Having been employed at Ve Interactive since late 2013, I’ve been a part of it’s growth since a relatively early stage, seeing it transform from four offices, 300 employees and 3000 clients to fourteen offices, 1200 employees and over 10,000 clients. On the way, we’ve been named one of Europe's few Unicorn companies, been listed number one in The Times Tech Track as the fastest growing tech company in the UK and won multiple awards.
It’s been fascinating having a part in a company’s growth at such a key stage, but also posed it’s own challenges, encouraging us to constantly think about scalability, localisation and infrastructure in everything we create. It’s also allowed us, as a small UX team, to affect the companies attitudes and makeup, slowly implementing a design first approach to the business’ key KPIs. I’ve also been able to travel on multiple occasions to both Cluj (Romania) and Bilbao (Spain) in order to support the growth of our overseas development centers and train international designers.
I moved through training and managing junior designers, optimising Ve’s email solutions, web design work and leading the UX for our Integrations partnerships before we eventually formed a product design team of three. Serving over four hundred developers over almost fifty projects, it’s a challenge that has allowed me to learn quickly and gain full process expertise over the last three years.
I’ve been the lead designer on multiple projects key to the company such as our Internal CRM and many of our customer facing products, taking them from concept all the way through research, ideation, testing, development and further iteration. More recently as a team unit, we’ve designed a self-service platform to shift the business to a SaaS model and disrupted the online engagement industry with our revolutionary VePanel, a popup replacement.
A small number of the key projects I’ve worked on are outlined below along with my responsibilities within them.
In order to further increase Ve’s international growth, improve operational efficiency and support the business’ growing focus on data, it was identified that there needed to be a SaaS element to the company’s operation. This would allow us to increase our focus and quality of offering for the largest clinets while also being able to chase more of the small minnows still immensely valuable to the company.
Leading it’s origin from design, we developed a platform that integrates with the key e-commerce providers and allows our customers to sign up, customize and launch their solutions. I’ve worked throughout the design process across the full spectrum of the product, with responsibilities including audience research and analysis, competitive research, wireframing, styling, prototyping, development liaison and testing.
As the lead designer on Ve’s internal CRM for almost a year, I supported two development teams in order to continue the growth of a product we eventually aim to white label. A repository for the company’s vast client data across 13 countries and 26 offices, it’s a key part of our Sales, Account Management and internal operations.
Having taken it on with some work already in place, I developed comprehensive, goal driven user Personas in order to evaluate it’s offering. This led to me introducing a ticketing system to deal with all of the company’s internal processes: from onboarding customers, managing design requests and technical implementation through to internal IT support and Purchase Orders.
As UX designers in a company where one of the primary solutions to online engagement was popups, we faced a personal challenge. Namely, fighting for the user in an industry prioritising even minor uplifts in revenue and conversions, often gained through dark patterns and frustatingly designed popups. We could either move to easier pastures or try and improve what was on offer. Always up for a challenge, we reasoned that these solutions would always be there until someone developed something with superior usability that could still minimise the e-commerce crux of small conversion rates.
Enter VePanel, a solution originally concepted by our Creative Director Adam Hindhaugh and developed after many rounds of research, testing and iteration by our team.
VePanel slides out seamlessly from the right, pushing the website with it, for an experience much more native than other offerings. It also features a range of customer focused solutions such as basket saving, reccommendations and search, using a wealth of customer data to show exactly what a user needs, exactly when they need it.
Eventually launched to great effect in early 2016, it improved the engagement of our previous solution by 245% while also performing much superior in usability studies and increasing the amount of brand conscious companies willing to work with Ve. I’ve since led the implementation of two additional features as a reaction to further testing and live data, targeting additional end consumer pains and goals as well as those of the Merchants Ve works with.