VRBTM Considering Design | Week IV

Beginning to build out a design language.

Not sure what this is, start here with our README, or catch up on last week, Coming Together | Week III.

Monday October 3 — Friday October 7, 2016

It was cavalier the other day to say that we had a handle on design because of how much we encounter it daily. If that were true, our design choices, or in this case mine, wouldn’t have set us back a week. When I submitted our landing page to BetaList last Sunday night, I did so looking forward to a week of growing our email list of interested people we could use to beta test our prototype.

I thought the landing page had a refined and considered design look which would let the content the platform would ultimately handle be the focus. While starkly minimal everything on the page earned its place and worked toward the one goal it served — to get people to submit their email address.

MoMAPermanentCollection.jpg

BetaList is truly being a good vendor in their rejection, stating that they didn’t feel we would get the engagement we hoped for due to our design. At first the rejection stung, but after thinking it through we’re better off with this outcome anyway. (we can re-submit one more time).

A splash page is only something that will live for a short period of time, and rather than put any more effort into crafting a compelling splash page. We decided that we should go ahead and create our Marketing Page with tailored modules for beta sign ups that will later become up-sell modules.

Here’s where I wasn’t fully considering the importance of design — it was something I thought we could do well enough with a minimal amount of effort. Where we could reach the ‘Threshold of Trust’ that would give us the design credibility conveying that our product provides value. I was wrong, and while frustrating at times, happy that Nick was there to tell me things were headed in the right direction but not good enough yet.

Rather than work off the initial splash page, I started with a clean slate and went through four design iterations until we landed on a Marketing Page we feel strongly about, which includes the beginning of a design language that will flow through the whole platform.

Splash_V1

Color and a visual provide more info and personality than the previous black on white approach we had — but it needs more.

Splash_V2

Breaking things out a bit more here to emphasize each CTA or Info Point individually. There’s a page cadence that’s starting to come through here, but Nick pointed out correctly that the color choices were not reading well enough. Specifically white on gray, and it feels very plain.

Splash_V3

Now we’re getting somewhere. Adding in more specific marketing language that speaks to users process problems in the sign up modules along with adding a three point feature rack at the bottom of the process info vertical. Some of the spacing is off and I think adding in one more CTA module will help with that.

Approved on the VRBTM Platform.

Nick and I chatted back and forth on our slack channel going over some final details to hammer everything out going from V4 to V5 (Final). Everything considered we cut out a few of the icons and initially I was trying to work in a third sign up module to split the info vertical and feature rack. I really had no idea what marketing language I could put in above the sign up form as the CTA so I ended up going with a testimonial carousel that we’ll source from our initial testers.


Overall a full week of design choices and thinking about what will best serve our goal of getting this product into the hands of people that can find value from it was tougher than I expected. However, by doing so the vision is more clear for how the product and platform comes to life. Both the functionality and design language that will speak to both the free and paid offerings.

Also, Nick got the beta (https://beta.vrbtm.co/) version deployed this week which is incredibly exciting. To see the prototype working after going from just and idea to an idea I wanted to see realized and going through all the steps to get to this point it’s incredibly satisfying. That said, the most exciting part is actually what’s to come. I can’t wait to keep building this out and working to get people to really start using the platform.

Major challenges ahead for sure.


Read the other half of this week with Nicks VRBTM.CO Development Stream | Week IV where he discusses deploying our beta.

We’d love to hear from you…
Get in touch at Founders@vrbtm.co, talk with us on twitter @vrbtmco, and read our story on medium.

Wes Jones is on Twitter @WesJonesCo
Nick Dandakis is on Twitter @Dandakis

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