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Zip|send, one of the many companies that fell victim to the dot com burst. Even though the company no longer exist, zip|send made its mark on the Internet. Zip|Send created a revolutionary method for users to send tangible gifts using only an online identity as the delivery address. More important this new technology finally allowed the recipient to be in control of the delivery destination and time.


Company: Zip|Send 1996 - 2001

This project included:

  • Built unique and innovative purchasing technologies
  • Built showcase catalog site using our technology
  • Created one of the most successful Internet marketing programs to date, "VROOM"
  • Created Flash Presentations for VROOM
  • Transitioned through branding and name changes
  • Built a content management system
  • Integrated Zip|Send technology with web site and IM clients
  • Built plug and play co-branded catalogs

At Zip|Send I was able to get my feet wet in interaction and application design. Through several staff changes and contractors quitting I somehow ended up with the task of designing version 2.0 of the Zip|Send technology. Surprisingly I felt really comfortable in this role., Taking on this challenge I was able to simplify the application for the user and create a easy to follow blue print for the developers, so easy that 2.0 was developed in two weeks compared to a year and a half for the first (limited) 1.0 version. Our shopping cart rivaled the single click purchase from Amazon and had functionality that to this day has not been surpassed or duplicated.

Some of the Zip|Send partners included companies like AOL's AIM, Odigo, all the major electronic greeting sites (their wonderful lawyers asked me not to use their names), all the major dating communities, and a handful of other online portals as well as business software like ACT business solutions.

VROOM - Viral Registration Of Online Members:
One really exciting technology that we stumbled on was VROOM. While trying to figure out how to get exposure for the new Zip|Send technology we decided to experiment with email campaigns. These campaigns would allow users to try out our services by sending candy to their friends, family and of course one to themselves.

This first campaign was relatively successful roughly about 3,000 new customers in a period of about 4 weeks. After this first campaign I took it upon myself to see what I could do to improve on the success of these campaigns. On our second attempt (this time for our client Sharies Berries) I implemented a more visual approach by using html emails, and making the entire process much more transparent and easier. I also suggested to the programmers that we allow a way for the user to accomplish just about everything from the email itself without having to come to our site, (other than to claim their own gift). Can you say success!

Our second attempt was so successful that we started to Brand VROOM as its own entity. Each VROOM produced on average more than 48,000 users in less than a 48 hour time period. We never really were able to see how much more we could get as the ramp up would increase so fast that it literally would bring down all of our servers. 48,000 customers had to be the cut off point.

This was my my first attempt at interaction design. To me it really was as simple as paying attention to how make the experience easier.