StumbleUpon delivers compelling websites to you in an instant. Based on your interests, it scours the web for what's going viral and delivers it to you before it happens.

Role: Creative Design Lead. These few months of exploration work were done in tandem with delivering on new features, updates, and maintenance to the current product.

Problem: Create innovative and modern concepts for the next evolution of StumbleUpon. Take a heavy stance on how that can be applied to a users profile. 


Data Science and User Research

Data Point #1: Users who create a list are 43% less likely to drop off. In other words, lists were an excellent indicator of MAU. The existing design did not optimize for creating lists. It also did not have great discoverability and exploration of other user’s lists.


  1. Bring list creation into the onboarding experience.

  2. Bubble up lists to top level of the user page. Make it relevant in navigation and create a pattern for how to display lists (i.e. in a card, table, etc).

Data Point #2: Users who follow 5 or more people are 25% more likely to become a monthly active user.


  1. Make it easier for people to follow users

  2. Surface popular users, people who also liked a website, activity, and in general more social interactions. StumbleUpon in the past was and is a very isolated experience.

Data Point #3: As a user, I want to customize my profile. My profile represents who I am and what I stand for. I want a voice.

We did some responses to this with the work below.


Design Discovery

Sketching is a large component of my design process. As problems present themselves, sketching and notations are the best way for me to get out ideas quickly and understand the feasibility of them. Below are a number of sketches (on trace paper, thanks Architecture school) that helped guide the path towards final proposals.



Customization is great, with all the resources in the world. We initially wanted an experience like Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter but we had to scale back to colors which was a strength of StumbleUpon. Colors were huge in our tagging and categorization schema. With a highly coveted recommendation engine we thought about the ebbs and flows we could create with color schemes making it not only personal, but specifically unique to you. Think: Dynamic shifting background as you engage with the product. Everyone has their own unique background DNA. The images below don't represent that larger dream, unfortunately, but they identify one color from our large palette that best represents you and your activity on a daily basis. This allows for a quick read on if a user matches your interests.


Additional Exploration

Unfortunately, this work never made it into the real world. StumbleUpon was transition management and resources, but these concepts are there for the taking. They range from light and fun, bold featuring the StumbleUpon orange, dark with a techy/gamer vibe, and light and social heavy.