Warm Gun: Behind Mailchimp's Responsive Redesign

by November 22, 2013

In his presentation at the Warm Gun Conference in San Francisco CA, Federico Holgado shared how Mailchimp used reusable components to redesign their application. Here are my notes from his talk:

  • The projects we work on today are equal in complexity in scale to those which create buildings, ships, and cars.
  • The new MailChimp was a six month project to rebuild an interface used by 3.5 million users to run their business.The criteria for success was to not break people's process and flows.
  • Architects have a lot of criteria to meet: end users, safety, contractors, regulations, and more. The foundation does not get poured until the blueprints are done. It is a slow, linear process.
  • Car manufacturers went from a 60month time to market to less than 12 months. Modular assembly of components has helped these industries move substantially faster.
  • How can we bring this modular thinking to how we crete software?
  • Start the redesign process by thinking in terms of reusable, modular components. Mailchimp's pattern library is the architecture underpinning their service.
  • MailChimp started their redesign process by looking at their most highly trafficked pages.
  • Mailchimp has over 600 different views inside their application. Reusable code allows you to make even the dark corners of an app work better.
  • Pattern libraries don't make sense for every site. But large scale applications can benefit from the heavy up front costs to get a pattern library up and running.