Borrowed & Blue

Borrowed and Blue took a unique approach to the competitive wedding market. With tens of thousands of images of real weddings, our advantage was a massive and accurate dataset of weddings, photos, and appropriately tagged local vendors. B&B was acquired by Zola in 2018.

Quick hits

🖥 Site-wide redesign simplified the design system and resulted in (much) faster page loads

🔎 Reworked Rails models and IA to move to enable shift to a more modern search experience

💳 Designed an in-house invoicing system for vendors using Stripe

Our outdated and spaghetti-code filled stack is affecting page speeds and hampering development cadence

One of my first projects was a complete, site-wide redesign in tandem with a Rails re-write  (we were several versions of Rails behind). It was a challenging task on a short timeline, but I worked closely with the lead Rails engineer on the project and we turned around a faster, more organized site (supported by significantly improved post-redesign analytics).

Simplify

I developed a new, simplified design system to use moving forward, and managed to dramatically reduce redundancies in our front-end codebase.

Connect

I worked closely with the engineering team to evaluate our dataset, and develop systems that provided additional relevant content, wherever you were on the site.

Modernize

A significant portion of our time was spent identifying unused code and design components, simplifying our rails app to minimize unnecessary or inefficient database requests, and optimizing page-load times.

A key differentiator for B&B was our dataset of photos from real weddings...AND the vendor information. This meant that we had the opportunity to turn the inspiration phase of the wedding planning process directly into action.

To improve this flow, we designed a new photos experience where couples could easily browse photos by location, and then by vendor type -- ensuring that you were likely to find a vendor that you love *in the place you are getting married*. We supplemented our data by training our image set in Clarafai in order to identify the characteristics of each individual image and surface the most appropriate vendors as needed (aka, a picture with flowers should show the florist for the wedding, but not the DJ).

Our siloed site architecture is hampering nationwide growth

The existing data models and information architecture forced the site (and our customers) into a very siloed organization based on regions. These regions had been useful as Borrowed and Blue launched and rolled out content in different areas, but at scale, they were a huge headache. The old navigation was *very* siloed:

This kind of organization was a decent strategy for SEO, but hampered growth once B&B decided to go nationwide with their vendor and wedding database. The database models hadn't been designed with growth in mind and the entire product was essentially locked into these fixed silos. The architecture was siloed in a [location]/[category]/[profile] structure, with no ability to search between locations.

We did a significant amount of work to make the vendor models more flexible. Additionally, we rethought the the customer-facing search experience and developed a new search algorithm that took into account location/radius, vendor profile completeness, customer ratings, and more. This also involved some repositioning on the vendor side, and we built a new version of our vendor dashboard to focus on profile completeness and new features.