Klout

The first internship I got outside of Northampton was at Klout, the social media scoring startup. I was assigned to work on the front-end team tasked with serving up Klout.com. While I was there, we launched a completely redesigned version of the site, which kept me busy throughout the summer.

However, it struck me as bizarre that none of the product managers were remotely bothered that our website was unrepentantly terrible on mobile, being not just ugly, but actually impossible to use on mobile because of several key buttons' placement, size, and use of rollover states. I first convinced them to serve an interstitial offering to take iPhone users to the App store to download our free iPhone app, a move vindicated by the Mixpanel analytics.

In the final week of my internship, I decided to build a mobile-friendly version of Klout.com as an independent project. I built it using the existing stack of Backbone.js, Handlebars, and Node.js, which was a great stack for mobile web development. Rather than changing global styles to create a responsive layout, I detected the user agent on the server and redirected to the mobile subdomain, which served a subset of styles and javascript optimized for touch and mobile screens. Though I didn't get to push the mobile site up to production myself, the team finished QA'ing the product and deployed it shortly after my school year started again.

Unfortunately for my ability to provide a live demo, Klout has since redesigned the entire Klout.com experience. They have again neglected the mobile user and do not provide a mobile site, but it was not an obstacle for their acquisition by Lithium Technologies in early 2014.