Nicholas Macias is a designer, and so forth.
I make cross-screen products that audiences experience billions of times per year. Resume.
Watch/Read: I led the first large-scale redesign of IGN’s editorial content since the advent of autoplay video, responsive web principles, and modern search/social behaviors.
In 2013, articles with video equivalents converted readers to watchers at a ratio of around 0.26 video views. This new design lifted the typical video view rate of a news package by +130%.
I brought a reader-style feed to every article, after discovering how few people ever saw the editorial programming.
Spreadsheets overtook the number of
PhotoshopSketch files on my Mac one day.
Edge cases are the rule in editorial and user-generated content design. Working with nearly twenty years’ worth of content led my team to developing “live” workflows in our early design process.
At the behest of engineering leadership, we supported a new, junior development team with a comprehensive, waterfall-style approach to documenting the new article design. It’s an 80 page love letter to Agile.
If IGN's VR-themed special edition for Snapchat Discover was an American prime-time show, it would have topped the Nielsen ratings the night of June 15, 2016 pulling in 4.5MM US viewers. We earned 11MM+ global uniques in 24 hours. Working closely with Snapchat's editorial director for tips on how to speak to the general Discover audience, our adaptability was rewarded with more than 100 million individual content views.
Ad Portaling: I developed a new ad technology that increased IGN’s viewable display yield by +27% in 2015. We coined it “portaling” for its allusion to the mechanism in the groundbreaking video game, Portal.
My team launched a digital TV station inside three months’ time, and if that sounds ludicrous, please know that it was. Named IGN1, the goal was to meet evolving watcher behaviors with a new tune-in experience, and we did that by stitching together both live & VOD programming into a 24/7 streaming channel.
Data and experimentation are critical to approaching an already-popular product, and not only to justify roadmap attention. Editorially-ranked lists, on topics like Sci-Fi Movies, or Video Game Moments, are so reliably popular for IGN that a 2008-vintage design had carried forward for many, many years.
Adapting this desktop-only Top 100 List content to its first mobile expression was a sheer project rationale, circa 2016, but a key story buried in the high pageview performance was how user counts were merely comparable to an above-average article or review.
Where Half-Life 2 features in a list as well as over 1500 articles across IGN, I recognized opportunity. Our strategy prioritized search and editorial promotion with an evergreen IA and a new visual branding system, braced by the insight that incremental reach held 6-10X returns over other experience factors.
A related experiment, from 2014, had established that removing explicit pagination could grow yield by +56%, while also improving the integrity of the reading experience.
As much as a video player might represent a “solved” UX problem, today, this wasn't always so. Building players from scratch in 2003 tought me some tricks.
Gamers are prone to pausing & rewatching moments in videos, and sharing screenshots from such. When designing IGN’s pause state, we made sure to keep the frame clear.
IGN reached a total of 8.5MM OTT app installs (Q2 2016) across platforms, including game consoles and set-top devices like AppleTV. My direct contribution varies by project, but all followed a key product strategy: these walled gardens are not like the Web, and IGN needed to invest the platform owners in our success.
One example of that strategy in action is the Playstation Store link in the IGN PS4 app, which was the first of its kind.
IGN’s Xbox One App was designed (with Wondersauce) to launch directly into video playback.
Snap panels are an exclusive feature of the Xbox One, and our app aligned well with Microsoft’s competitive story.
Designing for NUI requirements (detail).
At times, product goals are better achieved by internal organization, tools, and process optimizations.
To increase the sales value of IGN's live event coverage, I frequently directed (and occasionally animated) the visual branding of our event coverage, seen in many hundreds of millions of video views.
A designer on my team, Alex, wanted to learn React, and I saw an opportunity to solve a live video production bottleneck. Based on my prototype, Alex designed and built a browser-based tool that allowed a producer to quickly edit motion graphics overlays, output to an inexpensive chroma key switch.
GamerMetrics translates IGN traffic into a weighted score, a bespoke metric named the GPT, which is used by large publishers and media agencies to help plan their campaigns. I made sure it was friendly to screenshotting for pitch decks.
IGN commissions a bi-annual audience segmentation study from Ipsos. In addition to informing product & editorial efforts, the report has significant marketability with media agencies & client businesses.Way back in 2010, I adapted the underlying research into an infographic-style website, launching the story of gamers as influencers (more than introverts). I created everything, starting with the authoring the report.
I was told that I helped Typekit get funded, as they used my (webfont-enabled) site design for Jax Vineyards as a favorite slide in their pitch deck.
I designed an episodic digital companion product for a new children’s show, the WotWots, when Weta Workshop was originally pitching it to major U.S. television networks. Because kids are cognitively diverse—and sometimes, moody—I met the challenge of designing for 2–4 year-old attention spans with a persistent age control that could dynamically adapt the experience.
Before iPads, parents were wary of ceding their sole home computer for endless periods. I put parents back in control of the schedule through a clear “goodbye” sequence that saw the WotWots tucked-in, then shipped off to outer space.