Product Design, UX Design, UI Design, User Journeys, User Testing and Research.


American Greetings' newly acquired startup, Cardstore, had a somewhat faulty builder. It worked, as in success was possible, however users were fed up and bailed to the competition in droves. If they stuck it out and finished a card, the chance of critical errors and comped orders were extremely likely.

With the mountain of improvements a newly acquired startup needs, not everything can be top priority. There had been a handful of starts at improving the builder only to get trumped by this or that newly prioritized task. The silver lining here is that there was no shortage of points of view and associated research. It was clear that executive patience had been waning before my arrival and they needed a clear approach to fix the leak.


Executives will bite and we'll ship an effective builder if we:

  • Assemble multi-discplinary strike team
  • Create a no nonsense plan with a close and clear horizon
  • Coalesce research into key driving insights

We holed up in a room to sort out what we had, perform our own research to put forth a set of key insights that would lead to a successful builder:

Key Insights

  • Make the card sender a hero by making it easy to make something awesome
  • Engage by extending the brand metaphor
  • Clarify by separating utility from presentation
  • Simplify by deleting all unnecessary obfuscation

The executive team bit (YESSSS!) so we regrouped and gave life to our pitch returning initial design assets and breaking ground with engineering within two week's time.


  • Successfully sends +30MM cards each and every year

  • Reduced comped orders by 70%

  • Card recipients 100% happier