NYC cab, by Olivier Blanchard 2004

Words of genius from Damon Dimmick, over at UX Magazine:

When corporate marketing departments dream of brand design, they only dream as far as they need.

The expensive and time consuming process of extending the brand into an interactive concept is usually pushed off until it becomes absolutely necessary.

Unfortunately, by the time some serious rethinking is required, a lot of people have gotten stuck in the mud of static branding. It’s completely natural for companies to resist straying from the handful of predefined styles that were never meant to address web forms, widgets, calendars and menuing systems.

Of all the arguments for modifying brand attributes to better suit a digital experience, the most compelling is this:

The way users feel about their experience is inseparable from the way they feel about your brand.

This maxim holds true for brick-and-mortar experiences as well as for digital interactions. A restaurant with great food but incredibly long lines and a bad wait staff will experience brand damage. The user experience is bad, and people will look elsewhere. The same thing will happen if your users get baffled by confusing menus, hard-to-read text, and perplexing layouts. The user experience is bad, and people will look elsewhere.

The way a user feels when they come in contact with a brand interaction point will implicitly shape their image of the brand itself.

This realization is a powerful tool for user experience professionals and can help snap clients and peers out of static thinking.”

It is helpful to remember that even the most accomplished companies have become experts at modifying brand attributes to suit interactive experiences. This is done without sacrificing brands, but rather by extending them.


Read the rest of the article here. And for a deeper understanding, check out Jack Spade’s third brand precept (yesterday) and Bruce Lee’s advice on fluidity vs. rigidity (last month). If you’re starting to spot a common thread in our discussion topics, you might be on to something. 😉

Have a great Tuesday, everyone.