Website design & rebranding for PayPal labs

PayPal Labs wanted me to build both their internet and intranet presence. As the sole UX member embedded in a team of developers,  I was tasked with designing PayPal Labs web presence end to end.

Being the sole UX person on a development team comes with its own pros and cons. For this project, I enjoyed creative freedom while having to deal with little to no resources, creative isolation, and organizational ignorance. To start things off, I met with stake holders to understand the history, content and what they wanted to get out of the website. The rest of the steps are below:

Step 1: Structured interviews with internal as well as external users.
Step 2: Generated mind maps to understand the lay of the land.
Step 3: Recruited and conducted card sorting study to understand and figure out information architecture.
Step 4: Designed the optimal information architecture and designed the top level navigation.
Step 5: Using insights gathered from earlier steps, designed multiple mockups for the site.
Step 6: Created low fidelity prototypes and worked steadily to high fidelity prototype while weeding out usability issues.
Step 7: Designed guidelines for content strategy (and ended up writing most of the content) for the website.
Step 8: Recruited participants through targeted emails (read: spamming specific DLs), Internship programs and Georgia tech alumni network. (Mostly for free lunch or coffee)
Step 9: Performed guerilla usability testing (Roadshow with laptop in the cafetaria during breaks)
Step 10: Measured site performance through analytics and remote usability testing to identify points of failure.
Step 11: But wait, there’s more:  developed the first barebones version of both the websites,

  • Structured Interviews
  • Mind maps
  • Card sorting
  • Information Architecture
  • Sitemap
  • Wireframing
  • Low & high fidelity prototyping
  • Content strategy
  • Remote usability testing


  • Paper.. lots of it
  • Sticky notes of various shapes and sizes

Information architecture

  • xMind
  • Visio


  • Balsamiq
  • Omnigraffle
  • Photoshop


  • InvisionApp
  • WordPress


  • HTML
  • CSS
  • Javascript
  • Jquery

Analytics & testing

  • Google Analytics (psst.. if anyone asks its PiWik)
  • Userzoom
  • PicNet MET
  • Newrelic
  • Richard Shan (Graphic & visual design)
  • Srikanth Nandiraju (Dev lead)
  • Hozefa Jodiawalla (UI engineering)
  • Amanda Schwartz (content & copy)