Subblime was originally an ecommerce recommendation site for YouTube creators, but the CEO was looking to pivot to a more service-based product, aiming to help YouTubers monetize personal connections with their fans — in a way that wouldn’t make said fans feel exploited. After a careful analysis of the market, the potential user base, as well as conversations with the YouTube creators themselves, I led the ensuing product redesign. Subblime became an exclusive crowdfunding-style service for fans to not only get answers to their questions, but to engage in meaningful conversations with their favorite creators.

Research & Analysis



I researched other companies in the patron/creator space, looking closely at how others prompted users for payments and justified various monetary values.

User Types

This product wasn't going to work as a one-size-fits-all. The fans of these YouTubers varied wildly in their behaviors and values, and it wouldn't make sense to try to target all of them. Instead, I put together the below fan types to act as personas, helping us identify that our primary demographic should be The Devotee and The Contributor.


Product Design & Architecture


This breaks down the primary actions different types of users will take, demonstrating compulsion loop as well as how these users will interact with each other. It revealed some extraneous complexity that could be simplified for the primary user flow.



Header Button Click: user's motivation is to contribute. They are more likely want to know extra information, more open to being redirected to a full other page.

Interrupted action: user's motivation is to complete their intended action. Interrupting the flow too much (with a full new page and information overload) could lead to them giving up altogether. These people might be more likely to give $0 if their flow is unexpectedly disrupted.


Not yet a contributor: these users need more of an intro to what contribution is and why they would want to do it (more generic product info).

Already a contributor: already familiar with the product and flow, don't need to see the information all over again. (However, if existing contributor isn't actually giving money elsewhere, they still may need an extra push).

Factors in User Contribution Motivation

Some of the many variables that could influence:

  • How a user decides to pay
  • When they decide to pay
  • How much they pay
  • What approach they'll respond best to

YouTube Creator Types

Personalities and gurus may lend themselves better to direct questions. It will be easy for their fans to understand the appeal, but questions will be more personal/individualized and may not lead to conversations with other users.

Questions for artists and reviewers (including Let's Play personalities) may be more broad/wide-reaching, leading to more discussion and inter-user conversation. However, the appeal of joining these communities may not be as readily obvious for fans.


Iterations on contribution interface


Contribution Form


iterations on Conversation page

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Front-End Prototypes

Conversation Detail

Front-end prototype of conversation page with topic threads.

Front-end prototype of conversation page with topic threads.




After the beta of the new Subblime website was launched, I designed a welcome email to be sent to all new users. I included a link to a feedback survey in order to gauge user interest and future engagement.