- Brad uses Lucidchart to build wireframes to communicate effectively with designers, saving him time and hassle.
- The ZipBooks team communicates internally with Lucidchart, collaborating in real time to iterate on a new feature or workflow rather than emailing back and forth
- ZipBooks loves being able to store all their documents in a single location using Lucidchart's G Suite integration. They often add visuals to their Google Docs in order to capture important workflows.
SIZE: Small (1-100 employees)
ROLE: UX/Product, Marketing
ZipBooks focuses on making clean and simple-to-use software that lets users send invoices in seconds and manage their books without being a trained accountant. Many profitable businesses fail because they don’t have the tools to manage cash flow, and ZipBooks’s goal is to let small businesses fulfill all their basic accounting needs without having to pay extra for the software.
Brad Hanks, VP of Marketing for ZipBooks, needed a visual communication tool to plan and communicate feature priorities that he believed would accelerate user adoption. Since ZipBooks was still an early-stage VC funded startup, it was paramount that he could act effectively in his role to test and evaluate new user acquisition channels. He wanted to be able to clearly demonstrate features, workflows, and overall product traction.
Wireframing with Lucidchart
Brad and his team chose Lucidchart for its collaborative capabilities and its powerful integration with G Suite. They found the platform to be the perfect way to quickly create wireframing prototypes and to map out workflows.
Brad explains his use of Lucidchart:
“I built a lot of wireframes to communicate to designers how we wanted various pages of our website laid out as part of a comprehensive redesign. As a startup, time is our most precious resource. Being able to show a picture of what I wanted in a real-time, collaborative environment saved me a thousand words on many occasions.”
For the product launch, Hanks also wanted to push out an iPhone app. Putting all the functionality of a fully-featured accounting and invoicing program into the “itty bitty living space” of a mobile app proved a unique challenge. Since Lucidchart offers an iPhone shape library, it was easy for Brad to create wireframes, and these wireframes could even demonstrate how the app would interact. He then shared these Lucidchart documents with his app developer who could then see exactly what changes needed to be made—even though he was located in another time zone.
Managing contractor relationships
Brad and his team frequently work with contractors, which means extended email conversations about the final product. He loves that using Lucidchart means not having to send big files back and forth—he can get the big picture across without sending a single email, and Lucidchart is always readily available.
ZipBooks also uses Lucidchart to communicate internally, citing the usefulness of its short learning curve and its chat and commenting options. Previous to getting everyone on one team, Brad was using pen and paper or MS Paint and passing it around to get feedback. He found this option tended to kill the momentum of an idea. Hanks says:
“There is magic that happens when you can iterate on a new feature or workflow in a way that preserves the discussion for rapid implementation.”
Brad and his team also like being able to store all their documents in a single place. Lucidchart’s Google Drive integration makes this easy, letting them pull their files to a central source. They also frequently pull relevant Lucidchart diagrams into specific Google Docs so they can capture important workflows both in texts and visuals.
ZipBooks has made great strides using Lucidchart alongside G Suite. Brad explains the benefits of using both:
“Using Lucidchart and G Suite has played a supporting role in our success since day one. It would be shorter to list the number of projects at ZipBooks that don’t involve Lucidchart inside our G Suite environment. We use Lucidchart to wireframe web pages, collaborate on our plans in real time, collect feedback on marketing copy, make comparison charts, and mockup potential new features that we are considering.”
Brad most appreciated the time saving qualities of Lucidchart, noting that the faster development timeline let a small team like his own tackle ambitious projects. According to Brad, Lucidchart saves his team so much time and hassle on the normal back-and-forth emails that he almost thinks of the platform as another employee on the team.