SOCRATA

Rebooting a successful startup

The Challenge

Socrata.com (originally blist.com) needed to reinvent itself.  The company had a Flash based personal list maker / online database product aimed at consumers.  It needed to transform the company strategy, direction, platform, branding and completely redesign the application from the ground up.

 

It's said a start-up lasts only as long as the number of reboots it can endure.  During my tenure, Socrata moved from an Flash application to an HTML / CSS / AJAX platform while the strategy shifted from a consumer application for creating personal databases to a “data transparency” application and online community targeting federal, state and local governments (gov 2.0).

 

Approach

Working closely with the CSO and CEO the product manager and I set about aligning the new application architecture and functionality toward the rebooted vision. It was a ground up wreck and rebuild and rebrand.

 

Selling The Redesign

Rather than dive into the redesign at the UI level, I needed to sell the idea of a major overhaul of the UX architecture.  Using quick and dirty mockups, I presented the new UX vision and won approval from the leadership team and board to move ahead with an ambitious redesign.

 

Results

Socrata launched the new brand in May 09.  We continued to develop the new app and completed our transition to the new application design and platform in September 09.  The application redesign has been overwhelmingly well received by all government agencies who demo it.

 

Adoption has grown 100 fold and includes government agencies around the world such as Data.gov, the EPA and the government of Kenya.

Team

UX director (me), product marketing manager, director of strategy, CEO

 

My Role

Director of user experience

Core contributor to overall vision and direction of the product and company in tandem with the CEO, CSO, BOD, product marketing manager and technical program manager

Product feature, UX & UI design

Managed external design resources and internal UI development efforts

Worked closely with development team

Supported marketing efforts including several marketing Website redesigns a re-brand and business strategy shift

 

 

 

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