Between 2017 and 2018, I joined the team behind miPic, a relatively new player in the market of print-on-demand merchandising for artists. They had a custom website that needed fine-tuning to meet the expectations of the ever-young generation of online buyers.
I usually build new web products from the ground up so this was a different challenge for me. It was a large codebase put together by an external team that was no longer available for technical support. But, as I had recently worked with a new young artist and was looking into getting my own work featured in competitor marketplaces, I figured this would be a nice opportunity to get the inside scoop and learn more about this market.
After a technical analysis of the project, started compiling a list of issues to be addressed with a focus on improving the user experience. The list continued growing as I got deeper into the codebase. It expanded into application architecture and security, marketing and even improving the developer experience.
Some examples of the improvements included enabling website usage across any device with responsive design, increasing page loading speeds in 75%, cutting down checkout time in almost 60%, increasing product findability and curation, plus designing, copywriting and building features in: home, search, product, artwork, profile, company-related and landing pages.
What started as a 3-month project, extended to close to a year of work. By the time I left the team, the improvements were obvious. The user experience was still not perfect but a lot more quick, easy and pleasant, with internal metrics confirming the results.
The website was built using AngularJS running against a PHP based API. With my help, the web app was refactored into a responsive component-based architecture that increased loading and rendering speeds. With these changes, the presence in search engines and social networks were also improved and increased.