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CXO at Find Your Grind logo

April 2017 – May 2019

CXO at Find Your Grind

https://findyourgrind.com ↗

When I joined Find Your Grind in April 2017, the founders wanted to take Mike Smith's speaking on self- and career-discovery and bottle it up into something to leave behind with eager teachers. Educators were begging Mike for ways to bring the real world into the classroom.

That's where I stepped in: to bring that vision to life.

Initial Research

I interviewed five students and five teachers using Jobs-to-be-done as a rough framework, just poking and prodding around the angst that everyone feels in the "what am I supposed to do with my life" space. For teachers, it was more around "how am I supposed to help these kids figure all this out".

I transcribed each interview and pulled insights into a summary report for the founders, identifying key opportunities I saw in the space. I pulled out choice quotes to support my arguments so they didn't have to read all the transcripts.

Four Forces Diagram, Student Four Forces Diagram, Educator

The JTBD 'four forces' diagrams from our initial research

Some of the key opportunities I identified for students:

Some of the key opportunities I identified for teachers:

Initial Wire-frame Prototype

I used the research to inform an initial prototype that I demoed to the team remotely via video. You can watch it below (password fyg) or play with the original Marvel prototype here.

A video walk-through (password is fyg) of our first wire-frame prototype, recorded for our team.

Launching the Website

As a team, we decided to focus first on building a website full of quality career content to establish our credibility in the education space. I made typical startup decisions in choosing our technology, landing on Craft CMS to drive the (largely content-based) website while looking to our e-commerce and e-learning future. I got to work designing and coding after gathering some initial brand direction from the CEO. We were able to get the first version of the website up in a couple months.

Screenshot of FYG website

An early mockup of the website

The website continued to expand, hosting tons of 21st century career- and lifestyle-discovery content.

Screenshot of FYG website - Lifestyle page Screenshot of FYG website - Profile page Screenshot of FYG home page

The Curriculum

We next turned our attention to building a digital curriculum product for high schools. I worked closely with a curriculum writer and the leaders at the company to launch the product over the next few months. We gathered a small group of pilot/beta testers to continuously give feedback on the product and publicly launched in early 2018.

Screenshot of FYG Curriculum Landing Page

The Curriculum Landing Page

In addition to the customer-facing UX, I built an e-commerce solution to handle the complicated purchasing flow that schools go through (requesting quotes, sending POs, mailing checks) as well as group licensing.

FYG Curriculum Overview Screenshot

The Find Your Grind Curriculum Overview

FYG Curriculum Lesson Detail Screenshot

The Find Your Grind Curriculum Lesson Detail

Design System

I developed a design system at Find Your Grind to enable us to move quickly while maintaining cohesion. The site was built out of versatile, adaptive, and reusable components documented in a living style guide.

FYG Design System Screenshot

Components from the Find Your Grind design system

The Assessment

While the FYG Curriculum utilized several widely available assessments or personality profiles, we knew from the beginning that we wanted to create our own to match people with our Lifestyles. I worked with our curriculum writer to craft an engaging way for our student users to start their journey on Find Your Grind.

FYG Assessment Screenshot

In true startup fashion, I also wore a few other hats for Find Your Grind, including being the defacto systems administrator (I wrote my first computer security policy!) and occasional video producer/editor.

Note: While I held the title of "Chief Experience Officer", I didn't handle the brand for Find Your Grind. Our creative-minded CEO took ownership of the brand, logo, and marketing.