Product Design: FUSIO’s Conceptual Model

By Cristina Dinu Product Insights Comments Off on Product Design: FUSIO’s Conceptual Model

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FUSIO by S4M is a powerful drive-to-store platform that can attribute digital media investments with real-world results, such as shopper visits into stores. Our product vision is to help our clients, marketers, brands and media agencies, to close the digital and physical advertising divide.

In a previous article about our target users we explained how tool-independent workflows laid the foundation for FUSIO’s conceptual model.

Ahead of bringing a product to market, a designer must first develop a conceptual model of the product that is easily understood by the target user – a core challenge for the FUSIO product team.

In broad terms, a conceptual model is a simplified explanation of how something works. Informed by this explanation, each user proceeds to build their own mental model about the way that item functions and the qualities it has.

The same logic applies for more sophisticated products like platforms, where users adjust their mental model as they interact with the technology.

In order to achieve an intuitive product, our product team wanted users to build the same mental model of FUSIO as the one that S4M’s designers had in mind.


A rule of thumb, however, for designing a universal conceptual model is to begin from the user’s understanding of the tasks your product will perform.

From Insights to Interface

Our product team’s central focus for FUSIO’s conceptual model was shaping the platform to embody how components used within DSP’s naturally interact with each other – in effect making the platform feel predictive.

Underpinning this objective was user research showing us that the activities carried out by traders gravitate around the insertion order (IO), which is the final commitment to run a campaign on behalf of an advertiser.

In practice the IO is connected to several other components related to the design and delivery of mobile display campaigns. For example, a child entity such as a media buying tactic belongs to the insertion order, as it could not exist in the IO’s absence. This means that by controlling the parent you could also control child entities.

In this rhythm, S4M set about providing traders with a new level of control from an insertion order dashboard, and across various primary and secondary components.

Design outputs:

  • Managed media buying tactics: With FUSIO users can, for example, change and pause media buying tactics directly from the IO dashboard.
  • Create once – use multiple times: Assets like creatives, which are part of the configuration of media buying tactics, can be designed within the platform and made easily accessible for multiple campaigns.
  • Dynamic adjustment of campaign parameters: For those campaigns utilizing specific assets, such as publisher deals, the platform can automatically apply changes made to these assets to live campaigns.

By keeping in view only the platform components that are relevant to a campaign’s status, FUSIO can anticipate the needs of a user.

Campaign Navigation and Optimization

A second phase in the development of FUSIO’s conceptual model was to look at areas where our product team could upgrade the traditional mental model users created about ad platforms.

Our primary research revealed that traders were losing valuable time modifying campaign parameters due to complex navigation; from top-line overview dashboards; to deep dive performance analytics; and access to specific components.

By its very nature FUSIO bolsters efficiency through providing marketers an all-in-one platform, comprising of an Ad Server, DSP, Ad Builder and DMP.

Pushing the boundaries further, our product team made it their mission to deliver a fluid user experience that focused on easy navigation and quick optimization within the platform.

Design outputs:

  • Hybrid mode: With FUSIO the most crucial campaign parameters – such as budget and goal price – can be modified directly from the overview dashboard, giving invaluable time back to traders.
  • Quick navigation: Switching between the dashboard view – both overview and detailed – and the configuration panel of the campaign is designed to be just one-click away.

Design builds such as these are driven by patterns in how our core user thinks, works and behaves – all of which are excellent sources for deriving the conceptual model that will govern a product’s design.

The relationship held between various components and the final insertion order laid the foundation of our work, which ultimately helps make the platform work harder on behalf of our users.

Next in the series we will look closely at FUSIO’s interface architecture and information hierarchy, alongside the feedback process employed during its development.

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