The mission

Hey, Peter here 👋

I'm 30, I'm a dad of 3, I live in the south of England, and I'm obsessed with product design.

Since 2019, I've been a UX consultant to some of the best product teams in the world. I'm also trying to build the library of UX analysis that I wish existed when I was starting out.

This is the Built for Mars story.

600,000+

600,000+

readers annually

36,900

Newsletter subscribers

Newsletter →

UX consultant to some of the best companies in the world

See audits →

Timeline

How it all started

🍀

FinTech exit

January 2018

My FinTech start-up, Movem, was acquired in a PE-backed deal. It was a company which I started while at uni, and 6 years later had created an industry-defining piece of technology. It's since been copied by everyone.

🙋‍♂️

Finding my feet

As most post-acquisition founders would attest to, I didn't know what to do with myself. So I started helping friends with their companies, and ended up focusing on user experience—something I'd spend tens of thousands of hours obsessing over at my start-up. This eventually turned into paid consulting.

🚀

Founded Built for Mars

December 2019

I was sat in a Costa, and thought to myself “I'm creating these UX presentations privately for companies, but I bet people would benefit if I could post them online". But because I’d signed NDAs with all my clients, I decided to do a mini-study on Rightmove.

🐣

The first few case studies

Private case studies are super detailed, and take me weeks. So it took me a few months to find a good balance of humour, memes, UX tips and a coherent story. That's why the first few studies aren't amazing—I even deleted a few of them.

💸

The bank study

January 2020

I released the UX of Banking—a 6-part mega study comparing banks in the UK. It went wild.

🦄

Helping unicorns

Although I'd been working on Built for Mars full-time for quite a while, after the success of the bank study I made a conscious effort to improve how I ran the business.

This meant saying "no" to a lot of small design jobs, and focusing on helping some world-class products (Notion, Klarna, Pitch, Octopus Energy, Quickbooks, Google).

⚡️

Built for Mars v2 launch

May 2021

The original Built for Mars website was a Wordpress site I'd knocked up myself, and it was terrible. The irony of a UX blog having terrible UX was not lost on me.

So at the end of 2020 I asked my subscribers for feedback, and had hundreds of responses. I then started trying to design the best possible reading experience for my work. It's going to be the launchpad for something much bigger.

🤟

Joined Creandum

September 2021

I joined the VC Creandum as an entrepreneur-in-residence, as a UX advisor to some of the best product teams in the world.

🦁

Built for Mars v3 launch

April 2023

Since releasing v2 in 2021, Built for Mars doubled-down on features that enhance the reading experience, including UX Bites, UX Tooltips, Cheatsheets, Collections and more.

So, for 6 months we painstakingly rebuilt the entire site in React, and reorganised how everything was connected and referenced. This became the foundations for a launchpad of really dynamic usage.

Oh, and we launched it at 11pm, it was fine, and then sometime over night it completely died—product releases are fun.

👨‍💻

Built for Mars Premium

November 2023

The newsletter subscribers was at 27,000 (and growing 5/10% MOM), and I'd calculated out that I've spent about 3,500 "real" hours of my life researching and publishing free content.

But I wanted to take it up a level. More content, better content, deeper research, more ideas. And so I released Built for Mars Premium (BFM+); a paid tier of content.

It includes all new filters, features, ways to organise and find UX ideas. Fundamentally, it's a step towards scaling a UX library in a sustainable way.