I wish I had a snapshot of the old www.officeautopilot.com site.
Not because it sucked; it didn’t. But it was really different.
As I point out (over and over) in my UI 101 post, good design is about simplicity, ease of use and beauty. It’s about stripping away all that is unnecessary, it’s about making the final product intuitive, not threatening. It’s about YOU, the user, having no trouble reading anything, understanding anything or getting where you want to go.
Overlapping those things on the good-ol’ circle diagram and finding the sweet spot can be really challenging, especially when trying to express a lot of different ideas without OVERWHELMING people, doubly challenging when you’re not working on it alone. Cus let’s get real, how often does THAT happen?
And I think we achieved a fantastic sweet-spot in Office Autopilot.
As it stands, Office Autopilot is probably the most powerful online platform for people selling information products. It’s the “…all-in-one business and marketing platform designed for information marketers, experts and coaches” no less! And it really does kick ass.
Having used much other software with my other clients, (Mailchimp, 1ShoppingCart, etc.), I can say that nothing comes even close to what Autopilot can do. I was floored as I worked on it.
Landon Ray’s (founder and godfather of OAP) brain doesn’t stop, as he ODs in feature-land… and you get to reap the rewards. The system is effin’ killer.
So when I was approached to redesign the back-end (that I can’t reveal here just yet) and then the front-end of the site I was a bit taken aback by the sheer volume of information I would have to process.
Why? Because you gotta wrap your mind around this stuff!
How can I redesign something without fully understanding it first, without playing with it, staring at it and trying to break it?
I couldn’t. I had to be a monkey about it all.
And that’s just what I did… on the phone… for close to 8 months… twice a week… with Landon and Eben Pagan in Cali and me on the road in Hawaii and then Australia. We worked through every pixel, element, line, font, and EVERYTHING in between, until we got it right.
It takes lots of time, effort and LOVE to get to the purity and beauty of clean, unique design. It’s never as easy as it seems, especially in the age of copycatting.
When Landon launches the updated app, I’ll be allowed to post some of the screenshots here, and you’ll have a chance to see it. I’m very happy with the way it turned out, and I hope you guys will be too!