Misc ideas surrounding the design and growth of Tinkercad.com for Autodesk.
Main graphic created using user-submitted 3D designs from all over the world. Special care went into arrangement and selection of said designs as they had to appeal to a wide audience. This is one of those "picture says a thousand words" types of things... The idea was to show the app itself, what its abilities are, and to keep things fresh, the featured project in the app screenshot could be swapped out with something trending. It could also be animated, answering more of users' questions.
A lot of promotion involved creation of content. The issue was that Tinkercad was perceived as an amateur tool, or an app for kids at best. While that might be the case, it was important to explain to professional users that this happens to be THE essential tool in their toolbox. With that in mind, several projects showcasing much more intricate and purposeful designs were born. Something that would - at its core - be a simplistic, easy to understand design, but at the same time show that things can get a lot more detailed, for more complex, real-life projects.
Perhaps the best part of Tinkercad is the ability to 3D print virtually anything that you create using the app. To showcase that, I've armed myself with the most common consumer 3D printer - the MakerBot Replicator 2, and have been designing each one of the projects with 3D printability in mind.
In the process I've come up with a few projects that were meant to grow up on their own and evolve into sub-communities - an essential aspect on any successful community. Think LEGO, minus the studs. This was the main idea behind the Modular Magnetic (www.modularmagnetic.org) project. Essentially I've come up with my own system of grids upon which virtually any piece of the house and anything that goes inside of it could be easily integrated into. In case the name didn't give it away, each set uses a matrix of embedded magnets to hold things in-place.
While developing all this content, I've become to realize that the best way to market this particular product was through the direct use of all the creations. In turn, this established an important parallel to EXACTLY what the user can walk out with should they choose to sign up (for free). So expectations were set from the minute a potential user sets their foot through the door - something that previous designers would always try and portray through other graphical styles, most of the time vector illustrations.
Coming to this style was no accident. After jumping on this project, I've collected all the benchmarks from top landing pages and, working alongside the amazing Amy Phillips, put out the initial revision - iteration B. The redesign was so well received by the public that it DOUBLED an already insanely high conversion rate. this was the beginning of Tinkerca's climb from thousands and hundreds of thousands of users, to MILLIONS in a matter of two years. Recently website surpassed 13 million registered users mark!
To show the connection between the digital world and the real one, a collection of graphics fusing digital designs and real-life 3D printed objects of these models was created. These we used throughout the website, email marketing campaigns and various print materials which were translated to more than 15 languages!
Tinkercad's voice is captivating. It fuses a blend of simplicity, quirkiness and smarts. I took every chance to extend this into as many areas of community as possible. This is how the 404 page design was born. In case you're not a fan: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GO_xfR64qSk
Redesigns were purposeful and always backed by real data. V2.1 design took into account things like organic SEO, main CTA's above the fold, confidence reinforces such as the reassurance of the product being free (which was closely positioned to the main CTA on purpose), clever use of GIF animations to show the simplicity and the ease of use of the app, and nominal amount of cleverly written copy.
In my 15 years in this business, I haven't come across a higher converting website.