The Outbound Collective

The Outbound community's diverse local knowledge is unlocking the best spots to play, stay and explore.

Front-end code
Product management

Building The Outbound

I oversaw product development as we grew from tens of thousands to millions of visitors each month. I worked on both web and mobile platforms (as well as collaborating on many other aspects of the company).


Early on, we developed a strong acquisition funnel using Instagram, and were one of the first companies to go deep on ambassadors/influencers.


In addition to design and development, I regularly contributed to our content marketing and partnership efforts.


In order to increase our development cadence, I learned Rails and wrote a significant portion of the front-end code on the Outbound website.


We grew the community to over 700k registered users and millions of monthly pageviews


The Outbound iOS app was twice featured in the Apple App Store as a top outdoor app.

Mobile redesign

While we was able to quickly iterate on the web app, we eventually started having trouble maintaining feature parity between the web and our native mobile apps, resulting in bugs, lower ratings, and declining usage.

We decided to redesign our mobile apps and move them to a single codebase using React Native. This approach has limitations, but it also allows us to utilize services like Expo, and iterate more quickly on features.


I conducted over 60 hours of interviews. (plus an additional qualitative survey) with our community to identify trends in feedback. I organized these findings into 4 key pillars:Β  revenue growth, user growth, user engagement, and predicted overall impact on the product.


Of particular focus was our map experience, which we redesigned to have a more fluid transition between map and list search.


We added support for GPX tracks and offline route downloads – both highly requested by our community, and high alignment with revenue, engagement, and impact goals.


The redesign and subsequent faster development cadence lifted our App Store rating from 3.5 to 4.8 stars and increased user retention significantly.


We wanted to increase our acquisition of reviews, because they are important to users looking for things to do, and played into our SEO strategy on web. Despite solid usage, we weren't generating many reviews through our mobile apps.


A re-adjustment of the design on mobile allowed us to tie leaving a review to another, positive action – the *completion* of the adventure.


By changing the copy to "Done it" and shifting the tone towards accomplishment, I hoped to drive more engagement...that would then prompt for a review.


We saw a large increase in reviews and engagement around adventures following this change. 40% more reviews were added in the 30 days following this UIΒ update.

Programmatic SEO strategy

I saw an opportunity to increase our coverage (and ranking) for more generalized search terms. I wanted to acquire users when they were still at the planning stage and looking for general inspiration. This meant we would need to win searches like 'best [activity] in [location].

I utilized SEMRush to assess the current state of our keyword rankings, evaluate competitors, and identify key areas for improvement.


We utilized a combination of geolocated data and internal curation to generate thousands of destination 'hubs' where we were confident in our ability to have a competitive landing page.


I also looked at targeted search performance. These typically occur further down the funnel, when users are searching for *specific* hikes and activities. I optimized the front-end of adventure pages to adhere to data schema best practices.


I monitored our organic traffic and keyword rankings over the next 6 months. Our efforts led to a ~60% increase in organic traffic to the site, as well as significantly improved ranking for key terms like "hiking trails near me" and "hiking in [location]"