Pepperlane is an online marketplace and platform for mothers to start their own businesses on their own terms. I joined the team as their earliest employee because I was passionate about their mission to improve the working world for moms. Pepperlane sought to create a new economy for mothers of all backgrounds by giving them a website to start their own businesses to buy and sell services from one another.
Role: Director of Design
Responsibilities: UI/UX, Prototyping, Usability-Testing
Hire a Mom - Discovery & Marketplace
Web Presence for Self-Owned Businesses
Pepperlane provides its members a simple website to showcase their services without any additional design or coding needed.
I led several user interviews at first to discover how our users preferred to navigate between states and update their pages. Whether they were new to their business or already had their own website elsewhere, users wanted to be guided through the process while also being free to choose any aspect of their website to tackle next. The final result was a "live" editing experience allowing users to view their changes in real time, along with plenty of helper text and examples in context. Once shipped, this was continually updated and monitored via FullStory to reduce friction and successfully improve the users' time to completion.
With over half our visitors coming from mobile—and many not in ownership of a dedicated computer themselves—we wanted to make sure that a user could get her website up and running on any device she might have. One member had said that she had started and completed her website all from the sidelines of her son's soccer game.
Throughout the site we placed an emphasis on authentic photography: showcasing the woman behind the business rather than her business's logo or an avatar.
Many users who were new to their businesses or had been out of the workplace for some time said that they felt that they needed a logo or additional branding to feel "official". These feelings could hamper their confidence (and were usually the biggest roadblocks to conversion and finishing their sites) so encouraging portraiture and personal details like their kids and interests were included to take the pressure off of mothers to appear as anything other than themselves.
In our user interviews the team found that members came to our site for more reasons than could fit in a single onboarding flow. While the UI could help the user create an account and complete a website, many users had to overcome confidence and real world roadblocks in order to sell their services. Because of this, the onboarding funnel consisted of 1) a digital experience, and 2) a personable, human one. In creating the path to membership, we included as many potential touch points with humans at Pepperlane as possible.
It was important to me that our visitors saw the faces of real members before they saw their first sign-up form. We wanted them to see themselves with us as much as we wanted to know exactly who they were.