Simon Austerberry

  • Portfolio
    • Duty Free eCommerce Design

      MAG Airport App

      MAG Transfers Booking Journey

  • Projects
    • ShopNote

Build in Public

uxgigs Update #3: I pivoted on my solution

10/12/2020

3 min read

Following on from my first MVP (you can see the results here), I felt I'd seen some appetite for a job board for UX/UI contractors and freelancers.

However, I decided to pivot and change to a weekly roundup of jobs sent via email instead.

Why I decided to pivot

I couldn't commit the time to regularly update the job board. I don't use a tool to scrape for jobs so I have to manually search multiple sites to find the right jobs. It can sometimes take a few hours each day to do that – unfortunately, this was time I didn't always have.

I also found that whilst I was able to drive traffic to the site, it was expensive. I'd seen a few return visitors but not enough to justify the cost at this stage.

The new solution

I decided to change from a job board to a weekly roundup of jobs sent via email. I like to think of it as the Jack's Flight Club of UX/UI jobs. Every Tuesday, subscribers will get a hand-picked selection of the best contract and freelance UX/UI jobs.

I'd seen an appetite for this in a quick MVP test I did, and my first few emails had good open rates (although the numbers are tiny).

I felt moving to this approach would have the following benefits:

  • It's more convenient for users
    There's no need to keep going back to the site to see if new jobs have been added – the jobs are sent directly to them.
  • It's easier for me to manage
    I only have to spend a day or two to find the jobs. This means I can spend more time finding higher-quality jobs.
  • Easier to drive recurring traffic
    Once users have subscribed, it'll be easier (and more cost-effective) to get them to return to the site and view more jobs.
  • A channel for feedback
    It will also allow me to reach out to subscribers to get their feedback as I intend to run some user interviews soon.

An updated site design

I took this opportunity to overhaul the site design. I wanted to focus on a "no-fuss" approach, both in design and brand. Time is money in the world of freelance, so I wanted it to get straight to the point.

To do this I:

  • Stripped back the design visually. No colour, no illustrations, no distractions, with a focus on typography. It gets straight to the point.
  • Simplified the job details. I only included essential information and a short summary that covered all of the major key points from the job description.
  • Changed the homepage to be a simple sign up form (inspired by MorningBrew.

A change in tech

For those interested, here is the tech I used to build the site. I made some changes compared to my earlier solution.

  • Gatsby and Tailwind for the front-end. It makes it so quick to build sites.
  • Netlify for hosting. A generous free plan. Super easy to use.
  • Airtable to store all of the jobs. I tried a few different options for the CMS. I eventually settled on Airtable as it made it quick to add content. There's also a great plugin for gatsby.
  • Buttondown for emails. Super simple and no-fuss, with a generous free plan!
  • Panelbear for analytics. I wanted to move away from Google Analytics and try a privacy-focused option. So far I'm really liking it.

Goals

I'm happy with where the product is at for now. My focus is to now increase the number of subscribers, start to test acquisition channels and further validate the solution. I've set myself the following goals for December:

  • Reach 50 email subscribers with an ambitious stretch goal of 100!
  • Speak to 5 subscribers to further understand user needs and the problem space
  • Test out a variety of different acquisition channels (so far I'm trying ads on Twitter, LinkedIn and Bing and want to also start reaching out directly to freelancers and contractors).

I'll follow up at the end of the month with an update on how I get on!

Powered by ShopNote. Create your own blog today.