Before dedicating the last 3.5 years to tackling the news problem on Facebook, I head over heels moved to London to join Facebook's brand new London office. For about 2.5 years I worked closely with both small and large businesses in emerging markets to break down barriers and help them tackle their unique challenges to building thriving businesses in countries like Kenya, Vietnam, Brazil or India. Having been only the second local design hire also meant supporting the company in building the first design team and culture outside of the US.
One thing I admired from day one was the company’s dedication to developing new, better design tools in-house and give back to the design community by making these tools and resources available to everyone. Over the years, I was lucky and proud to be part of this effort and to help make facebook.design a useful resource for young and seasoned designers alike.
The following is a quick overview over a number of projects I have led or been involved in (other than Facebook News).
Facebook’s 2020 US election result experience was prominently featured in the Voting Information Center and Facebook News. The experience was launched simultanously on all platforms – from mobile to desktop – on November 3rd and was an incredible cross-functional effort with people from News, Curation, Civic Integrity, Civil Rights and Policy among others across Facebook and Instagram.
Storyline was developed with input from some of the biggest US publishers such as the Washington Post, NPR and Axios and was our answer to giving them more opportunities to tell more cohesive stories around developing news on Facebook. The experience bundles articles together and allows users to more easily follow along and not miss an important update while a story develops over the course of a day, a week or even months.
Instant Articles is Facebook’s native article experience for publishers to help create faster and more interactive articles. On average, Facebook users open 44% more articles when they're published as Instant Articles instead of a mobile web link, resulting in a significant traffic lift for publishers globally.
For about 2.5 years I was part of Facebook's Ads & Business organization with a focus on emerging markets and supporting the mission of promoting economic opportunity for people anywhere in the world. The team on the one hand improved and adapted the existing suite of products for businesses including Facebook Pages, and on the other identified unique needs and opportunities for both people and businesses located in emerging markets, such as India, Brazil or Southeast Asia. One such example is Slideshow, a lightweight interactive format optimized for low connectivity.
The work on emerging markets led to a number of research trips to Kenya, South Africa or Vietnam, which we used to run entire design sprints remote during which we gained new insights, identified new product ideas on the spot and tested hypotheses and concepts directly with users. Seeing small business owners start and build thriving businesses thanks to our tools has been incredibly rewarding to watch on all our journeys around the world. One such trip resulted in an entire suite of commerce tools for businesses selling goods through Messenger & WhatsApp.
While in London, I further worked on connecting businesses with people everywhere in the world. The products we've developed help smaller businesses to more easily expand their customer base to countries other than their own and effortlessly reach potential customers similar to their existing ones no matter the country they live in.
Since 2015 Facebook shares high-quality, free design resources with the global design community through facebook.design. Our device frames have since powered all major design and prototyping tools from Origami Studio to Framer to InVision Studio and ensure that designers at Facebook and the wider design community are able to design for the range of devices that are reflective of the diverse audiences who use our products. Not only have I contributed a majority of the devices distributed over the years, but in the recent years led all our design resource efforts.
(Shout out to Jeff Smith for originally leading facebook.design)