Joey Kilrain

UX & Visual Design

Ghostery's Mobile App


Ghostery, Inc. is a global marketing technology company providing online transparency and control to individuals via a mobile browser and browser extension.

I truly loved working at Ghostery! Their products aligned with me both personally and politically. Plus their start-up environment allowed me to wear many hats! From UX to Visual Design, Product Design to Production, I covered all the bases needed to keep the products consistent.

Did I mention that I was their first design hire too? #heaven

The Challenge

Ghostery's browser app was on the market before I joined. An engineer explained, "Because the internet sucks, we wanted to make it suck less. So we developed an app that works well but without a designer to make it look good. "So get working!"

My Process

My design process starts by reviewing and listening to customers (their feedback), stakeholders, product managers, and the developers.

"Without research all I'd be making is a pretty picture."

The Product Manager stated there was a high uninstall rate shortly after installing the app and no one knew why.

Luckily Ghostery had rented a booth at an upcoming ComicCon event. We met with over 200 current and potential users at the event. And we learned that some of our users were mid-twenty 'techs' who knew how to configure the browser. Furthermore they knew the difference between trackers and beacons. The non-techs "just want to browse privately," one 'non-tech' remarked.

To ensure we asked the right questions we crafted a set of questions that asked:

We rounded up the feedback and learned that most of our 'non-techs' struggled with:

With this feedback my colleagues and I huddled around a whiteboard and constructed userflows and system details based on this feedback. We also outlined an MVP roadmap. Our main focus was to lower the uninstall rate after loading the app. This lead us to redesigned the user experience from start to future.

My first task was to simplify the set up process. So I created this simple flow asking users to opt-in to the two main features of the browser. The 'Enable Blocking' was a big hit! This allowed those unfamiliar with privacy settings a simple walk through.

While working on the 'set-up' screens the new visual tone began to evolve with simple iconography, easy to read typeface, and colors from Ghostery's brand.

Before we released our revised app we tested it with some of the users we met at ComicCon. With their feedback we further revised and then released a newer version.

View all of the mobile screens


Our existing users were happy because we didn't change their flow while the new users installed and surfed with the comfort of their data being protected. The app hovered at about 200,000 users before the redesign and jumped to just over 650,000 in 6 months time! We also went from a 3 star to just shy of 4.5 stars on Google Play Reviews!