“I think the nice thing about science and frameworks they allow you to adopt to new circumstances pretty quickly. Which include a pandemic.”
– Quibi Fmr Head of Product, Tricia Lee, on Science, Frameworks, and Unexpected Variables
Quibi first launched in April 2020, bringing mobile users a new and unique streaming platform. As part of that team, Quibi fmr Head of Product, Tricia Lee, has had to navigate new challenges and complex issues. As a platform that thrives on the concept of content meets product, Lee has played a role in defining how Quibi’s content works with creating software experiences and expanding upon the relatively new product.
In this episode of Product Talk, host Patrick Blute sat down with Lee to discuss the role of content in the overall creation of the user experience and how content meets product. They dove deep into science and technology frameworks and even touched on how Quibi had to pivot in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. You can hear about Lee’s experiences with Quibi in the full episode of Product Talk above.
Below, you’ll find an abridged version that highlights notable moments between Blute and Lee.
What to Consider When Creating Software Experiences
As with anything that relates to product, the creation side of things is often marred by many questions and conundrums. Lee talks a little about the considerations one must have when approaching creating software.
“It’s all about using design language and product features and pairing that with what storyline you are trying to take your users through? We think about that when we think about how to design the Quibi experience, because it’s a journey. You’re taking your customers from the moment they’ve never heard of you, to their first interaction with an ad and then into the app store and then into the account creation experience.”
On Building Unexpected ‘Moments of Delight’ When Content Meets Product
Those “Aha!” moments are what often sell a product or experience. Being new and fairly unique, Quibi has plenty of opportunities to draw users in with those moments. Lee touches on what she calls a “Moment of Delight” that is sure to speak to users.
“We want to be inclusive of different perspectives and points of view in the types of features we build into our products.” Lee continues, “We allow you to identify however you want to identify with yourselves with gender, so there’s ‘male,’ ‘female,’ ‘more,’ ‘don’t want to answer’ because we know that part of building a holistic products is creating those moments…”
On Quibi’s Four Design Principles when Creating Software
For a company to succeed, it should follow its own principles. Lee goes a little into Quibi’s four design principles for creating software and where content meets product. Those principles are:
“The first one seems kind of obvious, but simple wins, right? Simple wins.”
“The second thing, which we’ve already touched on, which is little things, details matter, like those moments of delight, I think in product management when you’re defining a feature, oftentimes, we ask our product managers to stack rank and prioritize everything about the feature, which I do too.”
“Number three for Quibi is, even though we were such, we’re starting from scratch, we leaned into this concept of art and science again. So we say vision led and experimentation driven.”
“And then this last one, which is actually really true to my heart, is we want to be reflective of Quibi’s values and have that voice shine through. So our values and Quibi are to give you a product that informs, engages, and entertains and build that from a ‘blank place creates a blank product’.”
On Collaborative Efforts in Creating Software Experiences
It’s not always easy to work with a team that has nothing to do with your side of the creation process. Lee talks about a relatable experience of trying to navigate the foreign concepts you’re sure to face in collaborative environments.
“It was almost like trying to work through a different language. But the difference here that I felt was that both the content executive and myself were trying really hard to understand what the other person was saying.”
Where Content Meets Product
For Quibi, there’s a point where content meets product and technology that some companies and products don’t quite see. Lee talks about this a little in the podcast and explains how they work together when creating software. Here’s a snippet of that explanation:
“I do not actually think they’re as far apart as it can sometimes feel. And I think the similar thing between both both art and science on the content side and technology is that there are lots of inputs. And there’s complicated systems that all have to come together in this sort of timeline.”
On What Makes a Great Product
When we bring product managers and leaders in for a Product Talk session, we’re always sure to get their insight for others in similar fields. One way is by asking, “What makes a great product?” Here’s what Lee had to say:
“I think a great product is one that has a clear purpose and delivers on that promise with intuitive and authentic experience.”
“That means it actually conveys that purpose with elegance and soul through design language, through functionality, through technology performance. And here’s the kicker, it does it sustainably for the business that creates it.”
About the speaker
Tricia Lee currently spearheads Quibi’s product line as Head of Product. Before joining Quibi, Lee was the SVP of Product and Development of Sony New Media Solutions and the VP of Technology for Viking Cruises. Her core roles and responsibilities have revolved around tech and product, which have remained passions of hers throughout her career. Her education from Harvard Business School and Stanford University also helped guide her through a myriad of roles at Microsoft, including Senior Lead Producer for Microsoft Entertainment Studios, Senior Lead Program Manager at Xbox Shell, and Zune Services’ Lead Program Manager.
About the host
I am the Director of Brand & Sustainability for Transfix, a leading transportation solutions provider, combining tech and a best-in-class carrier network to reshape the future of freight. I am also a host for Product Talk helping bring product leaders together to answer the question: "What makes a great product?"