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5 Lessons I Learned From Bootstrapping the Daily UX Challenge

Back in November 2016, I am starting a new job as a UX Designer, in the middle of a daily UI challenge.

I start thinking about creating something like the daily UI challenge; but for (future) UX designers. After a day sketching the idea, and coding it, I was able to ship an MVP.

Here are my lessons learned after 1.5 year and 1.3k people using this v1.

1. There is traction around learning about UX online

As I was mainly focused on learning and teaching at my job, I was only making sure that the platform was working properly. The only changes that occurred in those first 19 months were back-end improvements.

New users, per month, since launch in November 2016.

Now looking at the data, I discover 3k+ unique visitors and that 1.3k people signed up for the challenge (counting only the people who completed it without unsubscribing). That’s a 43% conversion rate!

2. “(Daily) UX is not (Daily) UI”

UI challenges can be different every day. It is possible to have a full-time job and still allocate 1 or 2 hours to complete a daily UI challenge.

New users, per month, since launch in November 2016.

This is not as trivial with a UX challenge. The UX process is long and made of a lot of steps. I discovered it is not possible to just give a new UX challenge everyday. People can do it the first days, but quickly stop working on it daily.

3. Having a feedback loop is key

The only way to contact me was to reply to the challenge email, or to find one of the hidden Twitter links on the webpage. I received pieces of feedback, both by email and through Twitter. But not enough to get an effective feedback loop, that would allow me to learn fast about the platform’s users.

New users, per month, since launch in November 2016.

Adding a chat modal directly on the website allows me to have direct and personalize conversations with people using the product.

4. 20 days of hard work should end up in fireworks

By spending only few minutes a month on the technical challenges of this project—sending automated emails to people who would subscribe at different moments—I didn’t pay much attention to create a delightful journey for the challengers.

This meant a flat journey from challenge 1 to challenge 20.

5. This could be more than 20 challenges

Learning how to become a (better) UX Designer by practicing is great.

But it’s just a tiny piece of what can be done.

Finding ways to monetize this for premium users would allow me to spend more time⏰, energy⚡️, and money💰 in this project.

For all these reasons, I am now working on a Daily UX challenge v2.

I am now a more experienced UX Designer. I’ve learned from this MVP, and craving to release this v2. Here is a sneak peek of what I am working on:

  • It has 3 projects in total (a warm-up, a small project, and a big project).
  • Each day is a step, not a project.
  • Each step will be shared as a Medium post also, to allow different completion rates / speed; while increasing the visibility of the project. Completing the 20 challenges will end in 🎆🎇!