1. About my Role

Between 2017 and 2019, I worked as a product designer at Ryte and supported the company on its journey from 250.000 to 1.000.000 users. Ryte is one of the leading SaaS providers for Website Quality Management and Search Engine Optimization and I was hired as the first product designer, which gave me the possibility to take over quite a lot of responsibility early on. I redesigned the software during a rebranding, built up a design system from scratch and introduced a user research process.

2. Rebranding and Redesign

In July 2017, the company onpage.org decided to go international, get a .com domain and change its name to… you guessed it… Ryte. Not only the branding and website should get a new look and feel, also the tool should be entirely redesigned. I was really happy to learn that I was responsible for this huge step.

The colors and fonts families were beautifully crafted by Julia and a great base to start from. It was cool challenge to rethink the UI of the tool, make it cleaner, optimizing spacing, font-sizes, data visualizations and making the colors accessible.

3. Building a Design System

As we began to have more product teams and hire more UX designers, we ran into some problems: It took quite a while until new designers where up and running with the design patterns and rules, inconsistencies started to appear and developer handovers didn't work as smooth anymore.

I decided it was time to introduce a design system. You can learn more about the process in this article I wrote about it. Back then, we used Sketch, InVision and Zeplin in the design team, shortly before I left, I introduced Figma, which replaced these tools. In the codebase we used a shared Git repository and Storybook to display a list of the React components.

4. Introducing a User Research Process

To be honest, it was my first product design job and in the beginning I had no idea how to properly conduct user interviews. I made many mistakes and mostly just talked with users roughly about their process and showed them designs. I used Google Analytics and Hotjar, so luckily I did not build entirely the wrong things. But there was a lot of potential for improvement.

In 2018, I started to dig deeper into design thinking and a problem-centered user research approach and developed a sweet framework to quantify user research findings that I wrote about in detail here.