Designing for Data, Speed and Scale

As Senior Design Director for CLEAR, I managed creative for print, digital, social, OOH, events, name it, I got to touch it. But my biggest passion is building design systems that ultimately serve three purposes.  

1. It's modular enough so any designer can pick it up and quickly iterate within it.

2. It's smart enough to separate content from design.

3. It's scalable enough that I only need to build it once, and can survive without me.


The Mission

The company was expanding rapidly from just being about airport security. The company as a whole, let alone the Creative Team, needed to be able to quickly edit data sets, build new landing pages for new products and partnerships, and create seasonal campaigns. This would require a new backend to remove hard coding and refreshing the digital brand library to create an interim site ahead of a full brand refresh.

The Outcome

I led a site migration to the Webflow platform, working with the team at Whiteboard to audit our current site content and refresh our Web UI assets. This led to a modular UI library, cleaning up and reorganizing our database of airports and lane locations, and building dynamic layouts that allowing CLEAR to assign content editors without breaking the design.

The Impact

Turnaround times for web production, across the board, were slashed exponentially. With a no-code design platform, we removed reliance on engineering for UI updates, and the UI library allowed the design team to create new pages in a matter of days, versus a two-week sprint. This also allowed teams like Legal, Support, and Operations to make new entries and launch new airport pages without needing Engineering or Creative.


Creative Direction, Brand Identity Design, Custom CMS Creation, UI Design, UX Design, HTML/CSS/JS, Instructional Design

UNLOCKING digital Potential

CLEAR has been going through a series of amazing successes. The company went public Summer of 2021, their presence in airports, venues and events was expanding across the nation, and new partners were using CLEAR to seamlessly return people back into the the things they love through vaccine validation. However, the marketing department is relatively new in the lifespan of the company, and the Creative team even newer. A lot of new systems needed to be put into place while establishing Creative's role as the brand experts within the company, especially on the digital side. With the current site relying on a backend full of hard code, the website couldn't grow at the same speed as the company to support quickly support new content, as Engineering needed to focus on product (as they should at any company).

So before we could design a new website, my team needed to come up with an entirely new backend for web authoring and a new database schema. Easy peasy.

The No-Code Revolution

The Creative Team partnered with Whiteboard to do full sweep of every URL and bit of content within our domain, to help create a clean version of the current website brand. More of an interim re-design phase, this process took current elements and attached a system to them; a consistent design treatment for UI elements, development for smoother interactions and animations, and a vast, modular brand library for web.


With design blocks in place, we now need to dynamically attach a large amount of data to live within those blocks. While top-level pages are handled by the design team, we need a way to quickly generate templated content without Creative or Engineering help. We took the old database and improved on its structure. Just as similar design blocks should be built modularly, similar data sets should also be built modularly. Think of nesting boxes; what categories fit in other categories, and where can they be reused?

The UI is designed and on brand, but any non-designer (with the right permissions of course) can go into the Webflow Editor and create new airport locations, launch new venues, and quickly add timely updates or alerts.


You've got the power

CLEAR's site now looks updated and intentional, with refreshed photography and new copy to speak to the current product offering. But the biggest impact is for the internal teams and improved collaboration. Creative can focus on website strategy, bringing our market research and branding exploration to launch the next phase of the website. While that's in the works, new partner pages can be built within days, allowing CLEAR to promote new business and continue to redesign its top level brand simultaneously. For instance, Atlas Certified, a verification platform acquired by CLEAR, needed to be rebuilt from scratch from an old Wordpress backend. We were able to get the entire site, custom database and all, rebuilt in 2 days. The creative team never had to touch a line of code.

Atlas Certified Redesign
Atlas Certified Redesign