Case Study: FullContact
Identity Resolution as a service
FullContact is an identity resolution industry leader that delivers real-time API data based on a person-first graph. For my work with the company we focused on surfacing our two main API products through the platform software called the FullContact Dashboard. As the company evolved we also went through a rebranding effort. So we combined our efforts to update Dashboard functionality with a new look and feel as well. To see some sample projects I worked on click here.
Historically, FullContact is known as a data enrichment provider with a focus on real-time API delivery. Our brand refresh was also an opportunity to broaden the company's value to our customers. To understand your most important people, you need more than just raw data, you need insights as well. Modern marketers need to have a 360-degree-view of their customers. More so they need to resolve their offline and online identities into a single person. This is how we enable customer-centric marketing efforts. Because this shift was so crucial to our company's success we needed to take a hard look at our existing API Dashboard. What stood out was its focus on Developers more than Marketers. We knew right away we needed to fix this, and make the software more accessible to non-technical personas. While Developers will always be important to an API company, they often work with FullContact in service of another department like Marketing. As such, we started ideating on how to add more content to our Dashboard to help non-technical folks better understand our products and capabilities.
Our work is only as effective as the quality of feedback we use to form our best guesses on what needs to be built next. To minimize bias, and get a comprehensive view we undertook an internal and external listening tour with FullContact teammates, customers, and even ICP folks in the market that had never even worked with us before. Most external interviews were conducted over Google video calls. We used the same script and exercises with each participant to create heuristic artifacts for our designers, engineers, and PMs.
Collecting feedback and input from stakeholders is a straightforward process. Interpreting the data and taking action can be a mixture of statistics and debate. Working with Designers, PMs, and the Leadership Team we put pictures to the comments we received in our listening tours. A low fidelity sketch is worth several meetings in itself. Visuals also shorten the gap between our own interpretations of "What we are building". Plus, by staying nimble and not investing a large amount of time we are able to pivot quicky based on internal decisions.
As consensus grows our low fidelity sketches cover almost the entire user experience. We then would circle back with a handful of our listening tour participants to see if we were headed down the right road or not. The goal is always to minimize as much risk in our process throughout the journey. When we realize we missed on a design, it's easier to change it before launch than it is to tackle after press releases and fanfare. While frustrating for the team at times, it is inevitably a huge savings for the business if we can fail fast while still iterating internally before launch.
Early in the process Design and Product Management do most of the heavy lifting. Collecting requirements, balancing constraints, and shaping the work before Engineering starts building the vision. I assisted in creating the PRD, roadmap timelines, and designs to guide the teams' work. Most of the EPD team is focused on the Back End or building and maintaining our API products. Our Front End team consists of eight individuals. I worked most closely with our Engineering Lead to manage efforts toward our completed work.
All said and done, we released a newly branded experience that added several pieces of new functionality to service non-technical users like never before. By adding "Reports" to the Dashboard our GTM Sales team was able to visualize and talk to our capabilities directly from the software. By adding in a new usage interface prospects and customers alike are able to ask a basic question, "How much do I have available?". And lastly we over-indexed on the "Home" tab because of the listening tour's overall feedback, "Help us see your invisible API product." By adding in Demos, Input/Output education, and our Data Dictionary we believe we have created a much more fertile ground for user exploration of our product lines. If they can see it, they can believe in the value of our hard-earned products.