PRODUCT DESIGN, 2014 - 2015

In 2013, Jut was founded to help organizations make use of their data by providing them with an environment where they could ingest any source, modify and combine these different sources with a coding language, and make sense of this data through visualizations, notifications, and insights.

I joined in late 2014 after the team had built out the base technology and an interface to allow for users to work with Juttle, the programming language that the team was developing in house. I spent the following 15 months helping Jut find their product market fit.

The power of a language, the accessibility of a GUI

After getting initial feedback from users on the proof of concept, the team knew one of the challenges would be convincing users to invest in making the switch to a new way of working that had a programming language at its core.

Through conversations with our customers, we saw what our users’ workflow looked like and where the largest breakdowns were.

One of our key insights was, while traditional GUI's allowed users to become quickly engaged, they often were limited as time goes on. The Jut language would allow for incredible amounts of flexibility but was incredibly difficult for users to become comfortable.

Our approach was to bridge the gap between the limitations of a GUI interface and the flexibility of a language.

Creating an App Ecosystem

We decided to bridge this gap by filling out Jut’s app ecosystem with two additional apps while connecting the overarching user experience.

To make sure the team had a common definition of the problem we were working to solve, we led the team in taking a break to run a design sprint for the first time and developed out a product vision.

Developing a Design System

We took this opportunity to take a systemic approach to Jut’s apps. By breaking down UI elements into reusable units (and borrowing concepts from Atomic Design), we built out our new apps and reworking our old ones in a way that allowed for our product to have a consistent feel, our code base to remain minimal, and our team to be free to work on the important stuff.

Building a Culture of Iteration and Evaluation

A key aspect of introducing users to Jut was making sure that product was inviting and that switching to a new workflow would mean for ten times as much pleasure as pain. What this required was for us to build out an onboarding flow that could introduce our users to jut in an approachable way.

When it came time to lead to developing out our user interface, I handled the development of our editor and dashboard apps while work on the explorer was handled by the brilliant Tim Sheiner.

Through iteration with our squads and usability testing, we were able to arrive at a solution that helped us move our key kpi’s and, more importantly, expose the team to the benefits of working with an approach that puts our users at the center.

The Jut Data Monster

I also worked to humanize the product and bring in meaningful instance of delight while working on the more immediate, kpi driven problems. The most successful instance of this was the Creature Graph, a Jut mascot that could give you a quick indication of the health of your incoming data.

Want more?Check out my write up on
building the Jut Data Monster.