I built, mentored, & grew from the ground up a fully remote product and UX/UI design team. My team and I built O’Reilly Media’s first ongoing usable design system, user research, and inbound practice for its SaaS learning platform, Safari.
How might we lower our design and tech debt and give our cross-functional product design team more freedom to ship great products and features fast?
We reimagined and redesigned O'Reilly's learning app "Safari" over time by quickly shipping, learning, and iterating on pilot apps using the brand-new design system coded in React that we built from the ground up in less than six months. Eighteen months later, we increased shipping by 10x, grew the team by 6x, and cut down most of our tech and design debt while increasing brand equity.
We start with visual Brand/UI and Research, perform a component audit (define core materials needed), hold an analysis workshop (build consensus around best-of-breed design patterns), define design principles (guide the work), and then prioritize the materials to be designed by the acute problems our customers (proto-personas) have expressed.
In less than 12 months we shipped a host of new features. Users could now take live online training classes, create playlists, read and organize their books and videos, follow along with instructors, or search for that Python code snippet.
The first part of transforming a textbook company is focusing on the reading experience. Now you can read with ease and power. You can catalog, sort, share, save and or tweak your settings on this multi-platform re-design of Safari's reader.
Users can learn as they go, growing their skills and staying ahead.
Just like Spotify but for learning materials. Available online and on the mobile iOS App which we designed.
We knew our audience couldn’t possibly learn everything from 9 to 5. With our native iOS and Android apps they could save and take their learning on the go, outside of work.
How might we identify opportunities to drive customers attending our live events to to our online learning experience?
We used a "Hopes & Fears" wall and conducted 1:1 Contextual Inquiries at our Strata Conference in NYC. We aimed to understand what average O'Reilly conference attendees were thinking, feeling, and doing — unearthing opportunities we didn't even know existed. Furthering the research done at Strata NY, we wanted to understand conversion events more. So we mapped a conference attendees' journey pre, during, and post-event on Safari. We identified gaps, weaknesses, and redundancies in the trial-to-subscription conversion customer journey across B2C touch points. We identified opportunities by exposing gaps and weaknesses in the customer's journey..
Because the onsite tutorials at O'Reilly events were being presented in Safari, attendees naturally wanted access to Safari. So they could follow along. We believed attendees would take Safari back to work if given free access to Safari as part of their ticket price. They would use and evangelize it to their teams and learning and development leaders. It turns out, after doing some MVP tests of clickable wireframes, we were right.
Based on our generative MVP learnings, to optimize our events to nurture leads, we knew the event experience needed an upgrade. We needed to get attendees to the proper sessions and signed up with Safari to get the most out of those sessions. So we streamlined and created a new event app and site experience. We covered the basics with browse, search, and save features, enabling attendees to save sessions and event schedules easily.
Launched→ 1 Design system conceived of, made the business case for, built in React, and launched.
Launched→ 1 Newly redesigned Safari Learning SaaS platform launched.
Launched→ 2 Mobile apps launched, 1 for iOS (4.7 rating on app store) and 1 for Android→ 10x Increase in shipping velocity in less than 1yr. Download the O'Reilly App for iOS