When Warby Parker grew rapidly to meet customer demand, Lucidchart helped the company collaborate more efficiently, visualize new processes, and integrate visuals into heavily used applications.
Warby Parker is an innovative player in the fashion space. The company offers high-quality, classically crafted eyewear at remarkably low prices, avoiding traditional overhead costs by directly interacting with customers and eliminating high industry markups.
Founded in 2010 by four friends, Warby Parker is committed to serving others with its one-for-one approach: For every pair of glasses it sells, the company makes a contribution to VisionSpring, a nonprofit that trains low-income men and women to build their own business selling eyewear in developing countries. So far, Warby Parker has donated over 250,000 pairs of glasses.
Customers have clamored to support the company’s lofty humanitarian ideals. Ali Khan, director of technology operations, explained that their engineering team grew rapidly to keep pace with demand. In 2012, Warby Parker consisted of 11 employees. A mere two-and-a-half years later, they had over 150 team members, and the technology department itself had over 30 employees.
With month-over-month traffic growing by 30 to 40 percent, the team needed a diagramming tool that quickly served their needs. Lucidchart enabled fast, flexible collaboration within Warby Parker’s technology department so the business could continue its meteoric growth.
Discovering a less expensive, robust solution
Like many companies, Warby Parker uses Confluence to deepen collaboration within their team; it’s no surprise that a Confluence-integrated app like Lucidchart would work well for the company. Ali explained:
“We originally found Lucidchart while we were looking for something to design org charts and flowcharts within Confluence since we use our Confluence wiki to collaborate on all documentation. When we found a Lucidchart plugin, we looked at it and thought, ‘This could really work for us.’ What sold Lucidchart was its cost, collaboration mechanisms, and integration with Confluence and Jira.”
Of Lucidchart’s price, Ali said, “At first, the subscription cost seemed expensive, but when you consider Lucidchart’s collaboration tools amongst everything else it offers, it’s actually quite reasonable.”
Ali also praised Lucidchart’s robust feature development for increasing the overall value of the product. Because of Lucidchart’s expansive stencil and shape libraries, the development team has actually eschewed their everyday tools for Lucidchart’s system architecture functionality. Ali said:
“I like the fact that you have extensive libraries that cover things like Cisco network icons, generic network icons, and UI mockups. People don’t expect a cloud replacement for Visio to have such a high level of professionalism.”
Streamlining collaboration and communication
Lucidchart’s real-time collaboration was another key advantage for the developers. The team now had one easily accessible repository for every document, and an unlimited number of users could work together at once. Ali Khan said:
Multiple people can share and edit a Lucidchart document, which is a big win. In the past, we had to save a document to a network drive, email it around, manage different versions, and make sure all versions were up to date. With Lucidchart, you can view, share, and manage permissions all at once.
Additionally, Warby Parker had been trying to establish a new project process, but as Ali put it, "Despite the kind of project process you choose—Waterfall, Agile, RUMBA—all of them can be hard to learn." The team used Lucidchart to make the project process visual with swimlanes, flowcharts, and other symbology. People could visualize processes in a simple way rather than reading 30 pages of a project process.
Lucidchart diagrams are easy to share and understand, even outside of a development environment. Janny Wang, a project manager at Warby Parker, attested to the rich functionality of Lucidchart:
I use Lucidchart for creating workflows that I share with non-technical people. For example, we have a project process that consists of several stages. To easily display those stages, I create a swimlane diagram to show the different phases within a stage, to identify the owner, to list key decision points within each process, and so on.
Janny has also used Lucidchart to show upper management the dependencies across projects and any holdups that occur. She explained, "Once you get into it, Lucidchart is extremely flexible. The fact that I can use it to display high-level dependencies and timelines, in addition to using it for a very, very detailed technical systems chart, speaks volumes to how flexible it is."
Integrating with Confluence and JIRA
The product’s intuitive features and real-time collaboration played especially well in Confluence, a leading team and content collaboration tool for businesses. With the Lucidchart app for Confluence, users can easily create and insert all sorts of diagrams. Lucidchart even allows interactivity between pages in Confluence, creating a truly dynamic experience. Ali Khan explained:
“We’re constantly trying to figure out ways to centralize all of our documents in the Confluence wiki. With Visio or OmniGraffle, you’d have to upload a diagram, which was a clunky process. With Lucidchart, you can have simply insert that diagram into paragraphs of text. It’s integrated wherever you want, right away.”
Lucidchart is an intuitive, all-in-one solution for rapidly growing businesses like Warby Parker. The team uses Lucidchart for nearly every project on their docket because its collaborative capabilities enable everyone to visualize processes in a simple way. Lucidchart enables Warby Parker to get more work done and to keep their loyal customers coming back for more.