< UX + Website / >


npm run case_study

Completely overhauling a subscription-based, multi-channel digital media platform with a brand new user experience.

ImpactAlpha is a team of hundreds of industry professionals working to redefine business journalism around social and environmental value. They serve over 70,000+ professionals and influencers; yet when I joined the project their website could barely load a page in less than 10 seconds.

After an exhaustive review, I worked alongside the management team to scope out the process by which we'd not only rebuild the entire application from the ground-up, but in the process we identified a need to also overhaul the user experience; designing a new website that better promotes the high-quality content they publish every day.

We designed, built and carefully migrated terabytes of data to a brand new web application architecture; significantly improving site performance, user experience and platform management.

Creative programming.
We built an exhaustive design system to cover every use case within Adobe XD.

We started with 2-week sprint of UX design concepts, exploring different approaches and how the experience may vary based on whether a user was logged in or not, or whether they were a paying subscriber or not. Elements that were designed within Adobe XD included not only page designs and states, but creative components such as content cards, scrollable feeds, and social-media sharing functionality that added a level of micro-interaction.

With UX locked in place, we moved into the second biggest hurdle, recreating the entire application from scratch. It was built upon WordPress as a completely custom theme, featuring a HTML5/CSS3 (compiled from SCSS) base and well-organized, modular code. We replaced their 40+ old plugins with theme-driven logic, while also integrating deeply with their user management and payment processing portal, Piano.

Creative programming.

After an extensive round of Q/A, we migrated to a new hosting environment (WPEngine), bringing across thousands of posts, authors, and other types of data. After implementing application-level best practices for performance, optimizing for CDN delivery, and working to configure CloudFlare for DNS-level improvements, we saw the average response time drop from 10-15 seconds down to less than 200ms per page. The entire website, despite now being media-heavy, feels snappy no matter how deep you dive into their content. Within 2 weeks of launch, we saw 2M+ hits to the website with no slowdown whatsoever, and over 80% of the content being delivered from cached edge points.

Creative programming.

With the new website in place ImpactAlpha has been empowered to take bigger steps towards growth and user acquisition, and their users get a much better experience. Conversion rates increased, along with retention and engagement across the board. I’ve since handed the project over to ImpactAlpha’s internal developers to take over; knowing they can do so from a solid foundation.

npm run feedback

"Thanks Simon, this is wonderful! It's fast and seems to be performing well. We love the way this is headed and really appreciate you going above and beyond to make this happen.