OPENForum.com is an online destination for small businesses with AmEx OPEN credit card accounts to receive advice, news, and business tools from like-minded entrepreneurs. Using agile development, our OPEN Forum product design team redesigned the site guided by research and business goals.
As a Senior Designer, I influenced a wide number of experiences across the site including registration, onboarding, social sharing, navigation, OPEN Forum invitations, and personalized news feeds. I was also integral in managing and collaborating with our outside design agency, Kettle.
With a decade-long web presence, the redesign of openforum.com needed to strike a balance between considering its past while exploring bold new directions for the mobile-first small buisness owner. Our team worked in a collaborative WeWork office, giving us the advantage of working alongside the exact small business customers we were designing for. We tested several prototypes and held frequent demos, brainstorms, and interviews with customers to ensure the new OPEN Forum focused on mentoring would be a valuable tool.
A crucial part of our design process is testing early product directions with low-fidelity wireframes, prototypes, and user flows. These were especially important as we introduced user generated content, community features, and user profiles. Our process allowed us to receive early customer feedback and make faster product decisions, while including AmEx stakeholders early in the process.
The redesigned openforum.com launched in the beginning of 2013 and carried an elegant balance of feeling connected to the larger American Express brand while having its own unique look. Features within the new OPEN forum focused on personalising a user’s experience with tailored advice and access to matched experts that could provide the insights the customer was looking for.