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Six Solimar updates that save time and surface insights — with Christine Anderson

Nine months after the launch of Solimar, we caught up with The Trade Desk’s VP of UX/UI, Christine Anderson, to understand how she and her team continue to update and improve Solimar’s user experience, helping advertisers make better data-driven decisions at every step of the marketing funnel.

As described in The Current, Anderson led a diverse team of designers, researchers, and writers to create Solimar’s new interface for traders, designed to be as simple as it is sophisticated. The team reimagined the buying experience to start with your goals, enabling our platform’s AI, Koa™, to become better at achieving them. She explains, “Solimar was designed to create a dialogue with the users, with the UI listening to what you want — your campaign’s main objective — and presenting only those options that make the most sense, such as KPIs that go best for conversion. That eliminates confusion and gives you a better chance to hit your goals.”

In February of 2022, a patent was issued that names Anderson and her team as inventors of the unique contextual navigation in Solimar. Specific innovations include flattening the deep information architecture (IA), which previously required multiple screens, into a single browser window to clearly guide users to successfully complete their digital advertising workflows. The patent also covers the innovative action UX framework, which allows advertisers to see how all their campaigns are performing in one simple, unified experience. The Solimar UI streamlines tasks with visual guides and recommendations that help to focus traders’ attention on the actions needed to drive results, like which campaigns aren’t meeting KPIs and why. The industry has taken notice of these improvements as well. While Gartner’s 2020 Magic Quadrant for Ad Tech described The Trade Desk’s platform as “complex,” the 2021 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Ad Tech listed ‘Ease of Use’ as the platform’s #1 strength.

Besides ease of use, the goal of this innovation was better performance across multiple metrics, including cost per acquisition (CPA), viewability, and cost per completed view (CPCV). This focus on performance is why, just nine months after launch, approximately 90 percent of our clients have adopted Solimar. And not only using it, but we’re seeing advertisers, on average, applying twice as many data elements per ad impression, delivering on Solimar’s objective to drive more informed decisioning for performance improvement.

Even with all this success, Anderson, who has 20 years of experience leading UX for major brands, and her team, who hail from the world’s foremost media and tech companies, never stop thinking about ways to further enhance the user experience for our clients. Taking a data-driven approach to gathering feedback, the team has captured both quantitative and qualitative research, including more than 1,300 unique user surveys and 100 interviews. This has led to continued platform improvements since launch — all driven by direct client feedback.

Some of these workflow and campaign enhancements include:

Universal search.

Easily find your advertiser, partner, campaign, or ad group with a persistent search experience that is always visible and can query content across the platform.

A more responsive action bar.

Streamline your workflow with easy access to frequently used actions directly from the homepage and campaign page.

Build campaigns faster.

Quickly move between wizard steps and gain forecasts and recommendations within an average of 10 seconds.

Smarter campaign rails.

The campaign wizard now recommends measurement integrations and automatically configures default selections for Viewability, VCR, vCPM, and CPCV KPIs.

Anderson and her team are also focused on finding ways to help traders quickly and effectively troubleshoot campaigns, a task that historically took up 20 to 30 percent of their time, to surface blockers, and to provide easy one-click fixes. Recent Solimar troubleshooting updates include:

Spend blocker alerts.

When spend is blocked for a campaign mid-flight, Solimar saves time by surfacing spend blocking reasons in the campaign details page.

Ad group troubleshooting visualization.

This new visualization tells users where they can unlock the largest spend and win more impressions. Beta results found that using this tool helped traders cut the time spent troubleshooting by up to 50 percent.

Anderson credits Solimar’s success to date to her talented and diverse team and she is excited to contribute to The Trade Desk’s ongoing mission of revolutionizing data-driven ad buying for modern marketers. Click here to learn more about Solimar and to hear how it is helping advertisers successfully navigate the future of media buying.

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