Interview With a Web.com UX DesignerChandal Nolasco Da Silva
Web.com is full of talented employees, from customer service agents to dedicated developers who bring our whole ecosystem to life. One of the products customers love most is our website builder, created by a hardworking team of developers and polished by skilled UX designers like Jared Bridegan.
The Web.com website builder is a unique small business user experience, in that it responds to the industry of the person or business using it. While anyone using the builder can still customize the sections they want, the responsive experience starts businesses off in the right direction. It ensures that all the right information is included in their website.
We were so impressed with the builder and the thought that went into it, that we had to talk to the talent. We wanted to hear from the people behind the scenes here at Web who make other people's website dreams come true every day. Today, we’re sharing Jared’s story and some of the inspiration behind the unique website builder experience Web.com provides.
Tell us about your background and role at Web.com?
Jared: In 2012, I founded a location-based ephemeral messaging app called Mezy. In 2014, Mezy’s intellectual property was acquired and I begin consulting for other product and UX teams around the country. In 2015, I joined Web.com and currently serve as our Director of UX.
What was the vision behind creating a website builder for small businesses?
Jared: After several interviewers with small business owners across the country, we uncovered the hardest part was getting started. So many people had tried other products but ultimately abandoned the process entirely because it was too difficult early on. We knew our new product had to have a gradual learning curve throughout our customer's life cycle, instead of a steep curve up front like we saw with our competitors.
What common challenges do small businesses face when trying to develop a website?
Jared: A lot of business owners don’t want to choose from a template list and risk having their website look identical to their competition. And the other half don’t want to have to “build” a website from scratch.
How does the website builder address these challenges?
Jared: We created an experience that actually focuses on the goals the business owner's website is trying to accomplish. Our platform then interprets those goals into giant content blocks and after answering a few simple questions, customers can see their website take form in real time. We then gave customers really simple ways to customize things so their website became just the right level of custom.
What advice do you have for SMBs who are looking to build a new website?
Jared: List out your goals on paper, and focus on what you want your website to do for you. Then work backward and find a solution that helps you accomplish those goals. The look and feel of your website can come after you’ve focused on your goals.
How do you think website builders will evolve in the next 10 years?
Jared: We’re seeing a lot of companies like ours focus on AI and machine learning. These tools are used to create dynamic experiences where each customer’s journey can be different based on their actions.
What’s one fun fact about you that we can share with our readers?
Jared: I consider Chess a real sport.
Web: What’s your all-time favorite food?
Jared: Tacos 🌮
We were grateful to hear Jared’s advice and refine our learnings about small business websites. Our biggest takeaway, aside from hearing the backstory on the builder, was that all small business websites need to be goal-driven! Ultimately, a good user experience means helping that user achieve their goal, and that has to align with the goal of the website from the get-go.
If you’re hungry for more UX advice from Jared, feel free to connect with him on LinkedIn. Stay tuned to our blog for more customer and employee interviews to come!