The Blind Squirrel was a local ‘deal of the day’ startup that offered group buy discounts. The unique aspect that they brought to the market was that each deal was accompanied by a charitable giving. The more deals that were sold, the more a local non-profit organization in need was awarded. It was a great company and a great cause. The website that they had been using was created entirely in server-generated tables, and not only looked outdated, but was incredibly inflexible. The company was pivoting to “white-label” their software so that companies could run their own branded deal sites. To further enhance their software, The Blind Squirrel wanted to have their platform be fully responsive to capture mobile shoppers (in 2011, this was still a young idea). They realized quickly that accomplishing these things on their current platform would have been impossible.
As the lead designer and front-end developer, I was tasked with the total redesign of the Blind Squirrel platform. I began by doing a competitive analysis of the various deal sites at the time, and identifying ways that we could improve our current offerings. After multiple rounds of concepts, through simple sketching and Photoshop mockups, we arrived at our new direction, and I began work on the new front end code. I worked alongside our developers to integrate the PHP backend into the new UI, and added in the various pieces to allow for our 3rd party partners to easily modify the stylesheets to match their own branding requirements.
Within a few months, the new “Squirrel Engine” software platform was deployed. Thanks to the ability for business partners to brand our software so easily, over 20 new partners came on board to offer our deals to their customers.