Great design is absolutely essential for any tech product to succeed. That’s why we’re truly grateful to have Kyle Grady as our Lead Product Designer. Since starting as a UX/UI Designer in April 2013, he has headed up two redesigns, illustrating his dedication to continuously improving both aesthetic and user workflow. He has flourished in his new role, bringing fresh perspective and confidence to his designs, and UpContent is so much better for it.
Recently, I sat down with Kyle to pick his brain about our most recent design changes. This is our most dramatic redesign yet and we feel it is much more representative of who we are, what we believe, and what we hope our users experience. In our conversation below, Kyle explains why we made a change to our design, how he decided on what changes to make, and what we can hope and expect from him moving forward.
A: I felt that UpContent needed a rebrand because we felt very limited in the original brand with almost everything we did. We felt that the design itself was a little boxed in and couldn’t be built upon with such a limited and dark color palette. We also received feedback from an existing user that it felt too masculine. So, after a long wait and some thought, we decided to keep the original colors, but add to the palette to enhance the emotion of the brand. The new color scheme is still bold but more warm and welcoming.
A: When rebranding and updating the product itself, we took a different approach to make more small, subtle chunk changes instead of redesigning the product as a whole. We found that the foundation of the product itself was already structurally stable. First we prioritized the features we wanted to add and then took small sections of the product, one by one. Eventually it became a domino effect and we found that it was more efficient and consistent, not to mention less overwhelming, moving forward with the rebrand by working in these small chunks.
A: During the rebrand process, our knowledge of User Experience helped tremendously. We want our product to be something users feel strongly about–whether they love or hate it. We want to cause an extremely emotional state for the user so that they will remember our brand. So creating a delightful user experience was very important to not only me, but to the entire team. As a result, the UX side of things played a pretty big role when choosing interactions, colors, fonts, personas, etc.
A: A lot has changed! The old design felt pretty dark and bold. It also had a suggestion view with a horizontal tile view with circular thumbnails which made it hard to view and caused some image skewing. It was also difficult to distinguish which suggestion each action button pertained to. With the new updated design, we add to the color palette, giving it more of a softer and lighter feeling for the user. We also changed the suggestion view to a card based layout that is clear and easy to distinguish suggestions and their individual action buttons. We chose to update the font for UpContent to a more readable font. So all in all, the new design and brand is better in numerous ways, not only on the UI side, but also the UX.
A: Going forward with UpContent, I do see some design changes, but will still tackle them by taking small sections at a time. I do feel like currently there are some adjustments we can make to the UI and UX to just keep them constantly improving, through things like A/B testing and analyzing data. I firmly believe that a product is never done, especially post launch. So stay tuned, and keep a keen eye out for small details!
A: The thing I like the most about being the Lead Product Designer on UpContent is the trust and faith my team has in me. I know I have personally grown tremendously as a product designer, and there is still tons more learning in my future, but the trust that I built with the team, and the faith they have in me to produce the right results for the right reasons means the world to me.
A: Our users are the most important to us at UpContent. We want them to feel that the product is easy to use, quick to navigate, and something that they want to continuously use. Everyone signs up for products daily, but not all users stay. We would really, and ideally, want our product to become part of our users’ daily habit.
Follow Kyle Grady at @kylepgh.