The Design Business Show 113: Customer Journeys + Membership Design with Jennifer Dopazo

Director : Melissa Burkheimer | September 28, 2020
Check out episode 113 of The Design Business Show with Jennifer Dopazo to learn about her membership design process!

Jennifer Dopazo is a graphic designer specializing in Brand Identity, Interaction Design and UX/UI Design. She’s the founder of multimedia design studio Candelita and a 3-time American Graphic Design Award winner.

Jennifer helps organizations attract their dream clients by translating their big vision into an awesome digital experience with a unified brand. She’s worked with companies like The New York Times, Pepsi and Nickelodeon, along with authors like Danielle LaPorte.

Here’s what we covered on the episode:

  • How Jennifer’s podcast company asked if I’d be interested in hosting Jennifer on my podcast, to which I said yes because we’ve never had someone on the podcast to discuss membership design before
  • Jennifer tells the story of how she dropped out of business school and went back to painting school, where her teacher suggested she go into design
  • How Jennifer’s brother was talking to his friend whose sister works as an illustrator and how they connected her and Jennifer
  • Jennifer explains that the sister was a professor at the school in Venezuela that Jennifer went to and how she explained that the design school is great because it’s more than graphic design or illustration, it’s visual communication
  • Jennifer enrolled in school and in three years was graduated and wondering what to do next, when her brother suggested she move out to NY and complete a postgraduate course
  • After graduating college, Jennifer worked in a small studio her professor founded doing government and non-profit work
  • Jennifer explains that she’s kept her business small and how she is in the front, working one on one with clients while she has developers and a designers helping her in the back
  • Jennifer expresses how keeping her business small has made for better connections and better client care
  • Jennifer is friends with Nathalie Lussier, creator of AcessAlly who reached out to the community and asked people if they’d be interested in being part of what they were launching and learning a new way to offer a different service, which is how Jennifer got involved in memberships
  • Why Jennifer loves working in memberships is because she gets to see many different professionals, from different backgrounds come to her and say, I want to build a learning platform
  • Jennifer starts by defining her clients’ customer journey and asking them what they want their members to learn/do so they can map it out and create a list of tasks to accomplish
  • Jennifer explains how some platforms have too many bells and whistles that overwhelm members and how you need to decide if you want to have a platform or if you want to host it yourself
  • How it can be hard to keep members’ retention after a while and how Jennifer walks her clients through keeping them engaged with new content and different interactions
  • Jennifer gives examples of how to keep members engaged through community involvement, becoming an ambassador, offering different content, or specialized events.
  • How Jennifer tackles clients wanting to use other platform ideas and how she walks them through an exercise that gives them clarity on what they actually need for their platform
  • Why Jennifer tries to discover what the minimum requirement is for each member to come back and feel that they are learning and why it’s not good to throw everything at them when they login
  • When Jennifer’s clients go through this exercise and gain a better understanding of why they like the reference they picked, it can sometimes be a branding issue and not an experience issue
  • Jennifer shares her loves for processes and how she always starts with discovery work, which is all about your member persona, understanding the user journey, and understanding the design and architecture
  • Jennifer likes to keep her clients very involved and feels it makes them trust you more when they get to see your process
  • How Jennifer believes everyone has their own process that works best for them and how doing that process will make for the best delivery
  • One tip Jennifer has for creatives who want to create their own methodology is to document what your process to deliver looks like, so then you can give yourself specific tasks that need to be done
  • Keep it simple by splitting up your framework into six phases and defining what before and after looks like for each phase
  • How LinkedIn has been Jennifer’s best friend for finding consulting opportunities with big companies like, The New York Times and how just talking about the past work she’s done on her LinkedIn has helped her gain clients
  • Jennifer shares that when it comes to accepting work, make sure you feel out if they are a good fit for you and make sure to take care of your space because it can be uninspiring to accept the wrong project or say yes to everything that comes your way
  • Jennifer discusses the awards she has won, which have mostly been print work and shares that they have been projects that came her way through friends
  • How one award winning design was a book cover that she loved working on because it was nice to get away from the computer and work on some illustration
  • Connect with Jennifer on her website, the Candelita website, Instagram, Facebook or LinkedIn

Links mentioned:


Connect with Jennifer on her Website

Candelita Website 

Connect with Jennifer on Instagram 

Connect with Jennifer on Facebook

Connect with Jennifer on LinkedIn


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