Millions of people browse the web each day, all the while publishers and advertisers are looking for ways to personalise experiences for each potential customer. Carbon helps them do just that.
Most recently, I’ve been working with the team at Carbon (a product born out of Clicksco), with the goal of helping online Publishers understand the motivations and demographics of their audience. This enables them to provide more valuable content whilst increasing the potential for high value traffic across their websites.
My role has been to ensure the product provides all of this information in a digestable format for quick consumption and understanding, and giving publishers a smooth experience when activating their audience segments with the major ad management platforms.
As the Design Lead for the product, I’ve worked closely with Management, Data Science, Engineering, and most cruially, the end users, to deliver a performant solution that integrates with and enhances their existing workflows.
Primary Use Case
Publishers of all sizes are always looking to increase their undersanding of the types of content and advertising that engages their users. When it comes to ad campaign targeting, their ultimate goal is to build audience segments that provide both an increased reach and a shared intent (be that an interest, specific brand loyalty, a behavioural trait, or a combination of many different signals).
To ensure the team are always headed in the right direction, I’ve championed the introduction of discovery workshops with our most engaged clients. The purpose of these sessions is to uncover the reasons behind the issues our users face, typically ending in prioritisation activities to identify which problems we should aim to address to improve the product.
Our customers need to quickly understand the intent and demographic make up of their users. The goal of Carbon Insights is to provide high level, actionable data at a glance, with the ability to dig deeper into more granular data points where necessary.
Current purchasing trends and brand affinity are promoted throughout the main dashboard, as these have proven to be major factors in the campaigns ran by our customers.
The Audience Hub is a centralised space for all custom, suggested and hand curated audience segments, that can be activated and exported to various demand side platforms.
Conditional Segment Creation
One of the biggest challenges for our product team has been to develop an audience creation tool that gives users enough control to align with their specific campaign needs, whilst keeping the interface as intuitive as possible.
The landscape varied in the patterns used for controlling conditional logic. Some of our competitors even required users to input raw SQL queries to build a segment. We wanted to avoid this approach entirely as we’d identified that even the most tech savvy among our user base responded positively to having filtering options presented to them through recognisable UI patterns.
Visually grouping clusters of filters helped people make sense of the logic as their segment queries grew in complexity, whilst autocomplete typeahead input fields removed any usability issues with dropdown boxes.
We had observed that it was crucial for users to have an idea of the segment size ahead of creation, being a critical factor when building campaigns. Our solution was to introduce an audience reach estimator that updated in real-time as the user added and customised filters. This addition, coupled with our ‘2 click’ activation model, helped eliminate countless hours of unnecessary tasks with their previous toolset.
As well as contributing to the exponential growth of active users logging into the platform on a daily basis with regular segment activations, we have also seen our clients enjoy increases in CPMs, CTR across their high traffic websites, and overall ROI.