Project Date: June 04, 2020 Skills: Wireframing, Information Architecture, Product Manager

MTV Artists App

The problem and challenge for using the extensive MTV Artists database to create a mobile app was very similar to the challenge of MTV News. Because of the brand, there was an imperative to create a level of cool expected by the audience, while not sacrificing core usability, performance, and ultimately getting customers to the content which was their end goal.

The app framework I developed was also used as a template for the CMT Artists app.

I collaborated on product concepts with business stakeholders and an external design firm, I wireframed information architecture connecting the app to the complex MTV Networks digital video backend system, and I managed the two-week Agile development sprints with both internal and external engineering teams.

I drove the the creation and successful launch of many high-profile product version updates, across multiple platforms including iPhone, iPad, Windows Phone, and Android, under high-risk, tight deadlines to coincide with marketing and media events.

My role on this project:

  • Organize business requirements and goals with executives
  • User research and defining product UX requirements
  • Design IA and UI wireframes to envision user experience
  • Collaborate with visual designers
  • Technical specs for engineering
  • Project estimation and planning
  • Manage design and development process to launch

Live Event Streaming Product Updates posed a special challenge

Despite the challenges in a large bureaucracy like Viacom I was able to produce effective product launches under tight deadlines, even where I needed buy-in and cooperation from 20 different stakeholders and contributors.

MTV is a large brand and the digital business owners were often paralyzed by fear of risk – if my mobile product update was a bust, with a bug preventing delivery of promised live event video streaming to users, it could be a huge embarrassment and PR problem. Despite that I was able to judge and decide confidently what kind of design could be engineered and delivered soundly within the time constraints given.

To accomplish this required my working around the clock–overnights during the week, plus weekends, doing whatever it took–in the days ahead of such product updates. That kind of judgment and execution involved taking some risk, but resulted in launch successes and delighting experiences for millions of our users, along with strong ad revenue generated by the bigger sponsors for these updates.

I was the product owner and producer of the MTV Artists and MTV PUSH Artists app from 2007 to 2011. I collaborated with business stakeholders and design resources to develop the interface and user experience, created wireframes to fill in user experience gaps and clarify backend information architecture, managed the Agile development process through two-week sprints with internal and off-shore engineering resources, was responsible for Quality Assurance, including going in to address minor code bugs when needed to get the app delivered to the Apple App Store on time for launch.

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