A brief history and new beginning
Jux started out as a social site builder that encouraged users to create sharable and customizable sites and modules. This product was problematic from the beginning due to the lack of site completion and stagnant growth, so a decision to pivot was needed to sustain the business.
Based on observing product, usage, and speaking internally with the team, and user interviews, 3 main problems were identified:
1. Lack of inspirational or instructional content for Jux's galleries and customer facing touch points.
2. The barrier of entry was high for some users strive for site completion.
3. Users were mostly interested in the instant gratification of the fastest creating component modules.
These findings helped shape Jux's new initial offering; 'Blockquotes', a meme like fullscreen image page with customizable text quote overlay. Eventually 6 more types of posts were added: pictures, slideshows, countdowns, long form articles, street view using google map api and YouTube + Vimeo videos.
The challenge and Defining Design Goals
To define the look and feel, I started to think about concepts that can adapt to the growth of the product. Since the initial offering was a "meme like post' , I performed visual searches for things that embodied this design essence. Movie posters, large billboard or poster walls, editorial designs, magazine stand periodicals, bookstores, window displays, and street art all embodied the same visual quality that mixed powerful images with strong, bold typography. The editorial design element within the magazine stand metaphor offered the most styles to inform Jux's current and future offerings.
The main goals were to simplify the product experience and to provide multiple points of inspirations through a thoughtfully curated user gallery, inspiring social sharing notifications, emails, social channels with branded partnership content.
Editorial design inspired.
With the design goals and overarching concept established, 2 sub- themes for galleries were created to help drive the visual designs. Using time of day to create styles and themes.
Day theme - fashion and lifestyle friendly inspired theme.
Dusk theme - photography and sports friendly. Re created to give limited preset customization. limited but easy way to customize.
Inspiring users to building partnerships
Jux's team shared responsibilities of featuring user creations throughout the day and into the evenings. This helped us identify the power creators and in seeking appropriate partnerships to help drive user growth and creations.
Inspiring to create
Jux curated gallery inspired a new community of creators and evangelists. To further increase creations, users were given options to create infinite curated themed galleries.
Gallery themes for desktop and iPhone views
Simple sign up and creation workflow, allowing for rapid content creation
Tools for creation and community building
Collapsible and draggable tool palettes were ideal for the initial creation experience. It helped maintain the cinematic experience while minimizing obstruction of content. The tool palette provided some customization controls: Font face and size, colors and background images can be customized within all posts and user galleries. This helped give enough ways of self expression while maintaining some control over output quality.
Jux platform was designed to bring the community together with commenting and the ability to like posts and follow each other.
Preset designs offers a wide range of type, styles and inspirations
Jux initial offering allowed users to post only full screen image. This resulted in varied and unexpected outcomes, with many users posting images ranging from small thumbnail size to high resolution HD. Alternative layout options were quickly designed and implemented to allow for more natural layout options to accommodate various image sizes.
Solution: Smart layout options
The idea of a smart layout generator was a great way to reduce the creation workflow by auto saving fonts, color options, while giving users ability to select the preset layouts.
Marketing Campaigns and Partnerships
Partnerships with fashion, lifestyle bloggers helped Jux increase user sign up globally with blogging partners in Asia, UK, Netherlands and the US. Jux provided a branded content marketing for independent film studios, local retail shops and restaurants, as they felt Jux's platform was the right story telling tool for their businesses.
Within a year, Jux users created 60,000 posts with 5 million unique visits per month. Jux focused on creating the simplest user experience across all platforms, while providing meaningful inspirations to our users from every touch point. In the end, Jux's membership surpassed over 200,000 users, but sadly, this was not enough to sustain a business. In the summer of 2013 loyal fans of Jux decided to extend the life of the product for 2 more years by maintaining Jux. Even though our team failed in meeting the business goals, I feel that we were successful in creating a product that attracted a legion of dedicated users.