What’s branding got to do with it?
We decided early on that we’d need to do some brand thinking around the app. The Pride in London brand is well established, but it has not been designed specifically with digital applications in mind. We knew that to make the app function well we’d need more colours than are part of their core palette, access to a typeface that's accessible on screen and develop a suite of icons. We could have approached each separately as individual tasks, but together with Pride in London we realised we had to put some thinking in place to drive these decisions in unison, in order to ensure clarity and focus for us and a richer, more cohesive experience for the user.
We proposed a creative principle to frame our approach and a set of tonal qualities that the app should embody. We held a workshop to develop this thinking collaboratively with Pride in London. At the end of the session we’d sharpened the words and had a detailed moodboard to give direction to tone of voice, use of colour and imagery.
Following the brand workshop we had our first Pride Lab – a day where Badgers and Pride in London people collaborated to solve four big problems in one day. It was brilliant. There was so much energy and commitment from everyone taking part. I was working in a group with our product owner Kristof Hamilton, on design expression – this was our chance to put our brand thinking to the test. We covered a lot of ground in that time, developing a set of designs that the whole team could then react to. The feedback was great, it felt like we’d pinned down the right tone and feel.
Developing the designs
In the following weeks the UXD team on the project did the detailed work on developing and refining this core approach. This was done in parallel with user flows and the actual building of the underlying structure of the app. The design was layered in on top as we progressed.
Taking the time to define our approach to the branding of the app upfront enabled our designers to design individual stories and elements just-in-time, as and when they were needed. Design decisions were made on a solid footing, helping us achieve the consistency we needed to create a good experience for users; this also freed the designers to concentrate on relevance, quality and execution.