Channel Templates

Product Design
Project Overview
After conducting generative customer research, my product manager and I found that our customers across a variety of industries suffered the eternal predicament of too many disparate work tools, with the subsequent consequences being knowledge gaps and data loss. We did find, however, that our super-users (one of which was the Airforce) were using an integrated system of various tools in their every-day projects. Being a chat and communication tool, Mattermost was often the focal point. As a company, we wanted to harness the efficiency of our super-users and encourage a better system of knowledge and work for the rest of our users.

This resulted in Channel templates, pre-constructed templates that may include a channel, boards, checklist and integrations for repeated use.

Final metrics:  90% increase in product offering awareness, improved understanding of Mattermost value differentiation
My Contributions
My Role: Lead Product Designer ; UX Researcher

On this project, I conducted customer research, facilitated team brainstorm sessions, created high-fidelity designs and presented them to the team, internal stakeholders and users for feedback.

Team: 1 Product Designer (me), 2 Engineers, 1 Product Manager
A modal showing channel templates
Senior Product Designer
November 2020 - Current
Mattermost began primarily as a chat communications product. We began to evolve by adding a kanban board tool called Boards, as well as a repeatable checklist tool called Playbooks.

‍As a company, we were learning that our customers had various repeatable work use cases determined by their industry. Our product, being a communication and work tool, played a key a role in facilitating and managing these use cases.

After doing further research, we also learned about the various disparate tools our customers use to get their work done. The use of different platforms and information sources led to issues like knowledge gaps or loss and loss of inefficiency.

The question we started to ask ourselves was: 
How can we help our customers’ streamline their repeatable use cases and improve their efficiency while also increasing adoption and awareness of our current products?

Identifying use cases

Through our user interviews, we identified the use cases that were the most common, starting off with the technology industry. These use cases ran alongside typical agile/scrum methodology including sprint planning, bug bash, goals & OKRs, product roadmap and more.

We took each of these use cases and asked our users what they typically need for each use case in order to be successful. With each use case we shaped individual templates that might consist of one main channel, one or more board templates, one or more pre-made task checklists and one or more integrations.

Preview Template

With testing, we confirmed that there would be at least two groups of users of Mattermost customers. The first group of users are more likely to be experienced users or have a bias for action and learning by doing. They would want to dive right in and create their channel template immediately. They could accomplish this by clicking a "Quick Start" button that appears on hover over a template on the first page (Create new channel) above.

The second group of users, most likely first time users, would want to better understand the template elements before using the template. This  flow would be longer and would include the preview page (shown here on the right) as well as a customization page that lets the user customize the template with a title and a level of privacy access.

Welcome to your channel

Once the user has finished customizing the template and clicks "create", or after they click "Quick start", they will see their new channel with a  visual (shown on the right) that orients them with their new set of boards, checklists, and integrations. This gives the user an overview of what they've just created.


We ran comparative user testing to gauge the difference in how users responded to the initial product (sans templates) versus the proposed design (with templates). With the channel templates, we were able to increase users' awareness of Mattermost product offerings by 90% and offer a more clear differentiation from our competitors. Customers were excited at the prospect of having their work all in one place as well as the future option of being able to create their own templates that are specific to their needs and workflow.

This project eventually got scrapped because of a reduction in budget.
Check out the prototype
View prototype