Our first birthday!

edvinicombe's avatar edvinicombe on Jul 19th, 2016

It's our birthday! Hooray!

It's always fun to take a moment and look back and i'm excited to fill you guys in on what we've been doing and how far we've come so far! Here's a summary of what we've achieved so far:

Looking back on year 1:

  • Switched our domain from thedigest.org to UXClub.com
  • Completely re-built framework using Laravel
  • Over 100 posts submitted and published
  • Re-designed and re-built our editor
  • Moved our entire infrastructure to DigitalOcean
  • Sponsored three local Brighton UX events
  • Team has grown to two people
  • Featured in usepanda.com and designernews.com

That's quite a bit for our first year! We decided to re-build what was The Digest and tranform it into UXClub.com. We had completely outgrown our previous framework, Statamic, it was never meant to support membership driven websites with any seriousness and it was a massive decision we had to take early on. It paid off - Laravel has been able to give us the site we wanted originally and we're confident with where we can now take it.

Our biggest achievment, however, is growing the team behind UXClub.com. A friend of mine, Kaspar has come aboard and we've been busy planning our roadmap for the coming year. We did have some other help too - our friend Steve lent us some great advice and help through this project which has been brilliant. Here's a run down of the tech we're using:

The Stack

Application

  • Laravel
  • Vue.js

Search

  • Algolia

Servers & Deployment

  • Forge
  • Envoyer
  • DigitalOcean

Monitoring

  • NewRelic
  • Rollbar
  • Papertrailapp

Transactional ESP

  • Mailgun

UXClub.com in numbers (June 2015 - June 2016)

  • 15K monthly unique visits
  • 46.2% return visitors
  • 326K Page views
  • 300K Social engagements
  • 4,175 Twitter followers

Summary? Things are looking good. These are not ground breaking achievments by any means but their enough to tell us that people are enjoying the content and there is room for us to do more.

Lessons learnt

If you weren't learning anything whilst starting your own business then what the hell are you doing!?

We've learnt an incredible amount over the last year but the most significant lesson I've learnt is the importance of establishing yourself on the market in the right place. There are so many products out there these days and I really mean SO many. I think you need to focus your product on a small handful of ideas and execute them well. And when I say 'well' I mean really god damn well. When we started out as The Digest we underestimated how much we were really taking on. We were targetting too many people in the creative industry under one huge umbrella. The market was already so saturated with news feeds and we couldn't get a word in edge ways.

Sifting through the data we were collecting we noticed an overwhelming stream of interest from the UX community. So, we decided to focus our attention solely on that where we felt we could make more of an impact. Since then we've seen great reception from the UX community and we're beginning to build our brand.

What's up next?

Over the next few months we will be working hard on the next chapter of UXClub.com which we will publish into the community is due time. We’re exciting for the year ahead and hope you join us on our journey!