Zach Steiner
Jan 12, 2018

Odyssey Creation Platform

  • Design
  • Development
  • UX

I was lead user experience and user interface designer on Odyssey's next generation writing platform. The goal of the new platform was make writing accessible for a wide audience. In addition to supporting the casual writer, the platform also supports an editorial staff and group of elite writers with a robust tool set for editing and management. Finally, the platform supports Odyssey's community-based creation model with community management and communication tools. The heart of the platform is a block rich editor, based on Draft.js. To serve our very mobile user base, I designed the editor to work on devices from smart phones to tablets to desktops. The editor is more than just text: users can search and embed Giphy GIFs, embed Twitter or Instagram posts, add images/videos/sound. The platform provides a traditional article template as well as a template to create and format listicles (a popular format on Odyssey).

I collaborated with product management on product strategy and feature set, helping define the conceptual model for the publishing process, community structure, and elite creator workflow. I created wireframes, user flows, and high fidelity mockups for all aspects of the system. I prototyped the editor, administration, community, and management sections in React.js with mock data. I wrote the majority of production CSS to support the UI. I created a React UI component library and guided developers in connecting the in-code prototypes to live data. I conducted user observation sessions and surveys to make improvements to the writing experience. I conducted feedback sessions with business stakeholders and synthesized feedback to inform new features and refinements. Throughout the development process, I helped refine and streamline features and workflows in response to internal and external feedback to better meet our users' needs.

©2020 Zach Steiner