User Experience & Visual Design
Translate Technicolor's Post Production collaborative workflows into a browser based cloud storage solution, for Editors, Production Coordinators, and Visual Effects Vendors.
The process of visual effects (VFX) on each production, involves the storage of terabytes of digital camera files, ever-changing rough cut edits, and handoff of files between Production, Editorial and several VFX Vendors. The final collection and output of these assets form the final edit, and is a process call "Conformance" which is often a choatic process.
Our goal was to help facilitate and automate the management of this process through a new component of the PULSE platform, called "Pre-Conform".
- Understand and distill workflows within the Editorial and VFX portion of the process. (UX)
- Generate a Design System to work across the PULSE platform. (UI)
DEFINING THE WORKFLOW
The visual effects process involves Editors, VFX Vendors, with continuous tracking by Coordinators on each side. Our opportunity was to empower each member in the process, through automation and clear communication of file status during handoffs.
This workflow was defined through collaboration with Product, Stakeholders and a set of targeted users them mapped out.
Once the requirements were established and some initial validation from early sketches and user flows were confirmed. We then converted those sketches into digital wireframes that could be shared with a larger group and further iterated upon.
One of the key takeaways was a simplified interface to track a multitude of files per Edit Decision List (EDL). As well as clear communication of online versus offline files. Thus the inclusion of color coding per line item, to provide visual cues at a glance.
As part of the design system and style guide, the need to display a dense amount of information was necessary. So we worked on the use of a drawer mechanism as well as some rudimentary error messaging that could be used for logical navigation, as well as a component for other apps within PULSE.
The use of left to right navigation proved to work well as paradigm for navigating information, from the "general to the specific".
PULSE is a platform that is compartmentalized into individual apps that focus on specific facets of the post production. Since the previous apps were developed quickly without input from a dedicated Designer, they lacked uniformity across the platform. The goal we determined, through feedback and user testing wasn't the visual estethic, but consistency of layout to aid the user through sometimes complex workflows.
It was determined during the development of Pre-Conform, that a Design System would be established, to help define reusable components to promote consistency for the user, and promote rapid development moving forward.
Below are a few excerpts from that static Style Guide.
The PULSE Design System was implemented during development of the Pre-Conform app in the platform. After launch, the styles were then retroactively applied to other apps in subsequent sprints.
The VFX app Pre-Conform for PULSE was launched as Beta, in the Fall of 2017 and slowly implemented on active and upcoming productions, with "friendly" Stakeholders who were open to being the first to use a newly launched product.
Feedback / Learnings / Notable Issues Encountered
- Clearer representation of file status onscreen
- Timely email notifications with timezone conversion
- Access to an archive of previously uploads from Editorials
- Ability to send "missing file" reports from the UI
- Link to directly contact PULSE support from the UI
After months of prioritiy customer support, iterations from Design and Development, and very candid feedback from our willing participants, we officially launched to all content partners in Spring 2017.
Listed below are some of the notable credits that utilize PULSE's VFX app to help automate their post production workflow.