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In a want to make the UI and the internal functionality of the brand as easy as the services the brand provides to its users through its app, Uber teamed up with Wolff Olins to create their dream brand system through rebranding process.

Brief

Uber is a tech start-up connecting riders and drivers that turned into a global mobility platform in a short and quick span of only eight years.

 

Having embraced new and future modes of transportation—from bikes, to tuk-tuks, to flying cars, it needed a holistic brand system that was instantly recognizable, works around the world and was efficient to execute, accommodating all of its needs and services within.

Brand System

Solution 

Wolff Olins partnered with Uber to reimagine how the world moves, creating a system that connects with all modes of transportation, in all places, for all people—including internal Uber teams. The project was an intensely collaborative effort between Wolff Olins, the Uber Brand Experience Team, and MCKL Type Foundry.

Brand System

For All Places

With Uber operating in 660+ cities and having its highest growth areas in regions outside of the US, such as Latin America and India, the brand had to have a system to be able to work globally.

 

Keeping this in mind, Wolff Olins adapted a universal ‘beyond-simple’ global brand instead of pursuing a complex identity system, localized through colour and pattern. This universal system gave teams the freedom to make it relevant to their audiences with culturally specific content.

For All People

With a new wave of leadership at Uber came a renewed commitment to safety which until now was product-driven. But safety was a much larger context. It was the brand’s need and requirement to speak equally to riders, drivers, and employees, which led to answering the question, “What does safety mean for different people at different times?”

 

This resulted in the introduction of Safety Blue to the colour palette. It’s unique to Uber and meant to be used sparingly to indicate important moments of support, care or connection between the user and the brand.

Brand System

For All Teams 

The decentralized nature of Uber’s operations meant the company needed a system that could be easily implemented by a wide range of practitioners around the world in a broad spectrum of digital and physical applications. The system isn’t just for marketing designers, but for product teams, customer service, and beyond. Its success depends on how useful teams find it.

 

This required brand system of Uber is made up of nine elements, each one explained below.

Logo 

A wordmark instead of a symbol, the logo is approachable, easy to read, and takes full advantage of the name recognition. Optical kerning, refined weight, and defined clear space, as well as well-delineated placement in relation to other content, all help to make it as instantly recognizable as possible.

Brand System

Composition

The composition system is elegant in its sheer simplicity of use —  it creates a subtle “U” wherever it appears.

 

By defining the grid based on the logo, the system stays flexible and beyond easy to apply. The U-frame optimized for content is used for hoardings, billboards and other advertising formats.

Typography

The typography is as unique and easy to use as Uber is.

 

Inspired by the world’s best used transportation examples, it was designed to maximize its impact across all applications while keeping it easy to read, own-able, and highly recognizable.

Iconography

The icons are inspired by global transportation iconography and drawn from the same shapes as their typeface, creating a seamless system from text to icon.

 

The arrow is part of the iconography but can be used in copy as a shorthand between destinations, whether geographic or states of mind.

Brand System

Colour

A tight colour palette, dominated by black and white, draws on the colours used in global navigation.

The high contrast of black and white, the primary colours of Uber’s palette, make the text as legible as possible.

The use of a set of bright secondary colours makes the UI interesting.

 

The Safety blue, unique to Uber is used sparingly to call out moments of support, assurance and other important interactions between a user and the brand.

Motion

The motion system expresses the simple and easy movement that Uber makes possible. In an attempt to create a completely own-able motion system, the broadcast packages and the key motion states within the product are aligned in a manner to have just one set of motion principles and base motion states.

Photography 

The photography inspires Uber’s audience of young and old, partners and customers, local and global. It builds on how it feels to move from motivation at point A to the emotional payoff of arriving at point B.

Illustration

The illustration draws from Uber’s logo and the transportation language inspiration of the typeface. Simple shapes, clean lines, limited colour and heightened reality give the illustrations a branded feel and make it easy to understand at a glance.

Tone of Voice 

Uber’s global tone of voice focuses on the mindset they share with their users: they see the world as it could be and work to make it a reality. Beyond word choice and style choices, Uber’s tone of voice focuses their belief in putting their audience first.

Conclusion

Built from stakeholder input from around the world and tested on the ground with creative teams, Uber’s brand system is simple, flexible, and globally recognizable.

 

The learnings of what the business needed globally during a period of transition were used to drive their work of creating a brand that both served their business and engaged the audience.

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Creative Gaga - Issue 49

 

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User Interface Design has become a force to reckon with in the last few years. It has completely reshaped how we consume technology and interact with machines in ways that were previously unthinkable. UI design is not just a means to appease a user’s artistic sensibilities but is also used to create sticky digital experiences.

As we go into the next decade, our dependence on digital products and experiences grows, propelling User Interface Design into the league of the most consequential disciplines in current times. Let’s see what we have in store in 2020. Here are 8 UI Design trends by Lollypop Design that every UI designer must stick by in next few years.

1. Bold Oversized Typography/ Variable Typography

One of the primary differentiators of advertising today verses that about a decade or so ago is the use of bold typography. The fonts we use today perform the dual task of attracting customers and conveying brand personality. Bold typography has incredible potential when used appropriately and purposefully in the right place and the right amount. Big typography can be used to define visual hierarchy. Nothing brings out the simplicity of design in a minimalist website like bold typography. It provides a sense of visual demarcation to a particular section in your design and draws users’ attention to the message being delivered. Powerful statements in bold used in website headers quintessentially serve as elevator pitches and give most decision-taking information to the user. 2020 will be the year of reckoning for minimalist design and crisp, attention-grabbing headers in bold typography.

2. 3D/Realism Illustrations and Typography

3d designs in typography have been on a wave in the sphere of dimension design currently. From illustrations to topography to data visualisation techniques in the form of interactive infographics, 3d realism seem deeply embedded in UI design for a variety of products. User interactive design is building experiences through which people are experiencing a variety of personal and professional products and software. Augmented reality is pushing the envelope across industries, finding a variety of use cases pre-emptive healthcare, gaming design as well as e-commerce. Simple geometric shapes in an abstract composition are also trending. UI is balancing creative 3d illustrations with ample white space to emphasize bold colours and brand messaging.

3. Augmented / Virtual Reality/ Mixed Reality

A few prophecies around UI design suggest that in 2020 screens will become obsolete. Users will interact with SmartWare and will have experience all around them in the form of Augmented/ Virtual/ Mixed Reality. Immersive user experience without physical device hindrances. Users in this digital age don’t want to just see things— they want to actually live them. Augmented Reality or AR is a set of computer-generated information that can be experienced through tactile movements in wearable devices, which is slowly blurring the lines between virtual and reality. 2019 witnessed virality in the adoption of a plethora of VR & AR experiences ranging from Occulus Rift to Fitbit to Pokemon Go. This is why 2020 is the year in which lifeless and flat experiences are not going to truly make the cut.

4. Low Key Gradients

Too bright and flashy gradients are no longer in trend. Most designers prefer to use very simple and subtle gradients. Minimalism is key. The trend for low-key gradients came from the web along with flat-design. However, gradients are needed in graphic design to give the image volume and “depth”, so you just have to refuse “screaming” colours. Sensibilities of the user have changed in the last decade. Experiences online are a mere experience of our physical existence, which is why technology and art often ape each other.

5. Broken Grids, asymmetrical layouts

Thousands of web pages are accessed by millions of users every day. In order to truly create something that catches the user’s imagination, eCommerce companies have introduced the concept of grid views and asymmetrical layouts. The grid is made of imaginary lines that help layout elements on the page stay in order. The website owners who want to be unique will start implementing a broken grid technique and placing design elements chaotically. Grid views instantly fragmentise the user’s attention and divert it strategic real estate on the web pages. This technique makes websites look more creative and will be the top web design trend for 2020.

6. Micro Interactions

While design solves universal problems, micro-interactions are the delightful moments your users have while using the product. Micro-interactions are critical moments for a product to offer a truly human experience. A micro-interaction can be an animation based tool to collect feedback, assist in the navigation of the site or just create a moment of pure delight for the user. Micro-interactions are tiny enticing moments built into the application, which stimulates a feeling of well-being once it is discovered by users. It is one of the best techniques for giving instant delightful feedback, improve customer satisfaction and increase retention. Micro-interactions are important not from a utility or ROI perspective, rather they increase the stickiness of the product and service and help generate positive word-of-mouth for the company.

7. Hand-drawn Illustrations

There is something really beautiful about hand-drawn illustrations, with all of its imperfections. It always stands out and leaves an impression on the visitors. Maybe it evokes more natural and human-centric feel about the brand. In 2019, we have noticed a repeating pattern in style preferences from clients. They seem to be more attracted to designs/illustrations that have a more organic and human feel.

8. Sound (Google Pay, Paytm)

UI design in 2020 will also see (or rather, hear) sound layers. This refers to a variety of sounds that will be incorporated with UI design, so users will be able to hear them when they are using a website or a mobile app. UI design with sound can add to the experience the user has and can make their journey on the website or mobile app much more enjoyable and pleasant. This trending UI design, however, is currently limited on desktop applications, as it can be quite distracting, but is quite prominent on mobile interfaces.

Conclusion

These UI Design trends for 2020 are not only for satisfying users’ aesthetics requirements. They are highly optimised to provide a greater degree of usability and accessibility to the end-users. A subtle combination of these trends backed with detailed user research will lead to a enriched user experience.

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Creative Gaga - Issue 49

 

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Whether a mystery is intriguing or not depends a lot on how you tell it. “Abstract ideas, when combined with the correct medium, give rise to captivating artworks” says illustrator Saloni Sinha. She shares some secrets on how to attain the idea-medium sync.

Saptan Stories, Illustrative Story
Saptan Stories, Illustrative Story

It’s a no chicken or egg analogy.

The idea comes first. Period. The medium gives a vent to portray the context like in ‘Skating Glory’, an installation made for NID Bangalore’s annual fest. For this artwork, illustrations using poster paints were made on corrugated sheets which were later cut into skateboard shape so as to give it a fun and raw college-like look.

Skating Glory
Saptan Stories, Illustrative Story
Saptan Stories, Illustrative Story

At times, the medium participates in the idea as in the case of the glass etched illustration ‘Evolve’. The creature that is depicted is embedded rather than staying in its free form, implying the translucency of the creature’s existence.

Evolve
Cornucopia, Event Poster

Mix it up to sort it out.

Mixed media works best when it comes to abstraction of ideas. The traditional style of inking, when later coloured digitally, helps give the artwork a modern philosophical look. The idea in ‘Escapism’ is all about observing, guarding and the dilation of these when observed from a different perspective. And the digital aspect, like the hazy boundaries and the surreal surroundings, help dramatise the theme.

Escapism
Amogh Symphony - IV, Album cover art
YSP - Chaos // Despair, Album cover

A mix is also noticeable in ‘Droid in Process’ that has an illustration against a digitally created futuristic background, giving it a unique appeal.

Silver Tears - Ensnared, Album cover

While working with mixed media, it’s important to not let the medium disrupt your idea. The medium should enhance the thought. Like in ‘Profanity’, digital tones of light and dark are used to showcase the power of the illustrated dark lord.

Profanity
Eastern Ghats Wildlife Society, Branding and Educational Posters

Colour code the thoughts.

Though colour patterns vary from medium to medium, the basic fact remains that colours are selected keeping in mind the mood of the context. The saturated ones suggest vigour and powerful ideas as in ‘Bloom’. The creature’s bright green dress gives a vive of purity and harmonistic perspective of nature. Her bright red hair gives the feeling of passion and joyousness that nature has to offer.

Bloom, depicts the comfort and the bloom of the nature

On the other hand the dull colours talk about the subtleness or the illusive nature of the idea. ‘The Grand Escape’ stays in the grey zone to highlight the underlying theme. The artwork suggests the collision of thoughts in an abstract way which leads to the breakfree of a mind that then spreads into a different zone.

The Grand Escape
Practo, UI/UX

Symbolisms, metaphors and analogies are also mediums.

Abstraction involves disguising plane visions. The illustrated mechanical hand of Frankenstein in ‘Bring Me to Life’ depicts the conscious idea of destruction by our own. But the twist in observation here is that the posture of the hand is not threatening in any sense, rather it is playful. The ugly mechanical hand tries to explore the beauty of the butterfly in a way he isn’t aware of, as he was never taught the love behind his creation. The underlying thought, is that the ugliness we are born with doesn’t traverse if the love and care doesn’t.

Bring Me to Life

In ‘Tangles of Insanity’, the creature, its lustrous outgrowths and the dark background can be compared to the mind and mood of the artist who spreads the brushes rhythmically on to the canvas, creating a dilemma for itself and plunging into the dark corners of the mind in order to deviate from the general consciousness.

‘Not Just Another Pill’ uses the analogy of the effects of drugs. The random outburst of mixed feelings out of the node and the hand symbolises, it’s about how you take the pill and adapt it in your life. Metaphorically, it’s the feel good factor of a thought or an idea incepted in the human mind.

Not Just Another Pill
Jeepers Creepers - In Constant State of Crisis, EP cover

Published in Issue 14

Digital Art Special! We dedicated this issue to Digital Art where we explored the connection between our dreams and imagination and how the flexibility of technology can be used to document that. In his exclusive article, Android Jones explains the broader perspective of digital art. Featuring Ankur Singh Patar, Archan Nair, Harshvardhan Kadam and Aamina Shazi Arora, every article discusses how each of them has an individual way of working and yet they all look at life beyond the obvious to appreciate it’s beauty.

 

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Creative Gaga - Issue 49