The challenge
About Content Discovery
Content Discovery also known as Online Merchandising is the strategic team within Audible responsible for the placement, order and discovery of products, collections, and promotions on site that increase customer awareness, engagement and product sales. 
High-level goals
1. Unify
Centralise all design systems—Unify all assets & styles and processes.

2. Discoverable
Identify a home for all files that's easily accessible. There should be no lingo, no hunting for files, and no getting lost.

3. Manageable
Compile all new design systems into a manageable file(s).

4. Sustainable
The design system should be relevant, and not need to be frequently changed.

5. Autonomous
The systems should be as autonomous as possible— take out all guess work.

6. Speed & Consistancy
Speed up the design process, helps designers quickly create prototypes and get feedback on them and help desingers implement consistent styles in all design solutions.
My role

1. Research & Ideation
2. Prototyping
3. Planning and scope definition
4. User Interface & Experience
Design Process
As a Design Manager, I have deep experience on framing and providing solutions to large-scale problems and objectively engaging and collaborating with teams to resolve them. Together we would flesh out opportunities that emerged, and rally around an inspiring bold vision for the future. Back in February of this year, during one of my usual design sprints with the Content Discovery managers, we indentified some serious problems across touchpoints, namely— inconsistent layouts and flows, the reinvention of established patterns and solutions, and a genreal misalignment between teams.

We established three key problem areas:
Time spent completing projects - the team were a) spending to much time getting to the finish line, and b) suffering with a high number of feedback loops.
•The number of, and the time lost to bottlenecks - we knew there were bottlenecks that were affecting project speed.
•Design system adoption - this is key without it designers have no trusted source of truth, that they can confidently rely on.

We used this as both a jumping-off point and a reference point for all changes going forward.

We decided to bring the rest of the team into the process early on, as they would have opinions on where the problems and opportunities lie. We knew that the bulk of Content Discovery's BAU work was outsourced to different cross-functional partners, and we knew the reasons why, but what wasn't clear yet was why they were creating such inconsistent work. After a little more discovery we found that designers were mostly working in isolation reducing the visibility of design decisions, and not only was the work spread out amongst different teams, but was also spread across numerous offices around the world. From there, we looked at the data, measuring things like number of changes, rejections, feedback loops, iterations and average project length. The results validated our hypothesis: a new design system was needed—a single source of truth, that's easy to find, has all features, specs and enhancements built in and confidently matches what’s live, and can be used to create something new fairly quickly.

Armed with this information I started mapping out all the relevent surfaces & formats across the Content Discovery echo system, and documented their specs—the screens, states, features, flows and legal that would represent our source of truth. From there, I started prototyping options for each solution.

Finally, after rounds of feedback I honed in on the final solution. Our shiny new source of truth was centralised to its new home, along with the new training book I created. After that we hosted a series of training session for onboarding designers to the new tool.
The Solution
The New Way of Working
A new way of working takes some embedding, and a little polite policing, but with a strong conviction that once its value becomes aparent this will have the lasting impact we set out to achieve and all working together towards a unified product.
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