— COMPANY NAME
V.P. USER EXPERIENCE
I joined Firebase in 2013 as the VP of User Experience. I was responsible for leading our Design & UX team as well as the Frontend Development team. Firebase was a very early stage startup at that time, I was full time employee #8.
Firebase offered a realtime database API that allowed developers to save data directly to firebase without using any server side code. When data changed in a user’s firebase account, all instances of their application would automatically update in realtime.
The product was amazing but the space was in its infancy. Getting developers to understand the magic of Firebase was still uncharted territory.
When I joined, the company was all engineers. We had very little design and branding as you can see from the images below. The brand I inherited was intimidating, with confusing messaging and graphics that were closer to a death metal band than a tech startup. The user experience was very basic at this point and didn’t appeal to a wide variety of developers or companies. This was a very different Firebase from the one you know today.
I immediately scrapped the old brand and worked with James and Andrew to update the messaging. I wanted to create a fun, inviting, and exciting brand the showcased the power of Firebase.
We swapped out the heavy black and grey colors with blue and yellow along with a variety of other colors throughout the website. I kept yellow because it is the "happiest" color and would also be highly visible at conferences, hackathons, and events. I used generous amounts of white to keep the website light, inviting, and clean. I also included some fun illustrations (realtime cloud and server safe) to peak interest and excitement for developers exploring our brand.
Finally working with James and Andrew we updated the messaging to be clear and simple. We wanted to paint of vision of what you could do "Build realtime apps!" instead of talking about servers and infrastructure.
The end result was an inviting brand that developers absolutely loved. Firebase quickly became the de facto technology used a hackathons across the country and began gaining traction with large professional brands.
In Late 2014 Firebase was acquired by Google. Google decided to purchase Firebase because of its incredible user experience. Today, firebase lives on successfully at Google as a friendly, easy to use, and powerful developer platform.