ECOMMERCE + STREAMING + ADVERTISING
Hosting the largest digital cannabis event ever.
Deliver a world class streaming experience... in under a month. Own the design experience while partnering closely with sales, marketing, legal, lifestyle & culture, and engineering to deliver against company identified measures of success.
Metrics that were directly achieved via the livestream page on 4/20/20 in an 8hr window.
With many cannabis consumers forced to stay in their homes for the biggest cannabis holiday of the year, Weedmaps had a unique opportunity to help them celebrate from the comfort of their homes. This would be a first-of-its-kind digital livestream 4/20 celebration and we had just under a month to deliver on that promise.
The largest 4/20 of the century
This might have operationally been a bit easier if 4/20 wasn't already our biggest day of the year. We saw the largest volume in traffic and sales on this day. Unknown to us at the time was the growth we would experience this year as well.
TALK FAST, SELL FASTER
That's how our sales team operates. They had already created an initial concept and started to circulate the design with exec's and a few potential sponsors. Engineers quickly developed that concept into a prototype on our site.
PART OF A TACTICAL TEAM
Once I saw the prototype, pictured here, I quickly volunteered to lead the design efforts for the livestream. The prototype felt off brand and bare. It also banked on ad positions that would only work for desktop. There was some simple yet significant changes we could make here. I would join a team of about 15 that would meet day and night over the next 4 weeks. None of us had built an experience like this before.
I would work closely with folks in our tactical team to understand the measures of success. Things were still developing such as the list of sponsors, talent, and which vendors we would partner with to host the stream.
Understanding the user journey and what success was
We switched hosting vendors about three times during the first two weeks. I was involved in all meetings with these vendors and had a deep understanding of what each vendor could and could not deliver on for the streaming experience. This along with other unknowns meant that while I had an ideal design experience in my head, it would have to flex in the coming weeks.
Designing an experience that was not only usable but memorable. This was a large brand awareness play and was being recognized by a lot of big media outlets. I wanted to make sure the WM ethos was being communicated in our design.
Front and Center
We wanted folks to stay and enjoy the stream. To do this I scaled the size of the player and let it occupy the left and center position of our site, on desktop. The mobile experience was a unique challenge in that our vendor could not support native full screen. This meant we had to do some clever css to grow when in landscape mode.
One of the first changes I made was the theme. Knowing that our audience would be at home a light theme felt wrong. So, I created a dark theme to compliment the environment of our viewers. Additionally, I added subtle brand touches to compliment the theme of the event our marketing team designed.
Simple yet significant
The initial ads were flanking the player. This was distracting and scaled awkwardly across screen sizes. Instead there would be two display ads, the top ad unit would be above the player on mobile and at the top right on desktop. The second ad was positioned below the fold at the end of a content scroll area.
Within reach but out of the way
This would house all the interactive content. I moved this up from below the video player and to the right of the player on desktop. This made it so people could engage with our content while still enjoying the stream. Several tabs were also created to house the various types of content that the business wanted to promote. The "promotions" tab was a last minute addition after several sponsors/talent expressed a desire to continue promoting after their set was over.
The hype was real. It was going to be a star studed digital event. Names like Wiz Khalifa, Erykah Badu, & Billy Ray Cyrus were set to perform. All that was left to do was sit back and enjoy the show.