Bolt Capital is a Dublin-based Commercial Loan Company founded by Colm Mooney, Ian Sutherland and Paul McEnroe. They approached Wondr.io looking for guidance on how to build their online process flow for their first commercial loan product.
1. USER EXPERIENCE DESIGN PROCESS
The first step was to map out the flow of the whole application process. The client had made it very clear that this was a multiple stage review process before considering to give a loan approval, so users needed to be aware of this procedure from the very beginning.
The design process was the following:
• Mapping out the application process flow from beginning to end from a user's perspective, by keeping in mind that the ultimate goal was to get a loan approval.
• Mapping the application process from the client's perspective so they could understand from their end how approval, review and rejection fitted within their CMS.
• Proposing the idea of a dashboard for registered users in order to keep track of their ongoing applications and approved loans.
• Keeping in mind a modular system that could work well across devices.
• Making sure to incorporate the branding correctly across the entire application process.
Conclusion: The website has just launched on May 12, 2017. The next step is to measure its performance with online applicants and identify any usability issues across devices.
¨ We are really delighted with the results and are so proud of what the team at Wondr has created. The feedback so far has been fantastic. Suggest we arrange a few drinks in the next week or two to celebrate what has been a fantastic outcome. Thank you to all the team!¨
Paul McEnroe, Co-Founder and Managing Principal at Bolt Capital.
This was a private investor from the Netherlands looking to launch a new insurance product in the Irish Market. The idea was simple; he wanted to bundle up all the insurance products in one single online monthly subscription and avoid users the hassle of dealing with brokers and multiple insurance companies to fit their needs.
1. DESIGN PROCESS
• Gathering internal information and insights taken from meetings with the client, internal workshops and market research.
• Story mapping what the product was based on the most frequently used keywords taken from workshops and internal meetings.
• Defining LIV's insurance product portfolio by making sure to make a clear separation between they types of products it offered in order to avoid any confusion on how to present them to the user.
• Giving users the option to prioritise their own financial goals in order to understand which insurance products were best tailored to their needs.
• Giving users a monthly subscription fee that they could easily change by decreasing or increasing the level of coverage for each insurance product.
• Granting users full access to their insurance policy through a dashboard and the ability to track how their insurance products were performing based on their life goals.
• A clickable prototype made out of high fidelity wireframes that could illustrated the overall subscription process flow.
• A comprehensive design document explaining the thinking process behind the product definition, the types of life goals, the types of insurance products and the potential types of user personas that would identify themselves with the product.
ROLE: User Experience Designer
Siro.ie is a joint venture infrastructure system from ESB and Vodafone created to provide regional Irish communities with the fastest broadband powered network of 1GB.
Although the website's initial role was to partner up with potential broadband providers, it eventually became more apparent that consumer awareness was also essential to its long term success.
1. ANALYSIS FROM CURRENT WEBSITE
The initial key issues identified were the following:
• There is no clear defined customer segmentation, so when reading the content on the site it doesn't make senses who is it they're talking to and how their offer will benefit users in their daily tasks.
• 'Get SIRO' is the main call to action on the site which makes sense when the goal is to acquire new customers. Nevertheless, this call to action directs users to a geo-map, where they first need to type in their address and only then they can find out whether SIRO is available or not in their town. Unfortunately SIRO has only been rolled out in a couple of towns so far which means that most likely it's not readily available to users.
• The current speed test simulation on the site performs very poorly due to usability issues and lack of context.
• The individual town pages weren't really aligned to any type of content strategy, so when reading it, there's not true engagement from the local community.
2. UX SOLUTIONS
Although the agency is tackling functionality issues in three separate blocks, it was crucial to treat the project in a holistic way by going back to the information architecture of the site.
The following solutions have been delivered:
• Re-designing the Information Architecture to address new customers and making a clear differentiation between 'Home' and Business' segmentation.
• Identifying the main goals of each page based on how the technology could help people in their home or in their business.
• Re-thinking the concept behind the speed test process and instead of having it located in the main navigation in isolation it was placed as a one of the main call to actions in 'What is SIRO', 'SIRO for Home' and 'SIRO for business' pages. The core idea was to illustrate how SIRO's significant speed could help home owners and business owners in their daily tasks instead of having technical loading speed that weren't relevant to most users.
• Changing the main CTA from 'Get SIRO' to 'Check your Address' and then re-designing the process flow that will lead users to sign up in order to be notified when SIRO becomes available in their town.
• Aligning the town pages to fit the overall advertising strategy currently being rolled out in regional Ireland by dividing the town page's content in three phases: Create Awareness at a county level, Build Desire at a town level, Create Conversion at a personal level.
3. KEY DELIVERABLES
SIRO's key pages were wire-framed and prototyped in order to illustrate every user interaction
• High fidelity wireframes of SIRO's website key pages.
• Clickable Prototype to illustrate every user interaction plus a comprehensive design document that could help build the narrative from a user's perspective.
• Definition of new components that can fit the site's strategy.
The site's changes are currently being implemented in the staging phase and the updates are meant to go live on June 2017.
Once this happens, the main goal is to keep track of the site's performance and gather user's feedback on usability and content.
Siro Check Your Address
Siro Speed Simulator
ROLE: Branding, Information Architecture, UX & UI, Web Design
Squaredot is a Dublin-based Inbound Marketing Agency founded by Ian Blake, Jim Blake and Sean Sharkey. Their main problem was that Squaredot’s branding and website didn’t represent their overall vision for the company. I was asked to review the overall brand design starting from a conceptual point of view.
1. PREVIOUS WEBSITE
The first step was to understand the agency’s primary services and the way they were communicating these to their audience.
The key issues identified were the following:
• The website failed to communicate what the marketing agency does exactly.
• There was no clear understanding who their key target audience was. Were they aiming at marketing people or business owners?
• The usage of heavy-jargon in the website’s content was failing to get across their key messages and it didn’t lead users to take any action.
• The overall design was perceived as generic and unattractive.
• The lack of strong branding didn’t give Squaredot the necessary credibility from a client’s perspective.
Conclusion: The website and branding needed to be re-visited by identifying the company's main objectives and by defining their brand presence online.
2. CONCEPTING & EXPLORATION OF BRANDING
When approaching the brand itself, there was a need to define what the name 'Squaredot' meant and how it would be carried out visually throughout every application.
There was a whole graphical exploration with mood boards around the relationship between the dot and the square. What seemed interesting was this idea of of the dot morphing into to the square which gave the impression of constant evolution.
The interaction between these two shapes was carried out graphically throughout the whole brand. Users will note that in every animation and interaction, the dot will transform into a square and vice versa.
3. DESIGN PROCESS
During the design process it was essential to work out the key goals of the company with the Creative Director. One of the company’s most important objectives was to get their audience to 'Sign up to their Newsletter’ by making use of a Lead Magnet. This was essentially a free eBook that would contain valuable content for marketeers interested in learning more about the benefits of Inbound Marketing.
I proposed starting with an interactive landing page that would first introduce the eBook and as users scrolled down, we could then highlight the company’s own approach and methodology towards this type of industry.
The second part was to design the company’s inner pages such as the ‘About’, ‘Work’, ‘Services’, ‘Blog’ and ‘Contact’. These needed to be clearly differentiated from the landing page and we opted for a more traditional format while still remaining true to the essence of the brand’s new look & feel.
• Design of the company's branding including usage of colours, fonts, illustrations and content on the website.
• Information architecture with sketches and wireframes.
• Designs for all screens with their responsive layouts.
• One-on-one meetings with the developer in order to ensure that the designs and interactions were properly adapted.
Hubspot featured Squaredot in one of their Blog articles'18 Best Examples of Mobile Website Design'. They gave special praise to the website's overall simplicity, colour range and easy navigation. There was also a special emphasis on the 'Sign up to our Newsletter' form for the mobile experience.
¨Melissa is a fantastic designer. One of the best I've worked with. Having worked alongside her for the best part of a decade I cannot recommend her strongly enough. Recently Mel designed the Squaredot website for me, demonstrating her imagination and creative flair. I'm more than happy to vouch for Mel and act as a reference. It also helps that Mel is a lovely person and a pleasure to work with.¨ Sean Sharkey, Creative Director at Squaredot.
Kerry Group is a global food company headquartered in Ireland that supplies over 15,000 types of food, ingredients and flavours to different companies around the world.
Our agency was appointed to envision a whole new branding for the company and to implement it throughout all their communications worldwide.
For the purposes of this case study I will only focus on Kerry.com
1. INFORMATION GATHERING
Our first task was to understand the information gathered by the agency in relation to surveys, data, interviews, user personas and insights.
Alongside with the Project Manager and Creative Director, we defined the site's Information Architecture and defined a few user journeys.
Because the website was primarily component based, we needed to think carefully about the types of layouts required for each level and to ensure consistency throughout the whole site.
2. WIREFRAMING & PROTOTYPING
Before we proceeded working on wireframes, we showed a more polished design mockup to the client that would help them understand how the new branding would be incorporated into Kerry.com
We then proceeded to define key components that were grouped as follows:
• The first group were global components, meaning they were constant and visible elements throughout the entire site.
• The second group were fixed components, meaning they weren't going to change drastically overtime such as 'About', 'Mission', 'Global Locations', etcetera.
And the third were dynamic components, meaning their content could easily be edited and swapped with a different template variable.
The key deliverables at this stage were the following:
• Wireframes of every single component in high-fidelity.
• Wireframes of every single component in three different views in order to explain their responsive behaviour.
• Interactive prototypes worked inside Invision in order to explain clients and developers how components and user journeys were working in different page layouts.
3. DESIGN & IMPLEMENTATION
Once all the components were defined and approved, we then proceeded to incorporate them into the design phase. In order to incorporate the new branding effectively we created a 'Website Style Guide' that contained the following:
• Grid System
• Colour Palette
• Typographic Elements
• Icon Library
• Form Elements
There was a lot of testing to be done in this phase, specially when it came to usability. We realised that some of our assumptions on how the website should work and be navigated needed to change. Therefore we made use of Pattern Lab which helped us make agile decisions before implementing the full front-end into the website's development stage.
During the different stages of this project I gathered a few key learnings. Collaboration and communication between work colleagues and third parties is essential for a project to become successful. It is vital to have a strong team lead that will unite every front and remain focused in the overall goal. This project is still ongoing but I was happy to have served in it and finally see it grow.
ROLE: Branding, Information Architecture, UX & UI, Web Design
Pataks is an Indian brand that makes curry, pastes and sauces for the British market. It was founded by Lakshmishankar Pathak back in 1957 and it started as a small family business. In 2015 our agency was approached to develop a new website that could target modern British families that were interested in learning how to cook a traditional Indian dish but had limited time and experience.
1. ANALYSIS OF PREVIOUS WEBSITE
When looking at the previous Patak's website it was very clear that the brand looked outdated and it wasn't really attracting their key target audience.
The key issues identified were the following:
• First and foremost their website wasn't responsive. On a recent research carried out McGarrybowen and Kraft Foods, it showed that 59% of 25 to 34 year olds would cook a recipe while looking at their smartphone or tablet device. Therefore, having a responsive website was essential for approaching their target audience and to increase their visibility with Search Engines.
• Second, it was unclear as to what the main goal of the website was. Their previous site showed a few pages with recipes and a separate page with their products but there was no link on how to cook these recipes with Pataks' main products.
• A third issue had to do with their lack of presence in Social Media channels particularly inside Instagram (which is so successful with food photography). This was a great opportunity to take their family product and link it back to its Indian heritage with all its colour and rich flavours.
• Finally, the overall branding was clearly outdated. We understood the limitations of changing it completely which is not what the company needed, nevertheless we could still incorporate key elements from their current packaging into the website so the overall brand could feel cohesive.
2. CONCEPTING & EXPLORATION OF BRANDING
After analysing each one of their labels and how their products were classified, I understood that the diamond shape was a strong visual element that helped the brand to remain consistent. The diamond shape was carried out throughout the titles, dividers and decorative elements of the new website.
A second element that needed to be taken into account was the brand's overall colour palette. We kept the packaging's primary colours and brought them across the landing page. When it came to inner pages, I wanted to make sure that the recipes themselves were legible and clean. Therefore colours were kept more recessive.
Finally, the third element and probably the most important one of all, was to make use of excellent food photography. We were aiming to be stylish, beautifully aesthetic but yet feasible if people were interested in making the recipe by themselves.
3. EXPLORATION OF UX ELEMENTS
At first, it was essential to understand what the primary objective of the site was. After a few interviews with the client we came to the conclusion that the website was merely a platform to showcase their products and how to use them effectively with Indian cuisine. They weren't necessarily concerned with selling their products online as an eCommerce platform but they were more concerned in engaging their end consumers on Social Media.
At first, my main focus was to link their product to the most well known Indian recipes., so when clicking on any of these, people would understand straight away which Pataks products to buy.
Additionally research showed us that users wanted additional information such as what the spice level was, the level of difficulty and the amount of time required for making the meal.
Other main features included were the following:
• Adding smart filters that would narrow down the search intuitively.
• Including an open search bar that would allow users to be more specific.
• Enabling optimised printable .PDFs for each recipe.
• Making a clear differentiation between the ingredients and the method.
• Continuing the user journey by suggesting alternative recipes.
The aim of this project was to give Pataks a strong digital presence not only with their website but also connecting with their audience at a heart level through their Social Media strategy. We were truly satisfied with the brand's new positioning and vision for the future.
Dublin Business School (DBS) is an independent third-level college in Ireland offering undergraduate, postgraduate and professional degree courses in Dublin City.
Our task as an agency was to re-brand the whole website and also to improve the overall user experience when trying to find courses.
1. IMPROVING THE USER EXPERIENCE
When looking at the college's previous website, our first impression was that the background was more dominant than the actual content in the foreground. Overall it felt noisy and cluttered, with no real objective or clear direction. Plus the fact that the background was showcasing one Dublin City's main bridges suggested that this could be a tourist site instead of a college.
A second element was the lack of student presence. There were no testimonials, no student faces, or at least a peek inside the facilities. It was clear that a student who takes their future seriously would not feel compelled to even apply to this college.
I focused in improving the overall User Experience of the site by making the following changes:
• Making clever use of colour in the CTAs, my main aim was that students would be interested in clicking the 'Apply' button on the top right hand side or alternatively 'Find a course' button.
• The second consideration was to make a visible search tool on the landing page for finding a specific course.
• I also focused in the grid system in order to make sure that it would work well on mobile.
• Finally, I made sure that the overall description for the course could feel relevant and enticing for the student to just click on 'apply'.
Although the design was celebrated by the client, we realised soon enough that by not having control on the developing stages we couldn't guarantee the quality and fidelity of the site to what was originally proposed. The key lesson was to have arranged a few meetings with the developer team to follow through the entire process until completion. The new website has significantly improved students' perception around the quality of the college and the content they have to offer.
Jobs.ie is a leading employment website aiming at people from 20 to 30 years old looking to kickstart their careers in Ireland.
The general perception since the initial launch of Jobs.ie was that the type of roles offered only focused in the areas of Catering, Pharmaceutical & Sales. It didn't have any type of brand personality and the site felt very outdated. The company made its revenue through banner advertising which only made the site look more cluttered and the overall search experience was uninspiring.
1. RESEARCH & INFORMATION GATHERING
The research team at McCannBlue performed a series of interviews with the company's key stakeholders and also the end users from diverse backgrounds. This allowed the company to gather important information regarding the website's business objectives and the user's overall brand perception.
The key objectives were:
• To get rid of the site's banner advertising and use alternative methods of gathering revenue.
• To change the company's perception of being a faceless search engine to a brand that understands the needs of its users and provides the necessary tools to help them succeed in their career.
• A brand that could attract more qualified people interested in building up their career and not just looking for a job to get by.
• An ideal platform for networking and learning more about potential employers.
• An intuitive and user-friendly site that could make the job application process an enjoyable experience.
2. DEFINING THE BRAND
In this branding exercise Sara O' Dea did a fantastic job of bringing the new logo to life across different applications with its vibrant typographical look & feel. It was my task to incorporate her vision into this website and other applications.
3. WEB DESIGN & IMPLEMENTATION
Once the logotype was approved, I focused in re-defining the website's navigation, grid system, typographic scale and colour palette. I also wanted prioritise the job search functionality at the top of the site so it could become the primary visual element specially when viewing it on mobile devices.
Photography was also essential for reaching their target audience. The mood boards proposed were showcasing different hands at work in every type of industry. Our approach was that people needed to feel inspired when looking for a new job and photography certainly helped to improve the overall perception.
When it came to adding new features into the site, we focused on making a company's profile page that could showcase more details and therefore attract the right type of applicants to the job.
Finally, the application and registration process were drastically simplified. The average time of completion came down from 15 minutes to only 5 minutes in total.
Key deliverables in this stage:
• Brand Guidelines for the Website and diverse print applications.
• Designs for all screens with their correspondent responsive layouts.
• Interactive prototypes developed inside Pattern Lab.
After two years spent in development, the company fully embraced their new branding and new business strategy. It is very satisfying to see how people's perception of the brand has completely changed overtime and Jobs.ie is now a well respected brand in the 'Employment' industry.
PROJECT: Creativity-based workshop for the Agency.
In 2013, McCann Erickson Advertising Agency merged with AVB Group. All of the sudden, people at work found themselves having to move into a different location, signing new contracts and having to work for new people.
As a result many employees gave their notice and left from both sides expressing their frustration and deep hurt for not having been asked in the first place.
Another problem to take into consideration, was that each party had a completely different mindset around ways of working. People at McCann Erickson believed in the traditional methodologies for making TV ads and outdoor printing materials. On the other side, BlueCube Interactive with a Digital background was used to a more Agile process by finding solutions much quicker and in a less conventional way.
The CEO at the time Orlaith Blaney created an hour space on Friday afternoons where people had a chance to give talks around Advertising News and Best Practice. At the time I saw this as an opportunity to introduce a new workshop which I called 'Living Creativity'.
1. WORKSHOP PRESENTATION
The main purpose of this workshop was to help get rid of the negativity spreading around colleagues and to start building a brand together from scratch. I realised that the one thing we all had in common was that we strongly believed in the power of 'Creativity'. The primary reason why we were working in an Ad Agency to begin with was because we all wanted to make meaningful and creative projects.
Before our afternoon meeting, I placed a handout on each one of the desks in every single department. Each handout had a personalised invitation, a blue sheet of paper and a set of instructions on how to make an origami heart.
I kindly asked each person to make their origami heart before coming to the workshop. I got a lot of them saying that they weren't "creatives" and that it just seemed too hard make. Myself, I would just laugh and say, 'I know you'll figure it out'.
When people attended the workshop with their paper hearts made, they weren't sure as to why this hadn't been timed in their daily schedules.
I then proceeded to give a Power Point Presentation around 'Creativity'. Up to this point I had proven that everybody in that room was capable of bringing a finished origami heart regardless of how they came to the end result. In other words, we all have the inherent capacity to be 'creative' when we set our minds to find a solution to a problem.
I proceeded to show my own origami heart which I then turned into a pop up book, then made it into a stop motion animation and finally exported it into an animated GIF with our new logo on it.
The result was a big cheer of applause. Their expression told me that they felt inspired again by this realisation. Their task now for the upcoming weeks was to come up with a project of their own by making use of their own skill set and including the 'origami heart'.
The projects you see displayed inside this case study were selected as 'Best Projects' but every single idea presented was extremely creative and the engagement was phenomenal.
During the next couple of months I sat proudly on my 'Teacher' chair leaning from my wonderful students talents. Up to this point in my career I can tell you that this is the most valuable project I've ever worked in. There is nothing more rewarding than to see people coming together with a shared common vision while giving their heart in the process, so thank you guys!
ROLE: Information Architecture, UX & UI, Web Design
McCannBlue is an Advertising Agency based in Dublin and it belongs to AVB Group based in Belfast.
The company's website was required as a result of the merger between two major companies, which meant a whole new revision of their branding and mission statement.
1. WIREFRAMING & PROTOTYPING
The main purpose of this website was to showcase the agency's portfolio to potential clients. It also needed to be intuitive when navigating and to stand out when looking for contact information.
The creation of wireframes and prototypes were essential for making key decisions around the company's primary goals. It was also important to keep in mind that the website needed to be fully responsive which at the time of its implementation it was still a new concept.
2. DESIGN PROCESS
During the design process I realised that the work itself was what needed to stand out more than anything else. Because the agency was still defining its new identity, this had to remain more recessive but still memorable.
The key deliverables were:
• Design Web Guidelines for the agency's internal use.
• Art Direction in the usage of colours, fonts, photography and video content for the website.
• Designs for all screens with their responsive layouts.
CREATIVE DIRECTOR'S FEEDBACK
¨Mel is an amazing passionate designer. I am very fond of her work which combines expression and impact at all time. I've worked with Mel for more than 4 years following her first freelance project with me, and always found her very strong at conception and illustration stages and so meticulous in finishing or art directing each piece of work. Mel not only focuses on UX but also has a great eye for Visual Aesthetic and Design.¨ Sébastien Sicot, Previous CEO at BlueCube Interactive & McCannBlue.
The National Lottery is currently part of Camelot Group, and it began its gaming operations since 1987 in Ireland.
It has an online presence and a well known network of over 3,700 retail agents across the nation. They mainly promote three families of games: Lotto, EuroMillions, and Daily Million.
In 2014, our agency was asked to design an educational microsite that would inform their customers about certain changes in regard to the game's rules. At the time, we were just given the TV ad which showcased an Irish father sharing his Lotto winnings with his family members. Each member had a unique personality and found an interesting way of spending the money.
We decided to continue making use of these characters throughout the microsite and just enhanced with a few extra elements that could encourage users to keep playing Lotto online.
1. EXPLORATION OF UX ELEMENTS FOR THE MICROSITE
It was clear that the changes implemented for Lotto would cause outrage amongst users. Not only were they raising the price of the ticket but they were also increasing the number of balls from six to eight which would decrease the odds of winning significantly.
In order to tackle this situation, we focused on highlighting the advantages of these changes. 'Bigger Better Dreams' meant at the end of the day that the Jackpot prizes were higher and there were also alternative methods to win smaller amounts of money without too much difficulty.
The key features we proposed were:
• Fully responsive microsite across devices.
• Full implementation of HTML 5 with parallax transitions.
• Informative panels regarding Lotto changes by making use of the TV characters and also directing users to 'Play Lotto' online.
• Interactive game panel that would generate 'lucky numbers' randomly and promote to 'Play Lotto' online.
• A competition entry that would link the characters to the prizes.
• Promoting awareness of the TV ad through Social Media channels.
• 'Next Lotto's Game' Live Countdown that would help create a sense of urgency with users and encourage them to 'Play Lotto' instantly.
2. DESIGN AND DOCUMENTATION
After working out the overall User Journey and what the website was supposed to achieve, we then proceeded to design the wireframes and prototypes. There were a few additional elements that didn't belong to the TV ad but were still consistent to the whole look & feel of the campaign.
We provided the third party Developer Team a fully annotated 'Design Document' that contained a detailed explanation in regard with every interaction. The development process took an average of 3 months to complete.
The overall people's response to the microsite was very positive. There was a high number of competition entries and the overall perception of Lotto's changes improved significantly. Not only that, but It also helped to increase the number of email subscribers and online registrations.
The National Lottery - Peggy's Pad
ROLE: Design, Photographic Retouching
The National Lottery is currently part of Camelot Group, and it began its gaming operations since 1987 in Ireland. It has an online presence and has a well known network of over 3,700 retail agents across the nation. They mainly promote three families of games: Lotto, EuroMillions, and Daily Million.
In 2012, our agency was asked to design a few online games that would help engage users through Facebook. In this particular project we came up with a game to help promote 'EuroMillions' that would help to tie it in with the TV ad.
'Peggy', is a typical Irish granny that one day wins the EuroMillions and decides to live the rest of her life as an eccentric millionaire. In this game we proposed to showcase a series of her mansion's rooms for ten seconds at a time and then ask people questions related to the objects that appear in the room.
This Facebook App was initially concepted by Sean Sharkey and the initial designs were made by Sara O'Dea. My own personal contribution was to design a few rooms for 'Peggy's Pad' over the years.
This is a compendium of a few print ads that I've had the pleasure of designing over the years since I first started in Advertising.
Each project was carefully brainstormed, designed and overviewed to its final printing stage in order to ensure the best quality. The type of media that was produced were posters, postcards, brochures and direct mail pieces for a number of International brands and Non-profit Organisations.
ROLE: Branding, UX & UI, Web Design, App Design
Oowli was a startup from the Netherlands interested in launching an Online Course App for college professors. The business model was that students would pay a subscription of €10.00 a month to have unlimited access to their college books on their e-Reader. Teachers on the other hand, would able to build their own course online with the App and then get students to engage with it as a community.
I personally truly believed in this project, and although it generated quite a bit of momentum in surveys conducted with college professors, it didn't really attract the attention of book publishers who were the owners to the rights of these books. This case study will only focus in the process and ideas behind envisioning this brand.
1. DEFINING THE BRAND
The client itself had gathered quite a bit of information by making surveys across different colleges in the Netherlands. The results revealed that the students were willing to engage with the app and were very positive about the idea of getting all their books online while teachers in general were quite uncertain about the app's level of difficulty, especially when making and managing the course online themselves.
My main challenge was to come up with a brand that could be appealing to both parties: teachers and students. The name itself 'Oowli' helped as a starting point. The owl icon wearing a graduation cap could help personify the brand and talk as an expert to both types of users.
I also proposed to work on the tone of voice by making use of quotes and blog articles that could help students feel inspired in the learning process. At the end of the day, Oowli was aiming to understand student's needs for learning better.
The key deliverables at this stage were:
• Logotype, tag line and secondary elements.
• Identity manual with additional resources
• Best practices in generating content for Blogging & Social Media
• Samples on how to use the brand across different applications.
2. DEFINING THE UX
When thinking of the product's landing page we agreed on a couple of goals for the site. Because the web-app was running on a Beta version, we needed to get people to sign up to their newsletter so they could be notified when the service was actually available. Second, it was important to explain how the app worked with a minute long video and then highlight the product's key benefits.
Once users had registered with Oowli, they had access to the 'Student' or 'Teacher' interface, depending on what they had pre-selected.
If you were a 'Student', you could find a course with the 'Search' tool by typing in the Course Title, Course Number or even just the Teacher's name. You were also able to bookmark your book's pages, highlight its content and even type in personal comments underneath each paragraph.
Additionally, students could engage with their classmates inside an online community, upload their assignments, answer test quizzes and ask feedback from their teachers.
If you were a 'Teacher', you could build your own course online by using excerpts from the book, uploading video content and finally grading each student as the course progressed throughout the semester. They could also make their own course available to other colleges across the world and get paid a royalty for each new student signing up to their course.
3. DESIGN & IMPLEMENTATION
After the client approved the branding and wireframes, I then proceeded to design the website and web app almost simultaneously. For the web app there was a total of 5 iterations with small tweaks in UX and design but overall the client was very satisfied with the high quality and features added to their product.
"Melissa did an amazing job in making all the designs for Oowli. She is not just a designer but really thinks about how the user should ideally engage with the app, and what has to be done to make it happen. We always consulted her when we were thinking about new features because of her knowledge in UX."Nick Appel, Co-founder at Oowli.
Meteor Camden Crawl
ROLE: Concepting & Art Direction
Meteor Mobile Communications is an Irish Mobile Company subsidiary to Irish telecoms network Eir. Every year they sponsor a music festival event called 'Meteor Camden Crawl' which takes place inside Dublin.
Our agency was asked to come up with a viral idea that could help generate awareness around the event and also engage people through Social Media channels aiming primarily at Facebook.
CONCEPTING THE VIRAL STRATEGY
One thing that we noticed about the event, is that it sponsored indie bands that had a strong urban presence, meaning that they would often play music on the streets and raise money for different charities.
By keeping in line with this urban presence, we decided to run a mural competition between two graffiti artists on the street right in front the music venue itself. People could vote through Facebook by posting a picture of themselves in front the artwork of their preference. The winner would win a mobile phone from the Meteor store and the murals themselves would be sold at an auction where the money raised would be given to a homeless charity in Dublin.
In order for the activation to be successful online we needed to record every part of the making process of these murals. We came up with a few storyboards and requested a third party to help us film the event and edit it in a time lapse format. Once the video was finished it would be released on YouTube and Facebook to help promote the upcoming music event.
We then proceeded to contact the graffiti artists and give them a specific brief: "Follow Dublin's music vibes". The reason for this was because on the night of the event, people would actually follow a map to find the next artist's performance. Finally, we made sure to get event organisers that would help us talk to people and explain to them how to enter the competition.
DURING THE COMPETITION
The process of making the murals from start to finish lasted about 5 hours. During that time the artists were at work, the video was being filmed, the photographer was shooting away and the event organisers were attracting everybody who passed by on the street.
It was amazing to see people's engagement when being asked to pose in front of one of the artworks of their preference and post their picture straight into Facebook. The overall activation helped create awareness of the upcoming event and it also gave Meteor a very positive PR.
In 20l6, I found myself on a creative leap. I was fortunate enough to become a mom for the first time and that helped me gain a new perspective around the world. I found myself writing different drafts for children's stories and then one day a particular story started to take shape which I called 'When you follow a dream...'
THE BIRTH OF A BRAND
At this point in time I had no intention of creating a Publishing House. My main goal was to inspire children into following their own dreams and encourage them to persevere until the very end while sharing their journey with others.
It's probably this type of story that inspired me to make other writings of a similar nature. These new ideas were also focused in promoting good values around personal growth, mindfulness, creativity, love, courage, fairness and many more.
This is how 'Picturesque Stories' was born. It's a brand that wants both parents and children to connect with good storytelling at a heart level. Not only that, but I also found important to reinforce the story with additional educational materials that could be downloaded for free.
In order to promote the upcoming of this first book launch, I focused on gathering followers in Instagram. So far, it's been an amazing journey trying to figure out what type of content my niche market would be interested in.
One thing I've learned about posting for this type of niche audience, is that people will value authentic content more than anything. They want to see handcrafted and original posts. They don't need to be polished to perfection but it's more important to tell a story that conveys special meaning and will inspire others. It is thanks to people's input through this medium that I can understand what works better.
This is just the beginning. A seed has been planted and it will take years before I see it transform into this strong tree. I am patient though and this story is to be continued...