When I started at Dropbox, I had just graduated undergraduate business school and was hungry to dive in. My experiences spanned redesigning the homepage (the most visited page on our site) to working on gnarly enterprise product problems to learning how to illustrate and helping launch our largest consumer offerings: Carousel, Mailbox, and core Dropbox.
Our homepage, which had been last conceptually evaluated in 2009, was beginning to show its age in terms of both look and conversion metrics. So we redesigned it from scratch. We put extra thought and care into the animations and interactions, which you can view live at dropbox.com (make sure to sign out).
I led design on this project, and was responsible for the visual, UX, and interactive components of the site as well as ensuring that the redesign yielded improvements in conversion metrics given that this is the most visited page within the Dropbox universe. In this vein, we balanced the brand storytelling component with a series of intensive 5% A/B testing to our audience, making tweaks here and there. It was incredible to quantify certain seemingly minute decisions in this way - for instance, we realized that adding a few explanatory words to a certain hyperlink would result in more click-throughs to our enterprise product, which then would result in more business trials, and a measurable bump in revenue.
Visually, we also wanted to illustrate a larger story around what Dropbox can do for new users who are likely to be turned off by overly technical references to file systems and data syncing. We kept the copy, interactions, and visuals fresh and light, opting for playful, relatable metaphors to real-life objects. We also purposely limited the number of elements and calls to action on the page.
The move to branding
Towards the end of 2013, I transitioned from product design to branding and illustration. I hadn’t done any illustration work before Dropbox, let alone even touched a tablet (literally), but when the challenge came I was excited and ready.
Illustration is a huge part of Dropbox’s DNA, and it is also an area that we’re making big efforts to codify across the entire platform in order to tell the most cohesive, compelling story possible. It’s been really exciting to work alongside some of the basically the mosttalented people I’ve ever met, and grow as an artist.
I started Origins, a women in design series at Dropbox, with Allison House to bring together women in a friendly environment and discuss gender-related topics that are practical, useful, and perhaps even unexpected. Our most recent event, led by Laura Brunow Miner, focused on celebrating moms; accordingly, we chose the slogan: “My Mom is so Talented!” It’s a phrase that we don’t really hear very often - but to me, it’s one of the coolest things you could say to your awesome mama.
I love chalk and cannot resist!
To invite the community in before the event, we had postcards that prompted recipients to write on one side why their mom was so talented and on the other, their mother’s address so that we could mail it to them after. We also printed Tattlys and lunchboxes for attending mothers and their children alike.
It was a crazy ride, seeing Dropbox grow from 200 (when I joined) to 800; going from product designer to learning the ropes of branding and illustration, and ultimately combining the two. Thanks, guys.