How Other Media climbed to new heights in user engagement with Zeplin

User Stories
Other Media is an award-winning digital agency based in London and experienced in creative design, ecommerce, mobile app development, content management and digital strategic thinking. Their clients include global brands across sports, retail, and culture. They’ve become especially successful in building digital solutions that drive fan engagement.
Before Other Media decided to incorporate Zeplin into their tech stack, their design workflow was held up by issues we see all too often: handoff was messy and manual, and the way screens were organized in their design tool was impossible for non-designers to follow. This led to misinterpreted designs and delays throughout the product development process.
Since they started using Zeplin, Other Media has enjoyed better communication, improved productivity, and higher product quality. This is our story with Other Media and how we helped a company at the top of their game align, collaborate, and scale.

Who is Other Media?

Other Media has worked in digital for over 20 years, and their client list includes global organizations like the United Nations. They also work with a variety of world-renowned sporting institutions like The Jockey Club and prominent football clubs like Chelsea, West Ham United, West Bromwich Albion, and Plymouth Argyle to engage with millions of fans around the world.
Other Media recently launched customized websites and apps with amazing results:
West Brom’s app has hit the 1 million page impressions mark and the club saw a 451% return on investment (including ticket and retail sales) across the platform.
Plymouth Argyle saw a record number of visitors to their new site in the first week (up 250%).
Cardiff City FC recently saw a 282% YOY increase in active users in their app

Other Media’s workflow before Zeplin

Matt Emmins, Creative Director at Other Media
Matt Emmins, Creative Director at Other Media responsible for managing UI, UX, and branding, acknowledges that their digital design and development processes were “adequate” or “effective.” But, he knew “good” could be turned into “great.”
Before Zeplin, Other Media’s designers were using Illustrator to create and export flat jpgs. Their developers would use Photoshop to “measure” pixel counts and “pick” colors from the designs, taking a best guess at fonts, font sizes, and colors. Without a centralized design environment with finalized design, it was difficult for designers to communicate exactly what they had in mind and developers found themselves relying on guesswork and reworking as needed. This resulted in a lot of needless confusion and delays.
It was clear that Other Media needed to take their design delivery process to the next level. Matt knew: “[We needed to] reduce the number of questions raised, increase the number of questions answered, and improve autonomy to make things more effective.”

How Zeplin reduced the time the team spent clarifying designs

Before introducing Zeplin, Other Media’s team found it very difficult to obtain clarity on designs. The design team had frequent roundtable discussions, and then had additional meetings with other stakeholders to clarify designs.
And this still didn’t prevent confusion from arising. Issues were still popping up during the QA process due to misinterpretations of designs. This caused additional review cycles and prolonged the process even more, especially as teams were working in different time zones.
With Zeplin, design clarity comes more easily and problem areas are identified sooner. Because Other Media’s distributed team could easily pop into Zeplin at any time and see relevant information, they could work asynchronously and make the best use of their overlapping time zones.
Zeplin also eliminates ambiguity for developers. There is less back and forth over what version of a design they should build towards. As a result, developers are more productive and efficient.

"Once the review process starts, any development is already much closer to the desired final end product than it would have been before we used Zeplin. We save multiple conversations a day, giving us anywhere from 30 minutes to a few hours back in our day!"

How Zeplin brought greater design organization to Other Media’s workflow

Another challenge Other Media faced was difficulty in understanding the structure of projects and screens in the design tool. As the team always had several projects in process simultaneously, following updated designs in their projects was hard to follow.
That all changed once the team started to leverage Zeplin’s organization capabilities. Thanks to Sections, Tags, and Comments, the Other Media team found it much easier to organize and manage their designs. With everything labeled correctly and grouped in the same way, it was easy for developers to follow. This offers parity to what designers are seeing in their design files, as well as a shared design language to ensure consistency.

How Zeplin made the difference

Since moving from Illustrator to Zeplin and Sketch, Other Media has seen a 29% saving year over year. They’ve also changed how their team works on designs. Going beyond cost and time savings, the team experienced increased efficiency in communication as all stakeholders, not only designers and developers, are aligned. They’ve also been more productive and efficient, with fewer review cycles, as Zeplin provides clarity on what the “locked” design should be.
Matt sums it up: “There is no design process at Other Media without Zeplin. Zeplin lets us spend more time working on the parts of the project that matter.”