Recommended, Inc.

Product design, marcomm, illustration

Recommended is the best way to discover and share trusted businesses with friends.

Overview

Recommended is the best way to discover and share trusted businesses with friends.

Results

Recommended is the best way to discover and share trusted businesses with friends.

Overview

Turning recommendations into new clients for small businesses

As an early designer at Recommended, a company powered by the talented team at Smith.ai, I was involved with designing social, consumer-oriented product features to promote engagement, business tools for seamlessly creating profiles and offer services, and marketing & communications materials to generate growth.

Designing for a two-sided market of businesses and consumers has its own share of challenges. Over the course of a few months, and many long nights, our user base grew by 20x to over 20,000 users recommending businesses all over the world.

Challenge

A platform built for digital word-of-mouth

Unlike other review websites, Recommended is built on trust through social reputation. Great businesses deserve more than just a collection of reviews, so we built Recommended to help business grow online by showcasing their customers’ praise, discovering new ones, and offering their services online.

Designing services and categories

The consumer-facing home page design used cards organized into categories to bring valuable content and support easy navigation

We explored dozens of card designs to create a cohesive visual language with variations optimized for the card content and actions
Promoting connecting to social media using cards prompted users discover more businesses recommended by their friends & family

Engagement

Helping businesses build successful profiles

Once businesses expand their audience of potential customers through recommendations, the key to powering your business online through Recommended is a complete profile.

For high quality businesses to showcase their work, offer their services, and continue growing their network of credible recommendations, I designed a series of onboarding modules to promote the most important actions for businesses to take.

Business sign up

Diagrams for onboarding modules after optimizing the onboarding flow

Custom illustrations designed for the onboarding and in-product graphics

To support the nature of working closely with clients and the positive impact a personal recommendation can have, the custom illustrations emphasized the importance of word of mouth for small businesses and professionals.

Comparing onboarding modules across various profile color themes.

Iterations of onboarding modules paired illustrations with the suggested onboarding actions

Growth

Inspiring trusted recommendations

To promote growth, we partnered with great businesses to create sweepstakes based on recommendations and shared them with niche, enthusiastic communities. Strategic marketing and enticing advertising made these campaigns a success by almost doubling our engagement and user base.

Best of campaigns wireframes

A healthy dose of competition through gamification and sweepstakes

Rewarding top contributors is important because they help communities with specialized knowledge, diverse interests, or just plenty of experiences they are willing to share with others.

Leaderboard page designs

Results from some of the leaderboard campaigns stretched worldwide

In just a few weeks, the campaigns reached across the globe and generated thousands of recommendations. For the first time, many businesses were able to establish their online presence through recommendations instead of seeking out reviews.

Campaign badges and medals

The leaderboard and sweepstakes campaigns resulted in almost 9K new recommendations for more than 7K businesses.

Campaign banners

Marketing campaigns

Promoting growth through sweepstakes

Advertisements for promotions of Recommended Credits

Working closely with the marketing team, we targeted specific audiences through print ads, email newsletters, and social media to deliver impactful visuals showcasing the prizes.

The Best of Climbing and Best of Running campaigns included print, facebook, and email ads. Featured in Rock and Ice Magazine, Trail Runner Magazine, and theCrag.

Ads for speciality cycling magazines showcased the winnable bikes for each target audience. Featured in Peloton Magazine, BIKE Mag, Mountain Bike Review, Dirt Rag, and Bicycle Times.

The Best of Fitness. Featured in Oxygen Magazine, The Box Magazine, and Muscle and Performance Magazine.

The Best of Skiing & Snowboarding campaigns targeted skiiers and snowboarders individually. Featured in SKI Mag, Snowboard Magazine, FREESKIER Magazine.

Family Matters Sweepstakes focused on business that help parents

The Best of Business campaign featured a Facebook ads package to small businesses

Team

Aaron Lee, Co-founder

Justin Maxwell, Co-founder

Maddy Martin, Head of Marketing

Sean Martin, Lead Developer

Lorenzo Gil Sanchez, Lead Engineer