Amidst our already full roadmap for the end of the year, our team acknowledged that we could uniquely help teacher-authors reflect on what they accomplished and find something to celebrate in their stores.
2022 was an economically difficult year for teacher-authors selling on the TPT marketplace. The mood in the seller community had become increasingly negative, regardless of new features and updates.
We wanted to kick-start a positive feedback loop in the seller community. Our team believed that a retrospective, or "TPT Yearbook" would help them reflect on accomplishments while giving them the appreciation they deserve for all the value they bring to the education world.
More than anything else, we aimed to inject some fun and excitement into their business, and potentially inspire others to start a TPT store if they share their wins on social media
Collaborating with my PM who had some initial concepts from a hackathon, I began exploring different data types on our platform that could be displayed in unique ways. I kept them bold and simple to ensure it was responsive and Instagram friendly.
With only a few hours a week to focus on this project, dynamically-generated, square modules quickly became a bold yet simple solution.
I prototyped examples of these different module types, and then brought in one of our visual brand designers to elevate them with illustration and texture.
This was a very ad-hoc, fast, and collaborative project because it had low-to-zero priority in Q4 roadmap. With a lot of passion to deliver some holiday cheer, everyone found 15 or 30 minutes a day to contribute asynchronously, with an occasional regroup at the end of the week.
I helped this scrappy process become a success by leveraging existing brand assets in high-fidelity designs so my brand partner would be able to quickly iterate. I pressure-tested user data with very large numbers or text, and provided truncation guidelines.
Creating a prototype of the sharing widget at the end of the experience, and setting animation guidelines for dynamic text helped engineers start building with plenty of guidance.
We launched this in January of 2023 and it was instantly the most praised and beloved feature release on TPT that year.
I created a framework for 9 dynamic modules that would display unique data from a user's TPT store. To avoid yearbooks with little or no datapoints to display, we decided to only generate yearbook pages for stores that had data at least 5 different sections. This reduced the number of users that would get a yearbook, but it ensured content-rich page created just for them.
Two waves of email notifications went out to eligible users, and we saw an open rate over 67% within the first month.
Within days of the launch, TPT employees were seeing of Yearbooks across Instagram, TikTok, and even Facebook and LinkedIn. It had a side-effect of causing some internal celebration as well, when we shared examples from our users in Slack.