Aris Acoba
01 — Product design

Re-imagining contracts

Digital contracts management for travel-guide publishers
Contracts¹ editor interface
Role
  • Lead designer
Scope
  • Product strategy
  • Interaction design
  • Visual design
  • Prototyping
Company
  • Lonely Planet, LawAdvisor
Location
  • Melbourne, Australia
Brief
Create, organise, and re-use digital contracts for Lonely Planet. Manage its lifecycles, and enable team collaboration when editing.

Overview

Lonely Planet is a travel-guide publisher in print, and digital. They have been loosely dubbed as “backpackers’ bible”, and has covered most of the world’s travel destinations. To achieve this, they commission articles from their established pool of travel writers. In effect, this means hundreds of contracts to make and negotiate.

Why did the project exist in the first place?
Lonely Planet's in-house legal team only consists of 4 people and their sales team consists of around 500. It's their sales team that negotiates with contracts with content creators, some brand licensing, and other documents. In order for the sales managers to deal quickly with contracts, they need a way to manage contracts without the supervision of the legal team. This allows the sales team to do legal work for a certain point, and have a quick turn around time. They would just alert the legal team on certain scenarios.
We introduced 4 main features: documents storage, contracts editor, fill-in-the-blanks data, and compare-approve workflow.

Documents storage

This feature collects all the contracts in the system; organised by folders, and different statuses.
Document storage: contracts list and display quick info

Contracts editor

Main course of the project. This enables collaborators, and editors to create contracts from scratch or update existing contracts.
Contracts editor: New document

Fill-in-the-blanks parameters

This allows editors to recreate contracts by filling up different data on selected parameters on any template.
Fill-in-the-blanks: Input data

Compare-approve workflow

This feature enables reviewers to compare added content, giving them indicators on what has changed, and with the ability to approve or discard it.
Compare-approve workflow: See what's newly added
Contracts anatomy
Contracts¹ anatomy
My role
I was responsible for the over-all design of the product. I was also able to introduce features that weren't initially added like the Compare-Approve workflow.
Overlooking Story bridge
Overlooking Story bridge: every walk view to the office

Dig in

I got to work closely with the product manager, and engineering. I was sent and assigned in Brisbane, Australia while under a funding program. I was responsible for the over-all design of the product. I was also able to introduce features that weren't initially added like the Compare-Approve workflow.

Weekend work break
Visiting museums on a weekend work break. Shorts are common on this sunny state
River City Labs
River City Labs: Coworking space where we've done most of the work
Invite participants
Invite participants
Chat tab
Chat feature
Editor tabs
Right panel tabs
Compare content
Compare content
I had fun designing on this project...however, the product was ambitious with its outcome, and timeframe. We offered features and tried to develop them on a tech stack that was advanced for our engineering capacity back then.

Result

I had fun designing on this project. Documents editing is a big space, and I admit there’s still a lot more to add, and improve in this project. However, the product was ambitious with its outcome, and timeframe. We offered features and tried to develop them on a tech stack that was advanced for our engineering capacity back then. We were able to create the editor to some extent, but failed to its performance after some pages. It was then decided by the client to proceed with the document storage only on its production.

Key takeaways

  • Not everything you designed would make it to production, and that is fine. Take all the learnings you can.
  • Documents management is a growing space, and there is a lot of fun, and useful features you can introduce.

Contracts editor
Contracts editor
¹ Paragraphs, and personalities in this contract sample are entirely fictional, and shown for presentation purposes only.
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