I’ve hired Jake for three different projects I’ll hire him for a fourth. He’s talented, thoughtful, and fun to work with.
— Mitch Galbraith - COO, Funny Or Die


Funny or Die had not updated their iOS app for many years. User engagement in the apps was very low, and the bounce rate was high. I was brought in to create a new user experience for the app, leveraging existing content and allowing for new types of content.


My Role

My primary role for this project was UX/UI Designer, working with the Product Manager who provided the user research and relevant data.


The Challenge/Opportunity

Increase app installs was the first challenge, but the real goal was to increase user engagement and interaction.

Fans visiting FOD on their mobile devices chose to go the website instead of the app. The current apps were very outdated and not fun to use, and while the FOD website was optimized for mobile viewing, it still was not an engaging experience on mobile devices.

The big question was, “How do we leverage native features of mobile devices to keep users engaged and interacting with the content for a long as possible?” 


The Approach

FOD had a clear idea of their users, and how they consumed FOD content. There were some clear distinctions between the types of users and the types of content they consumed. They had a persona who engaged with written content the most, one who primarily watched videos, and others who just liked to browse photos. While there were also the contributors of original content, we decided early on that this mobile app wasn’t to be used as a tool for them to submit and manage their content.

Regardless of these distinct personas, the business goal was still the same across the board. We knew from personal experience as content consumers and users of rich media apps some of the tricks a techniques for increased engagement. The first trick is to provide great content, and FOD had no shortage of great content. 

Another trick was to provide that content endlessly, a la Instagram, Twitter, *Tinder, etc. The last trick was making access to the content as easy as possible through smart architecture and navigation. 

FOD has tons of great content, and a mostly unstructured taxonomy, which could lead to some architectural challenges. I instinctively knew that the architecture needed to be as simple as possible if users were going to able to navigate the app easily.