Building Better Products: Harnessing The Value of External Perspectives

With a new year ahead of us actioncy. has been focused on its forward journey - starting with a critical, analytical look at what we offer.

Christian-Peter Heimbach

Here at actioncy. the close of 2020 offered a time for reflection like no other.

That’s very likely the case for businesses and individuals across the world. The arrival of any New Year offers an obvious point to consider recent achievements and challenges, while pondering your forward journey. But closing out a year defined by a pandemic that touched all our lives? That makes looking both back and forwards more profound than ever.

We’ve actually been remarkably privileged as a business during this most challenging of times. 2020 was ultimately a year of exciting growth and development for actioncy. In the past 12 months we’ve moved from a fledgling startup to one serving active partners with a unique marketing engine that is having a tangible positive impact on their campaigns. We'd much rather have seen a year without COVID-19, of course. We are immensely privileged to have succeeded in such a difficult time for everyone on Earth.

We’re not done, of course. We’ve plenty of ideas and ambition. We’re keen to drive ever further forward, but we want to do so strategically. We don’t just want to grow fast; we want to grow well. All of which is why we closed 2020 with a critical analysis of our platform, motivated by a desire to improve the service we provide, and the potential of our video game marketing platform. It is something we recommend any tech, gaming or marketing startup consider, because the value has been immense.


Making a critical analysis of our own platform started with framing the direction of our intended improvement. We ultimately offer a platform that is a tool for people to work better, and with more impact. As such, we identified product design and user experience as key areas of focus. Equally, we wanted to be highly analytic in our approach. That inspired a fairly simple decision; we’d need a perspective that was focused and external. We couldn’t have more passion for what we’re building - but passion doesn’t always have the best influence on objectivity. And we knew as much objectivity as is possible would be vital to guide our analysis.

That’s why we called on the services of General Assembly. On paper, General Assembly is a training and educational outfit that endeavours to elevate skills and career potential in individuals - with a focus on specialties including tech, data, design and marketing. Their full suite of services, however, is a good deal more diverse than that. In the case of actioncy., General Assembly provided three of its experienced graduates to take a critical look at what we offer, with both UX and product design in mind.

actioncy's marketing platform objectives and problems
The General Assembly's rebrief for our project

Working with us provided hands-on experience for those graduates, building on their training with real-world application of their talents, while providing our team with invaluable insight. It’s worth noting here that commonly General Assembly ‘students’ are not fresh out of colleague, but may be experienced professionals looking to pivot or refine their skillset.


In the case of actioncy., our trio of brilliant talent - Jaimie Copprell, Tracy Phan and Oliver Pospischil - started with the ‘UX Double Diamond process’; an approach defined by starting with the user’s needs, and something best explained by the team themselves.

“We approached this project with the UX Double Diamond process - Discover (Research), Define (Synthesis), Develop (Ideation), and Deliver (Implementation),” the trio explain. “We started by researching general marketers’ needs and pain points and then took a closer look and tested the platform out for ourselves. From there, we discovered that the platform needed to be more user friendly in order for any more additional features marketers would like to use would be added.

Key messages from user interviews with marketers from the games industry

“Once we had our redesign and conducted usability tests, we learned that marketers were still missing specific tools and integrations that would be valuable to them. This was a revelatory moment for us as we realised that the marketing industry is so vast and marketers have so many different needs in regards to tools and integrations. That’s when we learned that it’s not possible to tailor the platform to a general marketing group; you have to design for a very specific target audience in order to fulfill their needs and goals and ultimately become essential for them.”

How useful the process has been for actioncy. is hard to overstate. It’s clear how thorough and precise the process was - although we wanted to give the graduates full creative freedom within that context. And thanks to that approach, while it’s a little early to share every detail, we have identified myriad ways to improve what we offer. We’re finding means to connect our platform with more agencies, provide more thorough and meaningful resources, and simultaneously expand and focus our offering.

A small overview of the team's work


Thanks to Copprell, Phan and Pospischil we have been given a lens through which to better our business, and therefore our support for our existing and future clients. But the gains of this critical, analytic approach don’t stop there. Or brilliant Generally Assembly talent also has plenty to take away from the experience.

“This was our first time working with a real client, so that alone made for an amazing learning experience for all of us.” they offer. “We really enjoyed working with [actioncy. Founder and CEO] Christian, who gave us so much creative freedom and had a lot of confidence in us from the very beginning. His expertise in the industry and good intentions for the impact he wants to make with actioncy. inspired and motivated us to help him as much as we possibly could.”

Initially Copprell, Phan and Pospischil thought they would be striving to uncover a grand solution for actioncy., but - thanks to the flexibility built into their process - the project shifted its perspective based on the data and user feedback they pooled and analysed.

“From there, we learned that not every project goes into the direction you intend it to -  you may think a project will pan out a certain way, but then suddenly it doesn’t. What do you do when this happens? How can you still create a good outcome and still have a solution for it? Even though we had to pivot in the way that we did, we realized that our findings were still insightful and meaningful to help propel it into the right direction. Ultimately, we crafted a new story for actioncy. versus a final end product. This new story, combined with our redesign of the planner, makes for a great stepping stone for actioncy. to have a better market fit and make a meaningful impact in the industry.”

We couldn’t have put it better ourselves. Harnessing the power of external perspectives to help build a story for the future for your company is something every growing company should do. And there may have never been a better time for it.

We can’t thank Copprell, Phan and Pospischil enough, and we can’t wait to get started with 2021.