How can we help traders optimize their ad exchange quickly?

Traders buy digital ad inventory by bidding on that inventory through ad exchanges. Ad exchanges are digital marketplaces that connect sellers of ad inventory with buyers (traders). Sharethrough operates one of these ad exchanges.

Problem: Sharethrough has been using a spreadsheet to do workshops with buyers, which requires a lot of manual work.

Solution: Build a tool that provides the same data and insights as the workshop that buyers can use on their own.

Automating [the spreadsheet] has proven challenging, and we haven’t seen buyers using it after going through the workshops, even though the workshops themselves have received great feedback and engagement.

- Carl, Product Manager

My Role

How I worked on this project in 2021.

Understand the product vision

I worked with Carl, the PM on the project to understand the scope and what was needed. Based on our discussions, I sketched ideas for how the tool would work.

Learn more

Design iterations

Once we were in a good place with the sketches, I created the UI, and iterated on multiple versions.

Learn more

Implement and get feedback

A beta version was created to show clients and get feedback.

Learn more

Understand scope and current solution

I met with the PM to go over what they currently use and an idea for the new tool.

Original spreadsheet showing allocation data.
Current solution

We reviewed the spreadsheet that the team was currently using to show how to optimize clients' performance.

Original spreadsheet showing allocation data.
Initial idea

The PM drafted a wireframe to help explain what they were looking for in the new automated tool.

Original wireframe/flow idea for how user can use SPO tool.
user interface

UI iterations and prototypes

Once we were in a good place with the general idea and flow, I iterated on several versions of the UI.

Final: designs with data visualization

next steps

Results and learnings

What happened after the designs were completed.

Usability testing

I set up a script and tasks to be completed. However we did not do this due to timing and budget.


The tool was released as a beta with some features, and plans to add more in the future.

It was something we'd show to clients in demos and it would tend to be well received, but we didn't get it to a point where it was a standalone tool for buyers to use on their own.

- Carl Steinberg, Product Manager, Sharethrough

Other Work