ShotGrid resource planning
"It is super clear - the graphs are really helpful."
— Brown Bag
"It’s really cool. I have NO way of seeing this data at the moment, in such a simplified way."
"I’d love this, very helpful I think."
We were given a directive to focus on improving the experience for enterprise clients and so we started by surveying 50+ studios to uncover their unmet/underserved needs. We used a method based on Outcome-Driven Innovation (ODI) to measure satisfaction vs. importance.
We then held a summit with 36 attendees from 20 studios to gather context for the survey results in the form of qualitative feedback. We also used the summit as an opportunity to test some early concepts and get our clients involved in participatory design exercises.
Defining and scoping the problem
We went into a lot of detail studying Resource Planning workflows and understanding key Jobs to be Done, to develop a story map for an MVP.
Ideation and exploration
Using the inspiration from customer research, we explored a variety of ideas focused on helping studios gain better insights into Capacity and Workload.
Creating a roadmap
We created a roadmap that showed how Shotgun’s suite of scheduling tools would evolve from what they looked like at the start of the project, into the future vision/direction.
Research using a reference customer program
In order to keep our clients engaged in the process, get regular feedback on our work-in-progress and collaborate with them on building the features, we setup a Reference Customer Program (RCP) with target clients from the VFX, Animation and Games industries, including:
Image Engine, Method, DNEG, Netflix, Brown Bag, Mikros (Technicolor), Rodeo, Industrial Light & Magic, Framestore, Animal Logic, and Massive
The RCP evolved over time through various stages to meet the needs of the project, these included:
A set of three straightforward design principles helped us make decisions during the project
Accurate: We use data visualization best practices and aggregate data in the right way, revealing exact data points when required
Actionable: We support key workflows, and minimise context-switching
Trusted: We communicate how aggregates are calculated and allow for customising calculations (when appropriate)
The goal of Resource Planning is to:
Maximize understanding of artist utilization in your studio, so that you minimize artist idle time & overbooking
It provides the capabilities to do this using three main views: Studio Overview, Department Details and Project Details.
Studio Overview: provides a studio-wide overview of capacity and workload, with breakdowns of individual departments and projects
Department Details: displays an aggregate of capacity and workload for the department, with details of the workload of each artist in the department
Project Details: displays an aggregate of capacity and workload for the department, with details of the workload of each artist assigned to the project grouped by department
Some of our clients have a lot of departments and projects, so it was important to develop navigation that would support this. The menu at the top of the screen allows for quickly browsing both departments and projects in a hierarchical structure, but when a search term in entered the hierarchy is flattened and all search results are presented in a single categorised result set.
In addition, whenever data is presented about a department or project, entry points to the detail page for the respective department or project are also provided.
A combination of a segmented control for navigating between departments and projects, together with a dropdown menu for changing chart types, provided a flexible and future-proof way to allow the number of chart types to expand in the future, without the need to change the page design.
Designed for forward journeys
Examining the data often leads to users wanting to dive deeper or perform an action in relation to the data. To aid with this, we focused on facilitating some key actions that we identified:
Pulling work forward / pushing work back
Checking project milestones
Where possible we kept key actions in-context to minimise users having to re-orient themselves on a new screen.
Resource Planning launched in September 2021. It generated a lot of excitement and positive feedback from our clients: