Leveraging AI technology to help lower the barrier to entry for small businesses in social media strategy and online brand building.

The Problem

Sensai is an early-stage social media marketing AI startup looking to help small businesses and solopreneurs increase their business through social media marketing.

Small businesses and solopreneurs need a time-efficient way to manage and increase their business's social media presence while balancing their other responsibilities and keeping up-to-date with social marketing best practices.

I led product design and management at Sensai. My focus was on user experience, feature development, and UI design. 


6 Months to transform a beta test product into a go-to-market ready MVP.


1 Product Designer

+ 3 Developers

+ 2 Data Scientists

I led on defining the target user, UI and prototyping.


Attract as many users to the platform as possible. 

Dispensing Wisdom

Our proprietary algorithm digests and diagnoses issues with our users' organic social content and helps them by providing strategic plans and guidance. 

When I joined the project, there was an active beta test product with only ~150 users. I had 6 months to redesign the mobile and browser application, design and manage core feature development, and launch an MVP.

The User

Research methods:

User Interviews

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User Needs

Targeting users who are active personally on social media, but who lack professional training in social media marketing, the app design emulates the major social media platforms including a timeline of published content. 

I conducted user interviews with 8 beta customers and 7 paying clients to gain a better idea of their needs and how Sensai could meet them.

The needs of these users varied wildly from person to person. As a result, I created a series of 8 target users that represented our different potential customers and the issues they face. Through this process, themes began to emerge connecting our personas and ultimately influencing my design. 


Key overlapping themes included:

  • Each user was active personally on social media

  • They understood the value of marketing on social media

  • Their social marketing efforts are significantly time constrained due to competing priorities

  • They viewed social media as a necessary way to market their business

Early Wireframe Ideation

Four early iterations of the Sensai browser application layout. Working through the different options with my engineering team, we identified the upper left mock as the most logical layout for our hybrid browser/mobile application. 

Sensai Design System

Early at Sensai, I was able to work directly with local brand strategy agency, Butchershop Creative on our brand and style guide. This style guide informed my design system for the Sensai application.

The Process

Design methods:


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Working with


Design System.jpg

Design System

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By emulating the major social platforms in our interaction and visual design, while clearly highlighting which content was from which platform, I was able to reduce the barrier to entry for our target users.

To do this I analyzed the layout and structure of content in the three major social platforms we supported: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Balancing image forward content with supporting text, I was able to design our core social feed in a way that felt more approachable for new users and assisted in the translation from desktop to mobile. 

Additionally, I determined optimal cropping guides for social images, based on the standard sizing for the three platforms. This resulted in an image sizing requirement that would allow for 9:16 images, 1:1 square images, and any landscape ratio between. This meant that the content our users were naturally sharing was going to shine on our platform as it would on the social platforms. 

Draft content

Add New Content

Content stream

Actionable guidance

Branded Social Icons

Sensai desktop application

Big bold visuals mirroring what the user sees on their social accounts are key to the design. Circular platform icons and branding colors allow users to clearly and quickly understand what they are looking at and where it came from. 


30k new users in the first 6 months

After launching the MVP, the Sensai application went on to attract over 30k users to the platform. This extremely rapid growth was supported by a design focused on meeting the users at their level of social media marketing fluency.  

198% faster social growth

Active users on the platform saw tremendous gains in their social media followings when compared to non-active users. These users benefited from a clean user-centric design that showcased their content exactly like the platforms.

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Like what you see?

Let's chat!

Email me here or call me at 503.442.9967