Paperless Post Product Design Internship (go back)
In the summer of 2016, I worked with the Styles team at Paperless Post as a product design intern. The Styles team works to ensure that visual styles are consistent across all aspects of the Paperless Post experience. To do this, the team maintains a living style guide with UI components and design patterns for both developers and designers to reference in their work.
My project was a redesign of the Post Box—a kind of inbox/outbox page where users can view all the cards and invitations they’ve ever sent, scheduled, received, drafted, archived, or trashed.
Initially, my task was to reskin the Post Box using the most up-to-date styles. This feature hadn’t been updated for a while, and its styles were several generations behind the rest of the site. It was suggested that this might be a good opportunity to refresh the entire information architecture of the Post Box.
After speaking with stakeholders, mapping out use cases, and studying Google Analytics data, I began to identify the areas and functions of the current Post Box that could be updated. (Below is the Post Box, pre-redesign.)
One visible issue was the lack of visual distinction between cards for events that were yet to happen, versus those for events that had already occurred. (Events that were yet to happen generally required more immediate action on the user's part. For instance, a user might need to contact the attendees of a birthday party they were hosting, or RSVP to a dinner invitation they'd received.) The way the Post Box was currently laid out made it difficult to discern which cards required more prompt attention.
I went through several rounds of wireframes to improve the way information was presented in the Post Box. My initial wireframes explored a grid format with larger thumbnail images and a clearer delineation of upcoming and past events. Furthermore, instead of separating each section of the post box into individual pages based on card type, I proposed a set of filters that could be applied to the grid. Analytics data showed that users rarely moved into the individual card type pages.
Ultimately, I settled on an architecture with a sort of Post Box summary tab; users would land in this tab and would be able to complete any tasks that required imminent attention. Ideally, this tab would cover most of the use cases for the Post Box. Otherwise, users could find their cards by moving into the corresponding tab, where they'd be able to sort and filter their results.
After the wireframes, I proceeded to fine-tune the visual design details while fleshing out the more granular information architecture, like the specific actions associated with each type of card. I also worked on empty states.