Nokia needed a killer app for their N-Series phones that could compete with iPhone. The Nokia N-Series phones had superior cameras, superior video and superior sound. NokiaviNe used GPS tracking to create a path along which the user could drop photos, videos, music and notes for others to find. Like Pokemon Go, NokiaviNe created an alternate map of the world in which users could share culture that was invisible to the normal world. The Original name for NokiaviNe was Lifetracker. The original interface used GPS paths with standard points to show media. Nokia’s guidelines contained several graphic shapes, one of which was a leaf. Once you added the leaf to the GPS path it created a vine like object. The vine became a single visual system for the interface and the identity. The name became NokiaviNe emphasizing the N-Series phone. In this system you can’t separate the name, from the graphic language, from the UI from the identity.
NokiaviNe became a bench-mark of a new way to create digital identity in a world where Brand Loyalty was replaced by interface loyalty
Barnes & Noble nook
Barnes & Noble needed a name and identity for their last-in-market eReader which would cut through the market. We gave them the insight that women read more than men, that is because scientists believe women have a mirror-neuron which lets them feel the pain of the characters. Women weren’t the target for any of the competition's ‘technology first products’. nook expresses a comfortable physical space to read a book and Barnes & Noble were already a comfortable physical retail space, open to everyone, which is a distinct competitive advantage to its main competitor Amazon. But most women feared the impersonal nature of e-readers. It was clear that nook must be communicated content first – "what are you reading", not "what are you holding" and must always be quickly in the hands of the reader, never appearing like a piece of technology. The most important piece of insight from the deep research into women readers was that reading is social. This led to creating the LendME feature which up until that moment wasn’t even on the technology roadmap.
The nook sold more units than anything else Barnes and Noble has ever sold before in its 40 year history. It went on to sell millions of units and introduced customers to the LendME feature which allowed users to share books with each other.
Gesture Based interfaces are all about the experience of using them. Yet the identity systems of the competitive products described gesture recognition by showing a person moving. An identity formed entirely by gesture would display the product rather than describe it – this would invite gesture and be inseparable from the product. SoftKinetics new identity was formed by a WordMark, a Texture, a Frame and a Behavior. It is Kinetic by pattern distortion, and soft through the open invitation to interact.
Eric Krzeslo Co-Founder and CMO said that when he founder SoftKinetic their slogan was ‘The Interface is You’, the identity became that thought expressed as an experience, The Identity is You. The identity became the startup screen of the device.
Discovery – TestTube
Discovery needed a visual identity for a science channel called TestTube which moved the channel and name away from Biology/life science. TestTube is part of the lexicon of content platforms like YouTube. The Frame changed the meaning of the name, the Tube becoming the screen rather than biology equipment. The two T’s in the name already had the frame as an element.
TestTube became one of the most successful digital channel launches for Discovery, gaining a million followers in the first month.
The key data points for Loreal.com are Products, Expertise (the application of product) and People. yet the existing commerce solution only displayed product, with small sections of expertise. People + Products + Expertise could be measured within the system, added together they could be an expression of 'Total Beauty'. The word L’Oreal means ora or halo. Within the new system each L’Oreal customer could create an ora, describing the looks, products and expertise they’d acquired which could be associated with their own set of unique characteristics. This dynamic data set creates the seamless ability to look at people who share your characteristics, or look up the products associated with expertise you have mastered.
The Total Beauty Platform vision became a guiding light to the senior management of L’Oreal.
In a physical auction a single product gets all the focus and attention. In traditional e-commerce the product sits in a list of similar products devaluing its uniqueness. The interface and identity for Outbid created single focus on a single product which increase the value of each item. The single focus on the product became a 'Smart Stage'. The smart stage could also display time and be the bid button. Alongside the Smart Stage a bidding feed showed the top bid, and past bids and the frequency and cadence of interest. The Name Outbid became an expression of overlay and cadence of the system.
Outbid is unique and differentiated system of interaction, it put the fun back in auctions a the time the major players like eBay stepped in to standardized ecommerce.
Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia's web-presence had crowded and over-complex navigation. The digital team needed to reduce clutter, but with all the requests and needs of the Sub Brands nothing could change. The website navigation is an instantiation of the Brand Architecture, it is complex because the Brand Architecture is complex. We worked with Martha Stewart to rationalize the Brands and Subbrands to create a manageable architecture which in-turn created a more manageable navigation system. Initially the Sub-Brands were organized by vertical, Weddings, Living, Food but the customers were consuming these verticals by lifestage. This means that a daughter, a mother and a grandmother would have similar interest in a wedding. Organizing by lifestage allowed consumers to cross segments.
Initially the recipes and guides were organized by subject, rather than by skill-set. This created fear in the novice, who were becoming a growing part of Martha Stewarts younger following. If Tutorials and Guides were to be organized by skill set. someone who can make a soup can make a stock. Someone who could make an omelet could bake a cake. The creation of an experience ladder allowed users to make their way through all of the content and aspire to be like Martha without fear.
Martha Stewart launched a new .com, organized by lifestage rather than Brand, with the content organized by experience level as well as subject.