Webflow at Work with Laura Zulliger of Payable

Find out how Payable uses Webflow to help freelancers and contractors get paid—and build a library of 1099 tax info for freelancers and companies.

John Moore Williams
May 2, 2016
Entrepreneurship

Freelancers and independent contractors play a key role in the modern economy, but managing their payments has never been easy—for the contractors or the companies who rely on their skills. Until Payable, that is. 

When we discovered that Payable uses Webflow, we couldn’t have been more excited. So we struck up a chat on Payable’s mission and how they’ve made Webflow a key element of their business on the design and content sides.

About Payable

Payable is …

… an all-in-one platform for payments, taxes, and portable benefits for companies working with independent contractors.

What problem is Payable trying to solve?

Right now it’s incredibly difficult to pay and manage independent contractors. Most of the current options force contractors to wait weeks for their payments and provide little to no transparency into when money will hit their bank account. Contracting is already financially risky—which is why we’re on a mission to remove that risk and financially empower contractors by making the best contractor payments software.

How does Payable solve that problem?

We tackle the problem that matters to contractors most: getting paid. Payable makes it clear what the contractor is owed, what they’ve been paid, and when it will hit their bank account. That way, they never miss a bill or rent payment. We also connect contractors with necessary benefits like health insurance, retirement, and 1099 taxes.  

What are some of the key challenges your business faces?

We’re currently a small team doing the work of a mid-size company and business is growing fast. Hiring qualified employees fast enough is one of the biggest challenges we face.

As a startup, you can’t win the advertising game, but you can win the SEO game. We needed to generate a lot of content quickly without involving the engineers in order to rank highly for this content. Webflow let us do that.

–Tad Milbourn, CEO and cofounder, Payable

About design and process at Payable

What’s the design process at Payable like?

We currently prepare our copy in a Google Doc and manage photo editing in another app. From there we copy and paste the content into Webflow’s Collection fields and voila! We’re good to go. For new page templates, I wireframe on a whiteboard and then build out the design in Webflow.

Where do you look for inspiration?

Designer News and Smashing Magazine always have great stuff. We’ve always been fans of what Stripe has done with their pages. Partnering with them this year on 1099 taxes was fantastic and we did everything we could to live up to the design standard they set.

What tools do you use for initial explorations? Do you sketch, wireframe, content model, or jump straight to mocks?

We usually draw ideas on the whiteboard. Basic layout, positioning, content … any animations we might use. Then we throw that over to our head designer for feedback. After that, we’re pretty much ready to dive right into Webflow and implement.

We were going to go with either WordPress or Webflow, but WordPress just didn’t give me the control I needed.

–Tad Milbourn, CEO and cofounder, Payable

How do your design and content team members collaborate?

Typically we’re one and the same.  We’re a pretty lean team, meaning that we all create content and the content creators are also driving the web design.

What designer or design trend/movement inspires you most?

Payable is all about making contractor payments simple, fast, and transparent—and that’s reflected in the design. The move in recent years to flatter, less-cluttered design with more vibrant colors is one we’ve embraced. We try to throw a dash of fun in there when we can.

Webflow at Payable

How does the Payable team use Webflow?

We release new offerings and features every month. Webflow allows us to update our website to reflect those new offerings the day they’re released. We’ve also built incredibly robust product support resources using Webflow CMS.

What does your team find Webflow most useful for?

Making easy and quick changes to our marketing site as well as publishing lots of helpful blog and support content without needing to involve our engineering team.

What stage(s) of the design process do your designers use Webflow for?

Webflow powers our production website and help center. It’s the stage we use to showcase our company.

Does Webflow play any role in the product design process? (I.e., in designing the web app as opposed to the marketing site.)

Not at this time. But, our Webflow-hosted site is an actual part of our product. When you’re using our mobile app and you click Support, you end up on a webview of our support page still within our mobile app.

Webflow’s built-in responsiveness is the only thing that even makes this an option. In effect, we’re able to dynamically update our support resources within our mobile app by updating our Webflow site.

How do reviewers provide feedback on sites made in Webflow?

We huddle around as a team or using the staging subdomain if we’re apart.

Why does the team use Webflow?

It’s the best option for creating visually compelling sites while minimizing engineer involvement.

To this day, we haven’t needed to involve an engineer in anything Webflow-related.

–Tad Milbourn, CEO and cofounder, Payable

I’ve heard that the process of building out the Tax Guide relied on our CMS a lot. Can you tell me a bit about that?

Payable's 1099 Tax Guide

The Tax Guide was a large undertaking for us. We published over 150 articles on 1099 taxes for both contractors and companies for them to better understand their obligation. We also partnered with Stripe to generate tax forms for many Stripe Connect companies—the Tax Guide was also the hub for information on that partnership.  

Our goals were three-fold:

  1. Scale support through having information about taxes and our tax product easily accessible. We were able to cut our support queue by addressing most product FAQs in the Tax Guide.
  2. Market our tax offering and the extent of our expertise. The tax center was a source of lead generation for our tax product and continues to meet keyword and search optimization goals.
  3. Reduce the risk of customers and contractors making mistakes—1099 taxes are very complex and we wanted to make sure all parties understood what they needed to do before making a costly mistake and facing IRS fines.

Want more control over your designs—and a faster content production process?

Try Webflow for free. Its code-free Designer and visual CMS will give you the design freedom you need and the SEO rankings you want.

John Moore Williams

Head of Content Strategy at Webflow. Nice to meet ya. Follow me @JohnAMWill.

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