work /
ux design
product management

Connect with someone nearby to enjoy jokes with!

context /

Place Pixel - 2017

team /

Alex Padalko - Frontend Dev

Matt Oconnor - Backend Dev

Scott Liang - UX, UI, PM, CEO

Give Pug a try!

1.0 Arf!

Pug was a brief design + build sprint that we conduct to flex our creative muscle. With Pug, we sought to answer a number of questions:

  1. Rather than drop people into empty rooms, what would happen if we served them content after matching them (in this case, jokes)?
  2. Would it bring about a healthier culture than what developed on, say, Chatroulette?
  3. Would experiencing jokes with someone else make them more enjoyable? Could it become a regular way to brighten up one's day?


2.0 Welcome

Given that it was based on widely-known "conversational UI" conventions, using Pug was relatively straightforward. Here we use the conversational UI to onboard users.


3.0 Friending

Simply hit Add Friend to send a friend request (and meet someone else without losing the current match). Notice that there is no "friends management" in this iteration—the list of chat rooms essentially serves this purpose.


4.0 Lessons

A number of aspects we'd love to improve are:

  1. Increase the variety of content (this was the #1 requested improvement)
  2. Bring the content into the chat rooms that are created with new friends
  3. Allow users to enjoy the content while waiting for a match

Give Pug a try!

5. Researcher Portal

Lastly, the third leg of the stool: the product that researchers (Vetty employees) use to actually conduct the background checks.

Product principles:

  • Speed. Make tasks easily identifiable.
  • Efficiency. Focus on minimizing redundancy; at high volumes, every redundant action is magnified (even eye movement should be considered).
  • Memory management. The UI should work to minimize information that the user has to hold in memory.
  • Power users. Due to training, higher complexity in exchange for higher power is OK.

This is a basic researcher workflow. Note that it is divided into 3 stages:

Generally, teams of researchers are assigned to different accounts, with each member taking on a specific phase. Due to Vetty's limited resources, individual researchers take on their own accounts and conduct all 3 phases.

5.1. Researcher Dashboard

The main focus of the researcher dashboard is the "Adjudication Needed" column, which uses a simple "yes" or "no" to indicate when there is a pending task. Hovering over the cell in the column brings up more detailed information.

Because researchers are trained users, the dashboard can adopt more complexity for more power. Below, custom components that allow each column to be independently searchable:

5.2. Candidate Details

Much like the client portal (for account managers), the candidate details are where most of the tasks are done:

Key items:

  • The reference panel can be brought up at any time for glanceable information (for example, the researcher may need to compare SSN trace results with national criminal results). The panel eliminates the need to scroll back and forth. Furthermore, it includes a notes section for each candidate, eliminating the "mountain of sticky notes" that researchers previously had to deal with.
  • All top-level information is easily glanceable in the left navigation panel.

The researcher portal is now undergoing a major redesign to accommodate larger teams. Stay tuned!


Whew, that's it! A complete Consumer Reporting Agency platform from scratch. As of this writing, Vetty has experienced a 10x increase in MRR and is now undergoing a serious M&A bid. If you have any questions, or would like to work together, please don't hesitate to reach out at