Thrutext Messenger

ThruText is a peer-to-peer texting software that lets users send thousands of simultaneous messages. The app has a build-in messenger that is specifically designed for sending, receiving and responding to these text messages. It includes helpful features for message senders such as recommended replies and surveys to track response data.

While the tool was powerful and useful to our users, the branding was out-of-date and there were many broken features throughout the messenger. 


The bulk of our clients at GetThru are primarily promoting political candidates and ballot measures. With 2020 being a huge election year in the U.S., we wanted to assure the messenger was functioning at its absolute best.

Because of the updates previously made to the admin dashboard, the messenger branding and user interface were out of date. The mobile and tablet versions of the messenger also had bugs that made it almost unusable on a mobile device.

Role: Product Designer

Dates: Spring 2020

Product goals

In the year of one of the most important elections of our lifetime, the product team at GetThru wanted to ensure that our app was prepared for the higher than normal usage and traffic. We also wanted to fix all bugs and broken UI elements to help decrease the load on our already busy support team.

With 20% of our traffic to the messenger coming from mobile devices and negative feedback from users on our mobile site, it was a top priority to make fixes to these areas.

Our Users

Message sending volunteer for political campaigns and advocacy groups

Annual giving director for colleges, universities, private schools or non-profits.

Our Messenger is mainly designed for users who volunteer or are assigned to send text messages to a targeted group. In updating the messenger, we must also keep in mind how the messenger functions in relation to the admin portal. We need to assure administrators are able to provide and gather the data they require.

About our users' needs

The process

User Interviews on Existing Messenger

Wireframes & Initial Mock-ups/Prototypes

User Interviews on New Messenger

Revisions and Files Ready for Devs

Front End Dev Adjustments

Final Live Messenger

User Interviews For Existing Messenger

The Messenger is used by thousands of people a day, and our sales and support team hear lots of feedback on issues that users run into. Because of this, we wanted to start by asking some of our users directly what issues they’d like to see fixed or changed. By doing this, we were able to validate the things we already knew were pain points or broken.

A few pieces of feedback were:
• The messenger barely functions on mobile. Many admins suggest not using our app a mobile device.
• Message senders sometimes forget to collect survey data
• If an admin creates many recommended replies for senders to use, they can sometimes be difficult to sort through.

Initial Mock Ups & Prototypes

Because we had our updated branding and navigation, we had a pretty good idea of how we wanted to lay out the pieces of the messenger, and jumped right into designing. It was also important to keep the feel of the messenger familiar since we were coming up on a huge election year. We wanted  to help customers avoid having to re-train all their volunteers.

We used the admin side navigation space for contact names and added a right panel for surveys, replies and overall campaign info.

Since there were many complaints about the mobile version of this portion of the app, we also cleaned up the navigation and created a special navigation for mobile and tablet.

User Interviews For New Messenger

The goal of our second round of interviews was primarily to validate the instincts we had from our initial interviews. We had some feedback on small items, but  overall, users found the updates to be intuitive.

Revisions & Developer-Ready Mock Ups

The bulk of our revisions at this state were around tablet and mobile layouts of the messenger. We created a bottom navigation based on the material design framework and worked to create fly out sidebars that would make it easier for a user to navigate through their contacts and collect data.

Front End Development

At this point in the timeline of the company, the design team was fairly new. This meant that there was still a lot of work to be done when it came to designer/developer handoffs and collaboration.

Our front end devs were tied up at this point with larger projects, so this allowed me the opportunity to get in and make the mostly basic front end edits I needed. It was fantastic experience to get to jump into the code and apply the html and css experience I had learned in previous years.

I have always felt like these skills have made me a better designer, because I’m aware of the challenges a front end dev may encounter and can design with their needs in mind.

High-fidelity Mockups & Prototype

Within the ThruText app, these users are labeled as “administrators” and create and manage campaigns, groups and the users that send text messages.

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