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Interview with Angela Ognev, the Chief Happiness Officer at Strikingly

Earlier this month, as you may have seen from our Facebook and Twitter feeds, we had the pleasure of discovering Strikingly, a DIY platform for creating and publishing single-page websites. Today, we bring you our interview with Angela Ognev, the Chief Happiness Officer at Strikingly. Read on to find out more about this unique site builder.

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SWB: Angela, our readers will certainly want to know what your position means. What are your duties?

Angela OgnevA: I’m happy that “Chief Happiness Officer” gets smiles and starts conversations! My duties vary but are tied to keeping Strikingly personal and human, as we were when we first started — I dig into product user experience, support users as they build sites, unite Strikingly users at events, and cultivate happiness officers who care for users as much as (or even more than) I do (support team).

My main inspiration is Zappos/Delivering Happiness, their genuine care for users, and their friendly, concise, unscripted, and personality-expressing support. We believe that getting 100 people to love us is far more important than 1M people who “sort of” like us. We love our super fans!

SWB: How did Strikingly come about and where do you see Strikingly in the market of DIY site builders?

A: Isn’t it crazy that there’s still no “go-to” platform for site building? What would you recommend for your classmate, friend, AND mom? When I asked, my friends agree that nothing’s simple enough. In University, we each struggled with sites for events and organizations, tweaking for weeks on end or bugging developer friends to build something they can’t focus on. Then, Strikingly was born — an easy, beautiful way to put any project we’re working on, online!

We started from mobile and reimagined the “website” — Strikingly considers how people interact with phones and desktops differently, and builds that right into to our responsive, bold designs. When you try to fit an existing desktop site to mobile, it can become clunky and confusing or too difficult to manage versions. With our mobile-first one-pager design, the ability to tell a story, engage viewers, gain momentum, and encourage action is innate — you scroll down through content in order and are called to action at the bottom!

SWB: What do you consider the greatest achievement of Strikingly?

A: Our big goal for Strikingly is to “conquer the world with just one page” — to help people share what they’re passionately building – but I’m most happy we made something that delights people. One story: our friend Walter is visually-impaired – he does work in finance and for the disabled community. With just Strikingly and his computer’s text-to-voice function, he was able to build a website! http://walter.strikingly.com/. He was ecstatic! Now he can do even more incredible work. I didn’t imagine anything like that when I joined the company.

Walter's Website

The ability for Strikingly to be involved in moments like this is an achievement, a kudo to our mindset and design. I guess it shows how simple and intuitive it is to use Strikingly to share what you’re working on, and I’m proud of that.

SWB: What is your favorite Strikingly-driven website?

A: Oh no, do I have to pick!? You can get a sampling of wonderful user sites from our gallery (http://www.strikingly.com/s/discover), and thank you videos to super fans (https://vimeo.com/strikingly/videos).

If that’s not good enough, alright… I ate at this restaurant today and their website always makes me hungry: http://sushiburrito.com.sg/. They try create delightful experience, just like us!

SWB: Is there anything you’d like to change in the system? What do you consider the biggest weaknesses/areas for improvement?

A: We believe that putting yourself or your project on the Internet should be simply delightful. Our goal is to make the world’s easiest, most beautiful, mobile-optimized website builder. I think we’re doing well — we managed to shorten the building process from days to minutes, from lots of tweaks to automatically attractive design. We want and can do better than that, though!

For example, we rolled out the LinkedIn One-Click, which allows you to make a mobile-friendly personal site in literally 1 second (http://strikingly.com/linkedin). I want to see us keep pushing that further. What else can be created in seconds?

SWB: Can you provide a sneak peek into upcoming Strikingly updates or changes?

A: I’m glad you started this question with “can” — I’m happy to share our general direction, but I want you to feel the full surprise later! We’ll keep pushing that boundary on what can be made in a second. We’ll do even more to make telling your story easy, intuitive, action-driven, and fun. Follow us and see what’s coming up, or help us shape Strikingly with your feedback!

SWB: Thank you for your time Angela!