A Ported App, Redesigned
In 2008, Automattic acquired Polldaddy, an Irish company specializing in WordPress-friendly surveys and polls, in the vein of SurveyMonkey or Wufoo. Since it was conceived as a .NET application, the Polldaddy developers first ported it to LAMP in order to run on Automattic’s infrastructure. In late 2009, I was contracted for a complete redesign of the app from the ground up, with developers reworking most of the code as necessary to facilitate a more modern user experience.
After the six months I spent redesigning Polldaddy as a contractor, I was brought on full-time as the permanent designer on the product team. Product teams were a new idea at Automattic as at the time, most employees worked on their own projects in a model that more closely hewed to the open source structure from which Automattic sprung.
As one of the first designers in the company, I had the freedom to figure out what the product-focused role should entail. Since the company had been started by developers so that they could continue working on WordPress indefinitely, and since I’d been working with code naturally for most of my career, it made sense for me to start owning the product’s experience at the HTML level as well as in lofty mockups.
It’s difficult to boil down two years’ worth of work on one product into a bite-size list of tasks, but I’ll try. During my time on Team Polldaddy, my work was evident in the following ways.
- Complete initial overhaul of the application interface
- Further definition of application UI components and iteration on product experience
- Redesign and A/B testing of designs for the public-facing pages that sold the product to users, including a homepage design used in a presentation by one of TypeKit’s founders at An Event Apart.
- Optimization of signup process to maximize signups
- User experience design for a new login system that transitioned users to WordPress.com accounts for login
- Complete design and buildout of WordPress theme used for the user support site
- UX overhaul for the self-hosted Polldaddy WordPress plugin
- Interactive prototyping and HTML/CSS/jQuery for all of the above
- iOS designs and Objective-C UI coding for offline-compatible Polldaddy app
- User support and user research for improvements to the product’s UX
- Survey theme design and buildout
Final Polldaddy dashboard as it currently stands, launched in 2012/2013.
Earlier iteration of the Polldaddy dashboard.
An even earlier iteration on the Polldaddy dashboard.
First Polldaddy public pages I designed in 2009.
Redesigned Polldaddy public pages as of 2010.
Price comparison screen as of 2010.
New-User Experience screen, as of 2011.