In my previous post we discussed how we initiated the process of pre-development conceptualization by conducting thorough research and engaging the team in brainstorming sessions to come up with a design strategy for Froggybank. In case you missed the post here it is.
Our Evaluation of the First Design
Here is a quick list of the basic flaws we found in our first design:
- It was too empty at the top and too cluttered and text heavy at the bottom.
- The colours were very common and did not establish any distinctive feel.
- The logo appeared weak and did not possess symmetry.
- The entire design lacked a brand theme or cues, hints or colours whose usage could be extended and developed.
It was time we undertook thorough research to educate ourselves to deliver something more meaningful.
The Essence of Froggybank
We asked what Froggybank was. What were we selling? What do the customers want? Would Froggybank deliver all of that? Had we understood what Froggybank was all about? And a hundred other questions like that.
Those are the sort of questions you will find on every good designers checklist, be it for a simple logo design or an entire company branding strategization.
Not only did the owners of Froggybank plan to engineer something which could outperform competitors technically at all levels, but also something much more sophisticated from a design perspective.
The USP (Unique Selling Proposition) of Froggybank
For eDealsUK Limited, the company behind Froggybank, the project was to be much more than a commercial quest. Over the months I witnessed them contacting numerous charities and welfare organizations: plans were underway to use the website to buy carbon offset to the tune of hundreds of thousands of pounds, raise money for charities and do things for the world that far exceed the desires of most entrepreneurs.
Having studied dozens of cashback websites and collated information from several experts in the sector, it was very clear that we stood in an open field with no established design trends or rules to play by. We had absolute freedom to go in any direction that we wanted and were given a blank canvas to work with by the Directors of eDealsUK. They chose to liberate the designers and, rather than forcing us to stick rigidly to what had worked for them with previous cashback sites, challenged us to come up with something fresh.
They were determined to differentiate Froggybank from conventional cashback websites, and wanted Froggybank to be more than them not only in terms of what it offered but in the aesthetics.
The reason for undertaking the above research was to better connect ourselves and our team with the product and create something which could reflect the true essence of the brand to be. At this stage we had enough bricks and mortar to start creating something meaningful for Froggybank.
After painstaking brainstorming sessions we decided the following branding parameters for our design team to adhere to.
Both Azam Marketing and eDealsUK’s teams agreed that the chosen name Froggybank would only distinguish itself if we built a brand character around it.
The logo design creation task was commissioned to a logo specialist and after a few dozen revisions we had something which gave us a sense of direction to start building a theme.
This was the first version of the logo:
A few weeks and 15 revisions later:
The current logo:
Creative can be made quickly, but the fact is most of the brands we have grown to love and adore have gone through the same process of design, redesign, redesign as Froggybank did.
The layout design had to look clean, fresh and use minimal graphical elements. It needed white space and breathing room.
It had to provide users with all the essential options for maximum usability and help them reach every part of the site with the minimum number of clicks.
It had to use common layout features which users might expect from a shopping website.
Having to adhere to such rules is quite a challenge while still being required to come up with a unique flavour!
A bright monotone colour combination to be used throughout, across all mediums.
To allow maximum flexibility and faster browsing, only ordinary fonts had to be used wherever possible.
In recent years the overuse of stock photography – or even professional photography – on most types of websites has developed a negative reputation, so Froggybank must try to limit use of photography.
Use of illustrations could be permitted as long as they did not clash with the Froggybank logo.
This was something which will be discussed in the third and final part of this series of articles.