CASE STUDY Lightning AI

Leading all things design at an AI company

Project Background

I met Colette, the founder of Lightning AI, when her team was a customer of ours at Roadmap. They were a big fan of the design and experience I created at Roadmap, and entrusted me to do the same for Lightning AI.

Design

Branding, Website Design, User Interface Design, Prototyping

UX

User Research, Workflows

Duration

8 months

Location

Remote for a startup based out of San Francisco

"Allison has an incredible eye for design. She built our brand assets from the ground up, and has been fundamental in the way we think about marketing our business."

– Colette Nataf, CEO Lightning AI

Early Research

Brands spend an enormous amount of money advertising on Facebook. But Facebook limits access to their audience groups, leaving them to advertise to the same people over and over again. After awhile, conversion rates go down along with their return on ad spend (ROAS).

Lightning AI experiments with audience groups outside of the ones marketers can reach, teaching Facebook's algorithm as new ones are found. It also automates the process of launching and managing campaigns. Lightning AI takes an overall budget and decides how to spend it and which ads to show to who in order to get the best possible return on ad spend.

After talking to potential users, I validated that this was a huge pain point. We realized how much manual work people were doing only to get dissapointing or inconsistent results and at the expense of a massive marketing budget, it was clear they needed something better.

Visual Design

Lightning AI needed a professional design to elevate their brand. After early research and talking to customers, I wanted to learn more from the team about what they hated and loved about their existing brand and website. Two things needed to stay: the lightning bolt, and the color teal. Everything else was up for grabs.

A new logo to elevate their brand

Logo before

There are 3 variations of the logo. The full logo and two options for logo marks. This was intential so we could have a brand that would work great under any circumstance at any scale.

A custom website designed to convert

I designed, coded, and wrote content for Lightning AI's new website. I launched the new brand and website within a month just in time for demo day.

After going live I wanted to push our website a step further and breathe even more life into our brand with some custom illustrations. I knew what we needed was beyond my capabilities, so we worked with an illustrator to bring my concepts to life.

Website before

The final illustration created by FireArt Studio

The final illustration created by FireArt Studio

"Allison manages both brand design and product design, and she excels in both. Given a high-level vision, she can turn ideas into user flows and prototypes for user research and engineering."

– Colette Nataf, CEO Lightning AI

Product flows

There were a few steps the user needed to do in order to spin things up with Lightning AI like Facebook OAuth & permissions to manage campaigns. They also need to give us a spend budget and create a funnel they want to optimize towards.

After that, the algorithm runs on its own behind the scenes doing all of the hard work and heavy lifting for the user.

I created user flows to:

  • Identify key views that needed to be designed and prototyped
  • Narrow down dependencies on data from Facebook, Instagram, & Snapchat
  • Achieve alignment among the team on product vision and strategy