As a founding member of Weedguide, I led product development & strategy from initial concept though design, testing, launch and growth. When we began, the general idea was to create a search engine for cannabis related content. From there, I did extensive research on existing offerings in both the general search and cannabis industries to begin creating a product that was unique and filled a void in what was currently available. From initial sketches and wireframe to final design, I designed the UI and User Experience of our product to be inclusive, professional and straightforward.
As a vertical search engine platform, the technical requirements for this product were quite complicated and in-depth. Working with our CTO and development team, we created a proprietary crawler technology to crawl websites, index and store related content. We built a sophisticated set of rules and priorities for determining the value of each piece of content as well as extracting key structured data for returning results based on semantic search.
The front-end web experience was built on a custom content management system (CMS) that integrated both curated content and search result driven content into a single page.
In the screenshot below you’ll see examples of several integrations with various types of content and sources for highlighted placement on the homepage. For example, we created a custom connector for YouTube to pull the most popular videos from a curated list of accounts. We also created a crawler specifically to fetch news articles from trusted news sources in near real time and return results automatically to the homepage.
As the product manager, I defined feature requirements, created projects and tasts within Jira and managed our sprint planning and backlog in conjunction with our CTO. I was responsible for user testing and acceptance before each deployment.
This site is no longer live, but I invite you to click on the image below for a closer view of the homepage.
No matter the size of your business, chances are in today’s workplace at some point you’re asked to juggle multiple responsibilities. As a contractor who works with dozens of clients a year, I’ve built my life around this great balancing act. I thrive under the pressure of deadlines and managing multiple projects at once. I’m experienced leading teams through complex product development cycles at a high level while simultaneously “sweating the small stuff”.
Imagine being given the responsibility of a complete end-to-end redesign and development on 7 separate websites, with 7 distinct clients who have their own needs, schedules and budgets. Now also imagine you’re managing these projects almost simultaneously, completing all 7 projects within a 10 week timeline. Is your head ready to explode?
I believe it takes a unique person to excel in this type of environment and I embrace it whole-heartedly. I successfully launched every single project within our defined timelines and scope, learning valuable lessons as I went about time management, priorities, effecient work-flows and the power of great collaboration.
There are certainly projects that call for a much more methodical, slow-paced approach and these projects drive me as well. With the confidence and mental agility I’ve demonstrated in balancing life as a multi-client freelancer, growing my business as I help others grow theirs, I’m well prepared for the challenges that await.
As Chief Marketing Officer and Product Manager at WGE Inc, I led Agile product development with our CTO including Sprint Planning, daily Stand-ups, Reviews and Backlog Grooming. We utilized JIRA software to track tasks across the team, prioritize bug fixes and backlog issues and deploy new features on a consistent sprint cycle. One of the things I believe is the most important to any product team success is transparency – clearly defining priorities, planning approach and communicating progress. Using software like JIRA in conjunction with Agile allowed our team to easily share information, track progress or report blockers and work effectively together as a remote team.
Years prior, in my Professional Services role at Platformic I used a waterfall model in managing most projects, beginning with a thorough requirements gathering and research phase and leading into wireframes, design and implementation. Using this waterfall approach, I refined my ability to think critically, evaluate clients needs, determine necessary features and accurately create project documentation, timelines and milestones for large scale feature development roll-outs.