we established a clear and shared timeline that could give us a more thoughtful view than existing project management software.
This also allowed us to identify key questions, acknowledge unknowns, and anticipate the challenges that lay ahead.
How did our key personas think about audiences outside of the software?
With so many ways of targeting subset of populations, we banked heavily on our team Researcher and PM knowledge for design validation.
We knew what personas we would target, but the product release depended on deeper organizational questions.
Design thinking helped uncover this key question, thus driving product strategy.
Mapping Creation & Usage
How do users whittle down an audience from a subset of users?
After gathering some research, our team needed a source of truth around what an audience really is.
Models like this also help identify unknowns and assumptions – so people can point at them and answer them, or acknowledge that the answer remains unknown.
Overcoming Technical Hurdles
One basic user need was the ability to see the number of people in an Audience.
However, the computational power required to get that number was outside the realm of feasibility. We explored multiple options for overcoming this.
Our designs would need to be rolled into multiple corners of the Salesforce platform, each with unique needs. Yet the designs needed to be consistent.
Screen maps helped us organize these and understand where they'd be used. They also serve as a checklist, so we could replace the placeholders with actual screens over time.
We then explored various UI solutions – both predictable and visionary – to audience creation.
How should information be summarized?
How should inputs be gathered?
How simple could we make it?
What works, and what doesn't?
Should we use existing patterns, or create new ones?
We ultimately arrived at the simplest form possible: Narrowing down the audience, then dividing it up into segments.
The ongoing effort has gained tremendous support inside of SFMC, in large part driven by the role of graphics design and visualization in keeping people informed and binding teams together.