UX & UI Design, Product Management
FollowUp.cc is a suite of tools centred around Gmail, aimed at helping users manage business relationships. As a senior product designer slash product manager, I helped remake and grow FollowUp from a simple productivity app to a feature-rich personal CRM.
Over the course of my work with FollowUp, I was involved in practically every aspect of its business. This included managing the roadmap, data analysis, research, wireframing, UI design and acting as team leader in absence of CTO.
During my tenure, I led the effort to build many major features, including Contacts Tab, Auto Follow-ups, Link Tracking, Website reminders, and others. Just as importantly, we removed multiple obsolete features.
We defined our success metrics as improving engagement, increasing conversion and decreasing churn. We had to play catch–up with our competition while making sure we cater to the existing user base.
I redesigned the existing application to be more user-friendly and make room for upcoming features. FollowUp lives in Gmail, so our own style guide had to feel as close to the native environment as possible. Eventually, we decided to adapt Google's material design guidelines.
When designing, I used pen & paper to quickly visualise a lot of design options before moving on to drawing the most promising UI ideas in Sketch. Whenever possible, I created clickable flows using Marvel to make sure everything “clicks” from the user’s perspective.
Similar to modelling user journeys before designing new features, when designing websites, I always tried to start with a well–structured content document. This content–first design forced us to make sure the website reads and scans well, and has all the necessary sections.
I was in charge of thinking up and scheduling regular A/B tests. We regularly tested something new: from copy and button placements, to complete redesigns of specific pages. Before launching the new website we ran a series of A/B tests to find the most effective messaging.
The website is usually the first interaction with the product, but the experience doesn’t end on the home page. Changes were made on almost every page of the website, and on many pages in the web app.
In addition to talking to actual customers, I leaned heavily on usage data when improving existing designs. And if some particular information wasn’t available – that just meant we had to figure out a way to get it. Tools like Mixpanel, Intercom, Google Analytics and Hotjar made it easy for me to start gathering and analyze the necessary metrics.
To increase app “stickiness”, we experimented with different ways to onboard customers. I designed a new contextual tutorial, and made improvements to nearly all stages of the funnel.
Despite little to no advertising spending, we managed to maintain strong organic traffic and continue to improve our customers' daily lives. This translated to a steady growth and great user reviews.
Working with a significant user base and an agile environment, finding ways to improve a living & breathing product was a constant design challenge. And a hands–on lesson in running a SaaS business.
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