Brian O'Shea

UX Design and Information Architecture.
I ask lots of questions, love clean design, and I'm a whiteboard ninja. Let's collaborate.

Veer Content Workflow and Contributor Persona

Opportunity: A boutique stock imagery agency known for premium content moves into sourcing and selling lower-priced user-generated content. How best to ingest and curate the content, and who are the contributors?

Summary: Having been a huge fan of Veer for years, I was pretty excited when Corbis acquired them. I was fortunate enough to have the chance to dive headfirst into the product and content challenge, and was soon spending a lot of my time in Calgary with the amazing folks who made Veer special. As we sorted the direction for the business, I played a recurring role as business owner for the burgeoning user-generated-content contributor and content acquisition flows. Additionally - alongside Mary Pat Gotschall and the Corbis Usability team, I was able to take a hands-on role in an effort to develop a persona for our UGC contributors via dozens of in-person and remote user interviews.

  • Role: Product owner, research, user interview assistant, user flows, wireframing
  • Client: Veer/Corbis
  • Year: 2009-2011


Led by our usability team headed by Mary Pat Gotschall, we interviewd 22 microstock/UGC contributors, including 5 we visited in the Seattle area and another 17 spread across the US, Canada, and the UK. Cumuluatively we gathered over 29 hours of interview data. We found the contributors were very enthused about speaking to us - we had a 100% participation rate, and many of the study participants were willing to talk far longer than the allotted time. The rich amount of data enabled a much more refined view of our contributors, and potential contributors. Findings helped steer not only future content workflow development, but also more strategic decisions around site and contributor portal differentiation. homepage in 2010
We launched Veer Marketplace in 2010 as a way to bring lower cost, UGC-sourced, imagery to Veer customers.
Veer's Contributor Portal
Veer's contributor portal and workflow was ultimately informed by our persona research.


Interviews were captured via audio and video (in some cases.) Remote sessions were audio recorded and screenshare was captured using GoToMeeting. Mary Pat led the interviews, and it was a fascinating and amazingly educational experience for me.

Affinity diagramming Veer Marketplace
The team gathered in Calgary to brainstorm, and used affinity diagramming.
Coding Veer Research affinity diagraming results
Affinity diagramming results were coded, sorted, and prioritized.