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Dashboard, Dev Center & Marketing Website

StackMob was an SF based startup building mobile backend technology for enterprise and indie developers. As the only designer at the company, I was hired to revamp, design from scratch, and constantly iterate on everything from our .com site to the web app, printed materials and online ads.

StackMob was acquired by PayPal in 2013.

 
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Getting Started

The StackMob was a done-for-you backend service for independent developers and teams who didn’t want to spend resources maintaining and scaling what we believed would eventually be a commodity. However, this was an emerging concept in 2010, and we had to prove ourselves instantly. That’s why my first major task was to create an easy flow for setting up and playing around with our dashboard and API.

Before and After

This is how it looked and functioned before and after I re-designed it. As you can see, it’s kind of a jumbled mess. One good thing they were doing was showing progress (“step 2 of 4”). That said, it could definitely be improved. I wanted to keep the idea of progress while not overwhelming a first time user with so much info up front (“step 4” was kind of a beast).

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Iterations

At first, we just wanted to revamp the look and feel of the current flow, without considering larger structural changes. Here are a few versions of streamlining the current flow and making it more user friendly.

Concept 1  Broke each step down into more digestible bits, graying them out until you get to them. Also emphasized progress with the progress bar at the top. Finally, highlighted next steps once you’ve completed the guide.

Concept 1
Broke each step down into more digestible bits, graying them out until you get to them. Also emphasized progress with the progress bar at the top. Finally, highlighted next steps once you’ve completed the guide.

Concept 2  Hid each step until you got to it to relieve cognitive overload

Concept 2
Hid each step until you got to it to relieve cognitive overload

Concept 3  Streamlined the look of the UI

Concept 3
Streamlined the look of the UI

Concept 3.5  Combining #2 and #3

Concept 3.5
Combining #2 and #3

Simplifying the process

After thinking about it some more, we decided that it would best to go one step further and actually simplify the process down from 5 to 3 simple steps.

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Final Flow

After releasing the simplified flow above, we decided to simplify even further by pre-creating an app for you to download and mess around with. By talking to some users about their experience getting started on the admittedly robust system, we realized that it’s hard to know exactly what our API and dashboard can do without having an app to manipulate. So our engineering team created a sample app that a developer could download and explore with. Of course, we also gave you the option to use your own app if you already had one.

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Dashboard