A year ago today, Luke and I launched uxmastery.com.
At the time, we weren’t quite sure where this little website would take us. Honestly, we didn’t even really know each other that well—we had a common interest in user experience design and web publishing, and we happened to live uncannily close to each other. But that was it.
On the day we flipped the switch, the site didn’t contain much content. There were just three blog posts and a whiteboard animation that I’d convinced another neighbour of mine to help me create in the boardroom of a client for whom I’d done some consulting work. The site’s design was a cobbled-together WordPress theme, but it was good enough to launch with.
There wasn’t much to it, but we promoted what we had to all who would listen. People seemed to like what we had to say and the medium we were using to say it.
Fast forward 12 months …
A year later, our design is still the same cobbled-together WordPress theme. Don’t worry, we will get around to fixing that (What’s that phrase? Ah, yes: “A plumber’s tap is always dripping.”)
But the content keeps on coming—and so does the traffic. We’re very proud of the body of knowledge that we’ve created over the past 12 months, and the community that has sprung up around the site. Here are some of the highlights:
- Creating the popular resources pages—the getting started guide, the UX techniques bank, the list of UX courses, and more—and getting thankyou emails from readers who had found this information so helpful that they felt compelled to write in and tell us so.
- Partnering with the team from Thirst Studios to create UXmas, an advent calendar for UX Designers that got covered in .net magazine, UX Magazine, Desktop Magazine and elsewhere.
- Hosting a Q&A webinar that had over 70 registrants, where we answered questions about starting, doing, and advancing the field of UX design.
- Launching over 20 issues of our popular email newsletter, as well as a podcast (we have some terrific interviews coming up!)
- Being given the opportunity to deliver in-person presentations and workshops at fantastics events such as Web Directions South, Intranets2013 and UX Australia.
- Having our popular sketchnoting article pave the way for contributing to several books.
- Launching the UX Mastery Jobs Board, with listings from such prestigious customers as DT, Atlassian and 99designs.
- Getting to know the various guest authors who have contributed to our ever-growing archive of articles, thus keeping our content stream interesting and varied.
Sure, there are other goals we’d hoped to have achieved before 12 months ticked over (ahem, the first ebook is coming soon, promise!). However, I’m sure I speak for Luke when I say it’s been a crazy, fun ride, and part of that has been to do with getting to know each other better—discovering other common interests in fine scotch, Lego, cycling and The Blues Brothers. We’ve pushed each other to step out of our respective comfort zones, together formulated a stream of crazy and ambitious ideas, which we’ve then turned into actionable, achievable tasks that support realistic goals. We’ve lifted each other when the other was feeling overwhelmed or uninspired by the prospect of an aggressive publishing schedule, and celebrated major milestones.
Primarily though, uxmastery.com wouldn’t be anything without you. To the daily visitors, the nearly 4,000 Twitter followers, 3,000 email newsletter subscribers, and folks from whom we’ve received questions, encouragement and feedback via other channels, we’re very appreciative of your support.
The Path Forward
The other day we received an offer via email to purchase the site. It came out of the blue, and threw me a little, as I’d never really considered uxmastery.com to be an asset that had serious SEO value that could be sold.
Needless to say, I didn’t even consider it for a moment.
I can honestly say that I’m so excited about the plans we have for the next 12 months of uxmastery.com, that random offers like this seem utterly surreal, as they are so contrary to the site’s purpose: a virtual embodiment of our love for writing about, teaching and discussing user experience design. Hey, I’m allowed to be cheesy.
Happy birthday, UX Mastery. The future looks bright!