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Google Ad Manager: IA


Google Ad Manager (AKA DFP and DRX internally) is Google’s largest and most enterprise focused publisher facing ad-tech platform. It is the most competent and feature rich product of its kind on the market but this level of sophistication and capability inherently lends itself to complicated information architecture. This problem is exacerbated by the large number of teams working independently on small areas of the product at the same time and their natural reluctance to slow their progress to communicate with each other.


Conducted over the entirety of my time working on Google Ad Manager (approximately 18 months), this project required me to collaborate with product managers, designers and engineers from all teams working on Google Ad Manager to document the entire architecture of the product, conduct usability testing to assess the current architecture and navigation, understand the development pipeline and delivery timelines for new features, and facilitate communication between teams to promote a more holistic approach to feature development and reduce the product’s overall complexity.


Creation and maintenance of product sitemaps; development of IA principles and iterative IA strategy; formation of small cross-disciplinary working group to provide oversight and guidance when considering nav changes; and planning and facilitation of design workshops to promote cross team collaboration, a holistic approach to feature development, and reduce overlapping or redundant functionality.

Google Ad Manager marketing site →

Project goal.
Product IA goals.
Sitemap displaying the overall complexity of the product and planned changes to the nav.
Sitemap detail demonstrating iterative approach to managing and reducing complexity as part of feature releases.
How Might We exercise from a 4 day design sprint to imagine how ad formats could be better represented across the product’s architecture.
Ideation exercise from the same sprint.
One of several IA principles used to promote the initiative across the larger product team.
Exploration of object model to aid architecture and navigation discussion and decisions.