Redesigning 3 B2B platforms - Warner Music Group

 

A little background

In 2013 Warner Music Group brought me on to complete the work of a previous designer who had been assigned the enormous task of redesigning three internal marketing and communications platforms named "AXIS," "The SHOP," and "Intranet." At the risk of ending my consultation before it had begun, I made the recommendation that the project be handled by a dedicated user experience team; A team capable to fully assessing the platforms for content strategy, information architecture, journeys and flows, while I helmed the interface design. Ultimately, budget and timelines dictated that the project scope be reduced a facelift of the pre-existing structure.

 

The WEA axis USER INTERFACE before redesign

 

Content audit and mapping

I set up daily meetings with a content manager to sitemap the platforms, assessing what was still relevant information, and how to tier the updates to ensure a smooth transition to the new design. After generating the maps, we managed to sample some users and discovered the following:

Record shop owners found WEA/ADA’s AXIS ordering platform to be confusing to navigate, feature-poor, and excessive when trying to accomplish a single task. Merchandise resellers found the SHOP platform clunky and sluggish, and complicated compared to their personal experiences on other online purchasing platforms. Internally, employees found the Intranet platform virtually unusable, unable to locate key resources in a timely manner.

These were the main pain points, and we re-worked the site maps to effectively plot out the journeys for these kinds of users, eliminating confusing points of interaction, introducing new paths to streamline tasks, and developing new content to drive deeper engagement.

Final Sitemaps for all 3 platforms based on user feedback

 

Designing, prototyping & testing

My design was purposefully conservative, accounting for the still existing large amounts of content, while complimenting some of the developmental limitations. The design improvements primarily focused on way-finding, sorting and filtering, legibility, and branding. Additionally, I prototyped in HTML/CSS live demos of my vision for navigation interactions, album cover carousels, and dynamic news feeds, to assist with difficulty visualizing the concepts, and to assist in the implementation. I developed three rounds of iteration, arriving at the designs visualized below. Due to proprietary information not all designs are shown.

 

Wrapping up

In conclusion I put together a brief style guide illustrating the major elements comprising each page, and the breakdown of their design specifications and interactions. Due to proprietary information not all pages are shown.