Proxmate Browser Plugin Redesign

//Redesign of a browser extension

Role: UX/UI Designer. Collaborated with the Product Owner and the Front End Developer.

Proxmate is a browser extension that enables users to bypass regional restrictions and browse previously restricted websites at high speed and completely privately. It started as a developer’s hobby project and evolved into a business that served over 300K users.

Management wanted to implement a new business model and also create a new brand and website to better represent the extension to current and potential users, so they contacted me and my Front End Developer partner to create a new branding and to redesign the website and the browser extension. I started with the branding, but for now you can read about Proxmate’s bread and butter, the browser extension, and its redesign.

Steps

1 - Gathered business requirements

Proxmate management requested an extension that had to be simple and clear, easy to understand from a glance and push the users into trying out the best features (unblocking big streaming websites) and the extra privacy features so they’d buy a subscription when their trial ended.

The company had done the user research themselves and we saw that our focus would be men, 18-40 years-old and tech savvy. The design had to be particularly straightforward and frills-free as this group had little patience for unnecessary...anything.

2 - Ideation, created versions of the extension

Collaborated with the Product Owner regarding features and what possibilities the expansion allowed and proceeded to create wireframes and user flows that we adjusted before reaching a perfect flow. I then went ahead with the high def design using material design and we went through a few iterations until we set on a design that we couldn’t poke holes in.

3 - Tested the design with first time users

The Front End Dev and I tested it bootstrap-style with friends who matched the target group, some who have already used proxy browser extensions - they found it easy to use and found the quick shortcut to Netflix channel very handy (we were worried they’d be bothered by the obvious push, but apparently everybody has a Netflix subscription). After a round of adjustments, we had our final design!

4 - Prepared the design for development

With everything set and approved, I uploaded the designs, svg icons, interactions and guides to Google Drive. The Front End Dev and I worked closely throughout the development to make sure everything was implemented perfectly.

proxmate.me


While working on Proxmate, I updated the design of Zapyo, a similar product from the same company, but with a different business model (free) - dedicated less time to it as the company didn’t wish to invest much into a product that was bringing less revenue than Proxmate. They have taken it off the market since.