mParticle, the startup based out of NYC has a unique product. The 3 year old company is a customer data platform that aggregates mobile app data from a wide array of outside services and APIs. Similar to Segment.io, mParticle allows one-click integrations with a broad array of services. Developers can use mParticle to integrate everything from analytics providers like Google, to customer communication platforms such as Intercom and email marketing services like SendGrid or SailThru. In total, there are currently over 60 services covered — check out the new integrations page we just completed for a comprehensive list.
In late 2015 the company was starting to grow quickly and realized they needed a new site to showcase their expanding offerings. Fresh off of $4.31M of debt financing (July 2015), the mParticle team decided to aggressively pursue rebranding and reached out to us to help develop the new look.
Due to this rapid growth, the need to have the new site go live was urgent. The current site was far from representative of the size, maturity, and cutting-edge technology provider that mParticle had become.
To accommodate this request, we worked quickly in tandem with a lead designer from the mParticle team to accelerate the development process. Starting with wireframes, the process quickly advanced into mockups and eventually a live, functional prototype. They provided some great hi-fidelity PSD’s that enabled us to focus on developing them into a polished design, which would eventually materialize as a custom WordPress based theme (built with the Genesis 2.0 framework).
The tools we used
Throughout the project we utilized InVision to bring the mockups to life. One of our favorite tools when working with clients, InVision does a great job at centralizing discussion of various features, bugs within the initial prototype, and comments from dispersed team members and stakeholders. We also added Trello into the mix. Trello works great to provide a macro-level project overview that illustrates the progression of the project as a whole, as well as the stage of various features within the site.
What ‘We’ Created
It’s important to reiterate the essential role that clients play in the development process. The success (or failure) of any project is a direct product of the collaboration between both parties. Luckily, in this instance it worked out great. Here’s some shots of the final product that serves as evidence to illustrate that synergy.
There were more moving parts to this project than the typical corporate home redesign — a great example of this is the Integrations page. Utilizing the mParticle API, we created a dynamic template that stays up to date with the companies latest integrations in a seamless fashion. After several iterations, we employed jquery isotope in order to streamline the user experience with filter and live search capabilities.
Shortly after launching the new site, something awesome happened. mParticle announced a $15M Series A.
The New York City startup counts companies like Airbnb, SeatGeek, Soulcycle and Spotify among its customers, and it recently raised a $15 million Series A.Anthony Ha, Techcrunch
What We Learned
Insist on Collaboration
Close collaboration with clients is always key, especially under strict time constraints. When working with new clients, things can be tough at first. As a good working relationship materializes, its important to keep collaboration as tight as possible. Tools like InVision, Trello, and Slack can greatly reduce friction and barriers that exist between the client and contractor.
Working on a Product From a Distance Can Be Challenging
We’ve alway been fans of working remotely and believed that everyone works best in their own creative space. That said, when starting a project from scratch face-to-face meetings can be incredibly valuable. Tools like Google Hangouts, slack, and GoToMeeting are awesome for closing the gap. In the long run, working where one wants has some undeniable benefits like employee happiness & productivity.
Urgency Has It Ups and Downs
Fail fast, fail often. One of the great motto’s of startup hustlers around the world. I believe this to be a truth that all too many young companies fail victim to as they hesitate to release anything thats less than perfect . This becomes even more challenging when you’re doing client work and it needs to be consistently delivered at the highest possible level. We learned that its important to work closely with clients who have urgent needs and if necessary, devise ways to deliver an initial (potentially limited) product that goes live and gets quickly iterated upon. Introducing this concept can be tough, but ultimately rewarding.