Companies want to stick out. They want to grab your attention every time you interact with them; whether it’s in real life or virtually, leaving a long-lasting and positive impact on their consumers is vital. And how does a company ensure that they are the one that has the biggest influence on you? One word: branding.
What is Branding?
What’s the logo that most sticks out in your mind? Is it McDonald’s golden arches, Apple’s gray symbol, or maybe Nike’s black swoosh? All of these are just one integral part of a company’s brand; other important visual aspects include the company’s:
What a customer sees is obvious; however, another important aspect of the brand is what it makes people feel. A major part of a company’s brand is their tone, personality, and what consumers perceive of both of them; this can include their:
Mission and values
A company’s brand isn’t as simple as you may think it is; it’s a full identity and just like with a person’s identity, it has different levels.
As you can see from the elements to branding above, there is one major goal when choosing a brand: achieving differentiation and uniqueness. Companies and organizations want to stand out from the rest and make a mental and emotional connection with clients and in doing this, they ensure that a bond is formed between themselves and their clients; where there’s an emotional attachment, there’s continued support and sales.
This is what brands would call brand loyalty and creating that feeling with a company can be difficult sometimes. Nevertheless, establishing a strong, safe, consistent, and aesthetically pleasing brand will do exactly that: entice clients and retain them.
What is UX/UI Design?
UX/UI design is a combination of two different yet equally important parts of creating a consumer experience:
UX design is concerned with creating a pleasant and easy-to-use interface that a user can navigate intuitively. They don’t only create wireframes and prototypes that map out the user’s experience, but also collect data and survey users on how to enhance their interaction with the product.
UI design focuses on choosing the visual design elements that go into the final product, which includes:
Images and graphics
Layout and spacing
Despite making up several pages of an app or website, these aspects give the user a cohesive and visually stimulating experience.
How do Branding and UX/UI Design Intersect?
Branding and UX/UI design are intertwined and overlapping parts of what a company or organization wants to present to the world when creating a website or an app. The brand is the company’s soul and heart, defining what they feel and determining their purpose. UX/UI design is there to interact with users visually, but in some ways can project that brand identity in the details and intention behind them.
They work side by side to make the user experience that is most attuned to and engaging for their potential clients; they’re essential for pulling in and retaining those users. Since UX and UI design are not the same specialities, they both lend their strengths and skill sets in different ways to enhance the branding of a company.
Branding and UX Design
User research and feedback
As mentioned above, UX design focuses on the user’s experience and because of that, UX designers love to gather data so they can see what users think about the website or app. When the company is trying to create that personality and tone throughout their website, apps, and other platforms, how the user interacts with them and how they feel is really important and the data can point them in the right direction or help them course correct.
By analyzing the data from UX designers’ surveys, questionnaires, and interviews, the company can make adjustments and the earlier, the better.
Consistency leads to trust and safety
Since they are coordinating to project a brand identity and feeling into the minds of consumers, UX designers need to make sure that they are both consistent and cohesive throughout the whole experience. By creating stability on their pages, they are transmitting safety, trustworthiness, and comfort to users. For example, if some pages have a different layout than others, users may feel as if they’ve stumbled onto a different website.
Ensuring that the whole project is on the same wavelength and written consistently makes a stronger and more reliable final product for users.
Emotional connection through storytelling
Both branding and UX design are both seeking to accomplish one major goal: create an emotional connection with the product. Users take in all the information when interacting with an app and website and the brand’s personality and tone are transmitted through storytelling.
Swiping or scrolling through the pages, a user makes that emotional connection with everything they come in contact with, creating their own story. At the same time, the content, mission, and values furthers that story, connecting them with the company.
Storytelling is a huge part of human history; the voice, tone, and design interface narrate a story to users.
Branding and UI Design
Words translated into art
All storytelling starts off as just words on a page until UI design teams enter the process. Focusing on creating that brand loyalty and storytelling through design, UI designers must transmit the brand’s message through all those design elements: fonts, spacing, images, buttons and color palettes make up the entire feeling of the project:
Fonts: a font like Times New Roman can be professional and clean-cut; Courier New feels like the text is straight from a typewriter from the early 20th century.
Color palette: color theory comes into play, as electric blue and dark black transmit a pop of strong, bright color on an all encompassing dark canvas, telling a story of strength, hope, and subdue.
Spacing and layout: the choice to place the text far apart can induce tranquility and grandness.
Simply put, something that may seem as insignificant as the font or spacing can make a client connect with or reject the brand.
Credibility goes a long way
When it comes to design elements in UI, all details count. To make the experience more credible, UI designers must flesh out the entire brand’s identity so that they can be consistent and intentional when it comes time to choose the color palette, images, graphics, font, and more.
A distinct and memorable logo
What do a multicolored capital G and a green and white smiling mermaid have in common? They’re both logos for very well-known multinational companies with strong brand identities: Google and Starbucks. When integrating UI design elements with brand identity, they have to be that perfect match for each other, capturing and retaining user attention. The final decision for a distinct and memorable logo can be a painstaking one, but UI designers know what will work in the end and can adjust if necessary later.
Why are branding and UX/UI design important?
By combining branding and UX/UI design, the company gives their heart and soul to their users in an engaging, intentional, and truly authentic way. Branding is the core and UX/UI design enhances and extends that identity out into an interactive work of art; all the elements it takes to create this complete brand identity come from thousands of little decisions made between the company and both the UX and UI teams.
Their collaboration entails a credible and safe final product to which users want to explore and return.
Branding and UX/UI design work together when defining and transmitting the brand identity, ensuring that clients and users understand who they are, what they represent, and connect emotionally with their entire brand.