Toast: On The Line
With SuperFriendly being an all-remote, all-specialist company, it's far from your traditional agency. And while I've had lots of experience working remotely, I was excited, and to be honest, a bit scared of my first project with SuperFriendly. Being a fan of something can be scary on multiple levels - will my expectations be met? will I meet their's?
The client, Toast, sells a POS system for restaurants and cafes. They came to SuperFriendly wanting to evolve their blog into a fully-featured media hub. Instead of just rebuilding the blog, we wanted to begin by understanding their customers better through user research. After all, it's vital to understand if a fully-featured media hub would solve their problem.
When I joined the project, I was confused on what it was that we're building. Turns out no one knew! Luckily, that was part of the brief - to explore options. Phew!
Once the project had its kick off, we had weekly calls which provided the safe environment for everyone to casually explore and bounce ideas off from one another. While we were exploring, Erika Hall was busy talking to current and potential customers about where Toast could be of help in their daily life - making sure we were solving actual problems.
A couple of weeks in, we met up in sunny Boston for a full day of workshopping. Erika shared her findings with the entire team and Dan facilitated a couple of exercises to help us define what we should be building.
While everyone on the team are total remote experts, meeting in person was really beneficial to the entire team. Initially I was a bit surprised at how relaxed the atmosphere was on our calls even, but things really took off after our time together.
Following our workshop in Boston - and some great meals! - we parted ways and returned to our own offices - in Philadelphia, Dallas, San Fransisco, New Orleans and... Lomma, Sweden. Dan and I immediately started collaborating on design utilizing everything we learned from our meetings. It's been a while since I've been collaborating on design and boy can it make a product better. While Dan and I worked in design tools, TJ was simultaneously experimenting with the code. Within a week, we had an early idea ready to present to Toast.
The only metrics that entrepreneurs should invest energy in collecting are those that help them make decisions. Unfortunately, the majority of data available in off-the- shelf analytics packages are what I call Vanity Metrics. They might make you feel good, but they don’t offer clear guidance for what to do.Eric Ries
Together with Toast we defined early on what our success metrics are. After all, without knowing what success looks like - how can we be sure we've achieved it?
We ended up building a design system and provided Toast with a strategy for better website circulation, increased email signups, and higher brand loyalty - topics that would cover all of the success factors we had defined together with Toast.
I even got to share my expertise regarding building a qualitative, segmented email list. It was thrilling to enjoy the fast pace of a project like this again!
Six weeks of iteration on design, build, and content saw a front-end prototype that was ready for a content management system integration, which Toast handled in-house.
Before the launch, I worked with Toast again to help them add 'sauce' to the website - subtle animations and fine-tuning some of the design elements. On the Line soft launched just before Christmas and the first numbers indicate that we've hit a home-run!
Anton is a renaissance man. It’s rare to find someone who can help in so many areas at such a thoughtful and high level of quality. Anton makes any team better.DAN MALL, FOUNDER & CREATIVE DIRECTOR, SUPERFRIENDLY
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