Design Archeology

Writing about your own work can be hard. Writing about a past project is even harder — information is not so fresh and documentation might be lost. Teaming up with somebody else to write about a 3 year-old team project… well, that’s almost archeology, considering I joined the team at VTEX only a year ago.

I teamed up with Augusto, our most senior designer, to write the case study on Smart Checkout, a project that took place between 2010 and 2013 and helped take the whole platform to a new level.

In this process, we interviewed a bunch of people from the team and had lengthy conversations to understand three main pillars of the project:

  • The Problem (its context, what led to it, market conditions)
  • Design Process (the good, the bad, the testing)
  • Results (impact on customers, rollout process, learnings)
Pictured: Not Actual Archeology

It was a very rewarding experience and I wish we had interviewed more people and actually recorded them — so we had quotes to enrich the narrative and a better-documented process.

Bringing in more material from engineering would also have been nice, as it would allow us to show different lenses from the project. We did have some info on that, but we had to take it out due to our hurry to release the case and also because the text was going to get enormous.

Augusto did an extensive job of finding images, prototypes and documentation from the project, logging into dark corners of his FTP servers in the process… I’m glad we got him back from those depths.

When content was done, after many revisions, I translated it into english and did the initial interface for the case page — with the help of Bernardo, another designer from the team. It was a bit too much like Medium, so his magic hands got us the final look and typography.

You can check the case at design.vtex.com/smart-checkout.


Originally published in vtexdesign.tumblr.com.
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