I joined Boosted as its first designer in early 2016. There were 30 of us who worked in the company at the time. The boards were all hand-assembled in a large garage in Mountain View, our roof leaked, and every moment defined the meaning of scrappy. But we were passionate. Our brand had a logo, a vague idea of a mission, and a janky WordPress site that left a lot of room for improvement. The business chose to focus on direct sales, rather than through retail stores so all of the success or failure of our business rested on creating a strong website that could convert to sales.
I joined the company right when Boosted was prepping to launch its 2nd Gen Board. We quickly teamed up with a design agency (Ueno) to create a landing page for collecting pre-orders. We listed out product specs, slapped on a handful of sexy product renders and pushed go.
The initial launch went great but we quickly faced our next problem: How do we tell our full brand story on our website? We had no idea who was buying our boards and why. We assumed we had some early adopters and tech enthusiasts in the mix but knew that we couldn’t rely on that audience forever. We didn’t want the brand to be all about fun and games but about getting through cities with joy and a feeling of flow that was unprecedented. How do we do that?
This is where the work began. We talked with users, attended group rides, collected surveys, and refined our message until we felt like we knew who we were and who we were talking to.
We packed up that info, explored lots of design directions, revamped our site, and in late 2016 launched our first website that truly sought to position Boosted as a solution to the last-mile commuting problem.
This site used the homepage for storytelling about the “Last-Mile Problem” and then introduced the Boosted board as a solution to the problem. I led all of the design work, collaborated with Boosted’s founders Sanjay Dastoor and John Ulmen, and our Chief Marketing Officer Noriko Morimoto with the designs. I also led the project with an external development agency to build the pages and launch everything on time (and within budget).
The next phase of Boosted’s website was really fun. Boosted had an almost “cult-like” following to the brand. They critiqued our code on Reddit, tracked us down during photoshoots, and obsessed over some of our collaborators like Casey Neistat or Sam Scheffer. We decided to lean into this. We hid secret messages in our code, sent users on scavenger hunts across cities for prizes, and leveraged social media in conjunction with our site to deepen our connection to our users. People loved it. Our social media channels exploded with growth and we ended up winning a Shorty Award for some of our wild ideas. Adobe also picked up on all the fun we were having with our community and used our design team (Hayden Shaum and I) in a marketing video that they showed at Adobe Max in Las Vegas. Wild.
Up until this time, Boosted’s site was a hacked together Wordpress theme with the back end connected to Shopify but the seams were starting to split and it was feeling less and less scalable. Everything was manual and required many sleepless nights to keep things held together.
The business was prepping to launch a whole new range of boards and we decided to use this moment as our chance to migrate the site to a new CMS that used a modern web stack. We teamed up Underbelly, a development agency based in Salt Lake City, Utah to help us transition and build the new site.
We updated our website typography from using three fonts to using one single font (Acumin) with a variety of weights and widths. We also created a web style guide, that included everything from buttons, forms, modules, and sections and made sure to include all of the various states.
Right after this moment, things changed at Boosted. We secured a round of Series B funding of $70M. We hired a growth team, add product managers, acquired a development agency, and recruited designers, producers, filmmakers, and copywriters to join the team. Almost overnight our company tripled in size. It was a super exciting time. We all became hyper-focused on numbers, growth, and conversion rates, and used data to inform decision making. We had bigger budgets for campaigns and all felt the pressure to succeed.
Boosted was about to launch our first electric scooter which would expand our brand to reach a larger audience. With this launch, we expected a huge amount of growth and we needed a website that was working like a well-oiled machine to get us there.
With the launch of Boosted Rev (scooter) we revamped our homepage to introduce the new product. We found simple ways to help users navigate and find the product that works best for them. We also introduced a robust navigation, a vehicle-finder quiz, a new product page, along with various landing pages.
The past year has been lots of fast-paced changed to improve conversions. We redesigned our product page template to be more mobile friendly and to reduce the length of the page. With heatmaps, we found that users weren’t seeing all of the storytelling content on product pages so we found simple ways to group content to make and more tailored shopping experience.
We reformatted the product pages to reduce sticker shock and decrease bounce rates.We also introduced add ons and other upsell opportunities to the site to increase the overall revenue per order.
The complications of e-commerce are unique. When done right users don’t notice how complex things are but over that past 4 years I’ve gained a new level of respect for brands that do e-comm well. There is still a lot to be improved on Boosted’s site. The past few months have been scrappy, fast-paced, and challenging. That being said, I’m proud of everything we’ve learned so far and look forward to endless improvements.