01 August 2011


GiftRocket has launched!


For the past couple of months I’ve been working on a project called GiftRocket. I created new branding/logo design, designed the main website + the mobile site and today we launched it!

What is GiftRocket

GiftRocket is the invention of Nicolas Baum, Kapil Kale and Jonathan Pines. With GiftRocket you can buy a friend a gift card to any shop, bar, cinema, coffee shop anywhere in the world.

You can either email them the gift or send it via Facebook. The site is integrated with Facebook and if you give the site permission, GiftRocket it will pull in your friends from Facebook for you to choose who to send a GiftRocket to.

For a person to redeem a GiftRocket they need to go to the business location. For example, if I have a GiftRocket for my local pub – I go to the pub, get out my smartphone, open up my GiftRocket email and press ‘Redeem’. GiftRocket uses my location to check I’m actually at the pub and when my location is confirmed I get my gift. The GiftRocket amount is transferred into my Paypal account and I pay as normal.

It means you can buy your friend a gift card for something they’re really into and that actually means something to them!

The Design

I was responsible from creating the GiftRocket brand/logo, designing the main website and mobile site.

My aim was to create a site that had a strong brand, was fun, vibrant and super easy to use. The site is actually more of an application than a website, so there was a fine balance to strike between creating a fun and meaningful visual design and a simple and easy to use UI.

I think GiftRocket is a great idea and I really hope it takes off! It was a really fun project and the guys at GiftRocket were amazing to work with.

I’ve included various screenshots from the website and mobile site in this post and you can check out the finished live site here: GiftRocket


  1. gwright

    01 August 2011 | 7:55 pm

    Inspiring as always

  2. Martin

    01 August 2011 | 8:00 pm

    Hi Mike, great site design. I love it! Have you used media queries for the iphone version or is it an actual app?

  3. mikekus

    01 August 2011 | 8:06 pm

    Hi Mart,

    The site you see on the phone is a specific mobile site. :)

  4. Liam

    01 August 2011 | 8:17 pm

    Hi Mike,
    Lovely design and colour scheme! Links to any of the shops aren’t working though. It always brings up a “The page you were looking for doesn’t exist” error message. I’m viewing the site via the desktop version if that’s of any help.

  5. Sawyer

    01 August 2011 | 8:21 pm

    You’re on another level

  6. mikekus

    01 August 2011 | 8:27 pm

    Thanks Liam,

    Dev team are on that now :)

  7. Raphael Negrão

    01 August 2011 | 8:28 pm

    Great idea and beautifully executed. And on top of all that, managing to avoid Apple’s 30% stab ;-)


  8. Raphael Negrão

    01 August 2011 | 8:32 pm

    Oh, just an observation. I’m not sure you’re completely UTF-8 compliant. I’m in São Paulo, Brazil, and I get a nasty instead of the “ã”. Cheers!

  9. Kapil

    01 August 2011 | 8:36 pm

    Hi Liam,

    Kapil from GiftRocket here. Some of our non-US listings aren’t loading properly at the moment, but we’ll fix it shortly. Thanks for the kind words! :)

  10. Julie Ng

    01 August 2011 | 8:59 pm

    Brilliant design Mike. It has your signature style, large graphics, friendly type, etc.

    I am curious about the work flows. If you don’t mind my asking, did you do just the design or also work alongside a team with implementation – HTML/CSS etc.?


  11. Rich

    01 August 2011 | 9:31 pm

    Brilliant and inspiring as always, Mike.

  12. Jacob Shea

    01 August 2011 | 10:32 pm

    Oh wow, this is beautiful and smart, excellent job Mike and Keir.

  13. Hunter Hastings

    01 August 2011 | 11:05 pm

    I must simply mention that the design is brilliant. It’s not overplayed, it’s clean yet unique, and extremely suiting to your market. Bravo on all fronts. Best of luck to y’all, I for one will be using the service in the near future!

  14. mikekus

    01 August 2011 | 11:19 pm

    Thanks for the kind words, Jacob.

    I’m sure Keir would appreciate your comments but I worked on this with the guys from GiftRocket. :)

  15. Ben Hebert

    02 August 2011 | 12:15 am

    Congratulations on launching. Looking forward to what you bring to the ever changing gift card industry!

  16. Gary Aston

    02 August 2011 | 9:21 am

    *picks up jaw off floor*

    *sells mac, gets job at tesco*

  17. Hugo Loning

    02 August 2011 | 9:22 am

    Gorgeous design Mike, I’m a huge fan!

  18. Josh

    02 August 2011 | 9:25 am

    Absolutely love this design Mike. The icons on the home page are fantastic!


  19. James McDonald

    02 August 2011 | 9:27 am

    Beautiful as ever, Mike! Great job :)

  20. mikekus

    02 August 2011 | 9:33 am

    Hi Julie,

    Thanks for your comment. I worked closely with Jonathan Pines from GiftRocket who was in charge of the front end build. We had very open, and were in constant conversation about both design and development issues. We both had a very clear understanding of what the site design goals were and because we both also have a good understanding of front development, this made the whole design process much easier.

  21. Julie

    02 August 2011 | 10:06 am

    Hi Mike,

    sounds like brilliant teamwork and something for me to strive for within my team. It is great to hear from someone first-hand that it really works. And the results really show that. :-)

  22. Gav

    02 August 2011 | 12:05 pm

    I think the design and illustration work is amazing as always. Just get the feeling that all your sites feel a bit ‘samey’ now. Would be nice to see something completely different from you.

  23. VicLook

    02 August 2011 | 4:24 pm

    Another good job Mike!
    I’m really impressed by your work!
    And I’m little crying – -why there are to little designers like you — here in my homeland -

  24. Nick Thorley

    03 August 2011 | 8:49 am


    Love the design – you have designed a lovely site as usual. I know you have nothing to do with the end client’s business but I cant help but think its a pointless business model – to me the site should either transfer the money to the shop or you may as well habe just sent your mate some money on paypal – cant help but think its solving a problem that doesnt exist.

  25. mikekus

    03 August 2011 | 10:42 am

    Hi Nick,

    Thanks for your comment. I understand what you’re saying but I don’t agree.

    I think it’s a great idea. It shows some real thought from the person who’s buying the gift, just transferring money from Paypal on it’s own would be lame. The person receiving the gift has to go to the gift location to redeem it which creates an experience for them. The redeeming experience is really cool on a smartphone. This is all part of the gifting process. The person receiving the gift will definitely remember the experience.

  26. mikekus

    03 August 2011 | 10:44 am

    Hi again Nick, Also meant to say, thanks for your comments on the design :)

  27. Daniel

    05 August 2011 | 2:25 am

    Hi Mike,

    As per usual, a fantastic site, and a great source of inspiration, is it available to UK users yet, i couldn’t find a way to pay in GBP?

  28. mikekus

    05 August 2011 | 7:48 am

    Hi Daniel, thanks!

    They’re working on a payment method for UK customers as we speak :)

  29. GiftRocket — miekd

    06 August 2011 | 2:11 am

    [...] redeems it from GiftRocket. (It’s way niftier than that.) It was designed by Mike Kus, who blogged about it [...]

  30. Charlie

    15 September 2011 | 7:35 pm

    Absolutely stunning work! It’s great to look at and very user friendly. It’s one of these sites that’s is brilliantly crafted both from design and build perspectives. Love it!

  31. Lewis Wright

    03 November 2011 | 1:01 am

    Love the design! I tested it out using older browsers and noticed that it doesn’t render perfectly on IE7 and goes crazy on IE6. Not so much a criticism, rather wondered if the choice was made to not be held back by the limitations of those two browsers. (hoping the entire industry will move away from those older catastrophes).

  32. stacy grizzaffi

    20 March 2012 | 11:16 pm

    I’m a bit confused. I am listed as a business on your website that you can get a gift card for, yet we have never heard of you guys, nor do we accept gift cards. please advise.

    Stacy G.

  33. Make Them Happy Using Gift Rocket | righttrees.com

    31 March 2012 | 10:33 am

    [...] this online gift service, Gift Rocket is one site that ready to give you wide choice of items and places as the main subject of your [...]

  34. Arun Simon

    23 May 2013 | 3:42 pm

    Who developed this website?

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