HubSpot's Blindspot - part 1 [draft]
In searching for an integrated marketing tool, I came across HubSpot and quite liked the promise that tool offers. I acknowledge HubSpot team for the work and accomplishments in what appears to be a rather short time. The team seems to have worked hard, having built the technology, having built partner eco-system, and having built tool and domain education right within.
But in my playing around with the platform, something felt very clunky and stuck about the UI and overall approach about design. I made note of my dissatisfaction from a newly started twitter account and, HubSpot team got in touch with me to ask for more about what I am saying. Impressive! So I promised to help orient them about this.
Here are some preliminary assessments.
Before we look at what UI design elements, could be "prettified" or "made more accessible", we need to look at the concerns that this new disclosive large wave is bringing us.
I think the discussion is about social power. HubSpot is riding the wave when ideological power become democratized accessible over the internet. HubSpot has the ambition of giving tools at low cost to interface, man to internet, and set up certain kind of power distribution pipelines.
In mobilizing the social power, one must make impact on souls and minds of humans without noise. You don't want to be in the Noise Generation business. It is nothing useful.
How it's all related to the HubSpot? In the 'marketing' domain HubSpot is taking on, for powering the underdog, it must provide tools of inspiration and mood cultivation. It's tone must not be "hand-wavy". The design of interface and service should be about less noise, more signal, more art and more poetry.
HubSpot's strategy is sharp, but tools are clunky, and sidekick is too noisy. That does not work very well. Social power is not just about data... it is about inspiring and moving people and not merely "informing them".
For example here is a snapshot of a HubSpot's customer relationship interface. I recently got .5 reading glasses and it's hard to read.