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I work with a creative team that designs banners for the homepage and landing pages in an e-commerce website and app. These banners are in fixed placements and the campaigns in each of these banners make up the overall look and feel of the page. each of these banners has significant monetary value tied to what content they display.

The current workflow is set up such that creative banners done by separate designers are scheduled to 'live times' by a tool.

The problem with this setup from a design planning perspective is that, compared to say, when a single person designs a full page (where they get to see how everything will look in the final result), is here no one actually gets to see how the pages will look with each combination of banners until it actually goes live.

we've had a few strange combinations show up from time to time. because of this lack of pre-planning in our workflow. (think an online version of this. well, not this bad, but something along the lines of unexpected outcomes that don't compliment each otherenter image description here

This is an issue if you want to set a direction of how the whole page will look overall. Being able to preview how each of the major pages would look like as a whole with the scheduled creative banners placed in could improve the outcomes. right now it seems like team members just accept things as it is.

What could be a possible solution to overcome this? Either a revised workflow or a software or web-based tool(of course there's a manual way to do this)?. And what are the benefits (other than the obvious) of being able to plan ahead?

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    I don't know how you'd solve this other than allowing designers to see the context of usage before they design. – Scott Apr 27 '18 at 3:08
  • How often are these banners changing? – mayersdesign Apr 30 '18 at 7:53
  • @mayersdesign at frequent as day-by-day while some would be up for a week – Ameen Akbar Apr 30 '18 at 8:40
  • Which of these is true? 1) They always change in pairs (both images always change at the same time) 2) Sometimes they change in pairs 3) They never change in pairs. – mayersdesign Apr 30 '18 at 8:42
  • something between 2 (which is a coincidence) and 3 would be true. the frequency of each banner changing are independent as they belong to separate campaigns – Ameen Akbar Apr 30 '18 at 8:47
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I think we should frame this problem as one of quality control. Since pairs of poorly contrasting banners detract from the quality of the page, plus from each other. So how to assure quality?

I cannot see how it can be automated. Unless the banners are somehow always referencing a particular thing. Say your company deals with (as per your example) "Burgers" and "Diabetes". In that, unlikely, case ads could be tagged (filename prefix for example) with an appropriate code, and programmatically prevented from displaying at the same time. Likewise, if they are always two colours and you want the same colours etc.

More likely your ads sometimes don't fit together because of clashing colours, copy, or visual design. If that is the case, then only manual review will solve the problem.

I would suggest the appointment of a "QA Manager" (pick a job title!), and then build a delay into your workflow (say 24 hours) plus a review system.

Thus your designers submit ads for "tomorrow", from which the tool generates a preview which is reviewed and signed off by the QA Manager. Only pairs of ads which have been reviewed and signed off are ever shown.

In fact, you could easily build a week or more of delay into the system. This would let the QA Manager contact the designers and let them know that they need to submit an alternative ad for "Day 5" of the campaign.

The takeaway here is: The final page needs to be reviewed, in draft form, by someone responsible for the page before it is published live.

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This is more of a UX question but since I have faced something really similar in the past, here's how I managed to solve this.

It was actually pretty simple, I created a custom page where the admin could load the banner and where he could see the one right above and the one that would come below (if such a post was scheduled at that time).

This way, everyone knows from the beginning what's above and what would come right after and make their own decision if that banner is appropriate or awkward.

enter image description here

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Here's a thought, just a thought....

Develop an independent tier or differentiating system for the work. What I mean by that is each banner gets assigned a value. That value indicates restrictions upon design and placement.

i.e. ....

Banners in class A
Must not contain any directional indicators upward. No arrows, pointing fingers, swooshes, et. al. which would indicate "ahead" or "forward"

Banners in class B
Must not contain any directional indicators downward. No arrows, pointing fingers, swooshes, et. al. which would indicate "down", "behind" or "backward"

Banners in class C
Must not contain any directional indicators. No arrows, pointing fingers, swooshes, et al. which would indicate "ahead", "forward", "down", "behind" or "backward".

Then for placement you have a series of A, B, and C banners.

  • At no time during placement can an A banner be above a B or C banner.
  • At no time during placement can a B banner be below an A or C banner.
  • C banners can be placed anywhere.

You don't even necessarily need to pass on these restrictions to the designers. This would be quality control for the placement team. They would see a design and then mark that as an A, B or C design.

This is merely the rudimentary exploration of this idea. I'm certain there may be more specifics to flesh out.

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Make a centralized access point on the 'what' and 'where' the banners they are working on will appear. You need to give them campaign overviews. Someone in your organization has that already. Or, make sure you have a ready answer on how a "Magnum" ice cream ad gets put over a gym membership ad. No doubt, one of them will complain.

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