This Start-Up Wants You to Win at Life.

What if you could launch a branded website within minutes of the latest news, event, or trending meme? What if you could do it again tomorrow?

    Up is on a mission.

    Up isn't your everyday financial services app.

    It's a life planning platform that helps people plan their future and unleash new possibilities through better financial decisions, to help us make smarter financial life choices, as we live life.

    Up helps people take control of their future by simulating models to plan for savings, homeownership, retirement, protection from financial disaster, and more in real-time.

    And it connects you with the advice and services you need to succeed.

    I had the opportunity to work with the Up marketing team to design and develop a new kind of marketing tool. One that would take Up's brand messaging from Concept to Content in minutes. Not days.

    The challenge.

    Marketing dollars are scarce.

    The Up team was looking to launch many marketing campaigns and microsites. They were looking to run A/B and multivariate testing to optimize media spend, conversions, and cost-per-acquisition to grow their customer base.

    So, simple tools to generate performance-based content marketing campaigns were crucial.

    I set out to deliver a solution that would enable the Up team to generate countless, customizable microsites, supported by a system to publish and launch content within minutes.

    The solution.

    Concept to Content automation.

    The flexibility of content design and freedom from technology dependencies were key requirements for the Up marketing team to achieve their goals of rapid content creation, delivery, split-testing, and optimization at scale.

    I designed a component-based design system that enables Up to pick and choose from many different content modules for limitless combinations of design, content, and media formats to create unique microsites and landing pages quickly and easily.

    The UX of content management.

    I had to consider exactly how the Up marketing team would publish content.

    Having created a component-based design system, it made sense to extend that into a modular CMS system, which I would then map to React components in code.

    Me and Astro UX-ing.

    More than a typical CMS templating system, the solution delivers design, content, and code all as customizable and modular components.

    The design, CMS, and code were all delivered as customizable and modular components.

    For content management, I chose to go with Contentful, an API-first CMS, for flexibility in content creation, management, and distribution. Not to mention a very simple to understand and use interface for the Up marketing team to work with. I've worked with many headless CMS systems and found that Contentful is a great solution when it comes to ease of handover, training, and usability for my clients.


    Easy content management, lightning-fast load speed, security, and high SEO were critical, so I developed the system using a JAMStack architecture, with Contentful, React, and Gatsby at its core, independent of IT or backend technology requirements. All launchable in real-time.

    Back in the day, any kind of online presence was built on top of a complex technology infrastructure of HTTP servers, databases, application servers, fat CMS systems, and more, resulting in a slow web experience dependent on expensive and bloated systems.

    Google and other major search engines actively downgrade slow underperforming websites in search results.

    The JAMstack changes that by delivering fast, Search Optimized, and secure websites to any computer or device without the need for backend applications, servers, or bloated CMS systems.

    Google's Lighthouse audit: performance stats that matter.
    • Easy-to-use standalone CMS with a content-first approach.
    • No dependencies on proprietary tools.
    • Technology, frameworks, and services are readily swapped out with cheaper or more advanced options in the future.
    • Built-in media optimization and preloading.
    • No dependency on server-side tech or applications, so page load speed is instant.
    • This content-first approach delivers the ability to manage content in-house, faster, easier, and independently from developers and IT departments.
    • Maximum stability. Since there are no backend framework dependencies, there’s minimal chance for downtime or server errors.
    "Michael brought great insight into what we needed from both a business and marketing standpoint, helping us build something more consumer-centric. The solution is flexible, adaptable, and extremely easy to use." - Shannon Cullum, CMO BetterTradeOff

    Results that matter.

    • Significant improvement in conversion and user acquisition.
    • Site performance and load speed measurably increase SEO.
    • Major reduction in development and go-to-market time.


    Better Trade Off


    Independent Consultant


    Creative Technology Content Marketing Strategy User Experience UI Design Rapid Prototyping Jamstack

    But wait, there's more

    Check out a couple of other projects we've delivered.

    Let's do great things

    Brand experiences that folks be all like, "holy shit it's magic!"

    We work with future-thinking brands, agencies and startups looking to create the next killer Brand Experience.

    If that sounds like you, get in touch.

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