Kickstarter

I am currently working with our leadership team to focus and set strategy for 2021. At Kickstarter I've grown rapidly, and as a result have held a few different roles. To illustrate this, I am foregoing a typical case study format and instead opting to illustrate a timeline of my key roles, projects, and accomplishments.
3.19

I joined Kickstarter on the System Integrity team.

TEAM MANDATE
Over the last 5 years, Kickstarter has witnessed an erosion of trust in the crowdfunding model, the System Integrity team's goal is to rebuild that trust in our platform.
I was the sole designer on this team, and it was my responsibility for end-to-end ideation through implementation of everything our team built.
MY ROLE
DURATION
03.20 - 12.20
5.19

We reduced exaggerated project claims by 80%.

PROBLEM
In our research, we uncovered that backers often lose trust in creators when they over-promise or exaggerate (i.e. "The World's Fastest Toy Car" or "The Best Suitcase Ever") what their project is or what it can do.
The original scope was to refresh our rules page, and I sold in an additional real-time language detection feature that flags exaggerations as they are typed in by a creator.
• 80% less superlatives in project titles and descriptions
• Only 1 of 10 of our top grossing projects had a superlative (compared to 5 of 10 the previous year)
• Widespread coverage: Verge, TechCrunch, CNET, Engagdet
SOLUTION
IMPACT
7.19

We ensured 21% more first-time creators calculate their taxes and fees.

PROBLEM
When creators budget poorly, projects fail. Many first time creators forget to account for taxes and Stripe fees when budgeting. One creator we interviewed was $60k in debt because they forgot to account for taxes.
We built a light-weight calculator that helps first-time creators calculate taxes and fees.
• 50% of all creators interact with the tool
• 98% of all creators complete the tool
• 21% of first time creators launch with the calculated funding goal
SOLUTION
IMPACT
9.19

We helped 40% more creators budget their projects.

PROBLEM
While the funding calculator helped beginners, many creators wanted a more comprehensive budgeting resource. Many creators don't know where to start, and often overlook shipping, labor, manufacturing, and storage costs.
We created in-depth Google Sheets templates based on spreadsheets shared from experienced creators. The completed template could be used to generate a custom, interactive visualization on their campaign.
• 40% of creators use a budget template
• 5% of creators share visualizations
• Widespread coverage: Verge, Engagdet, The Next Web, SlashGear
SOLUTION
IMPACT
10.19

I won leadership buy-in for a 2020 vision for our team.

OPPORTUNITY
In late 2019, it became clear our product organization was too scattered. To reach our objectives we would need to narrow our focus and consolidate our 8-9 small teams into 3-4 larger teams.
I recognized an opportunity to advocate for my team, and created a pitch deck that I presented to our leadership team highlighting what we accomplished so far, and how it laid the foundation for an even larger, more ambitious body of work in 2020 if we scaled up.
SOLUTION
IMPACT
• Our team was prioritized as a major focus area for 2020
• Our team doubled in size
• I was recognized for my proactivity and was asked to lead a new R&D team
12.19

We created a baseline for platform health.

PROBLEM
Since Kickstarter has no reviews of projects, it was impossible to measure overall platform health. The only way to evaluate the status of a project was to manually check updates, comments, and tickets.
We introduced a simple feedback capture so backers can let us know how projects are going.
SOLUTION
IMPACT
• We set a baseline for platform health
• 10% platform coverage rate & 13% engagement rate
• Project sentiment is currently used as a top-line company health metric
• We learned that backer sentiment varied widely by project category
• We laid a foundation for the next 6 months of product development, even after I left the team
1.20

I led a research and development initiative to reach new creators.

OBJECTIVE
I was asked to lead a small, new R&D team. Over the course of 5 months I conducted market research and compiled it into a report to gain leadership buy-in to begin rapid prototyping for a new product. This initiative was unfortunately paused in May when we were impacted by COVID-19, and our team re-focused towards short-term revenue to help stabilize our business.
I am the team lead and lead designer. I am responsible for guiding strategy, research, ideation, prototyping, stakeholder alignment, and budgeting.
MY ROLE
IMPACT
• Conducted large scale market research to help Kickstarter better understand its place in the market
• Led research, design, prototyping, and development for a new app to be resumed in 2021.
6.1

I set strategy that brought in an additional $2M per month in pledges (2% bottom-line revenue increase).

OBJECTIVE
In June, Kickstarter under went a re-organization to respond to the challenges presented by COVID-19. Our team was tasked with auditing the platform and finding opportunities to improve the experience and revenue performance in the short-term to help stabilize the business.
I was promoted to staff product designer with a strategic focus, and helped set direction and prioritized projects for our team like improved recommendations and engagement emails.
MY ROLE
IMPACT
• We launched emails notifying backers of new projects from creators they've backed before, which brought in over $1m in pledges in its first month
• We expanded the reach of recommendations on our platform, bringing in an additional $1m in pledges per month.