Dashlane UX | Software Branding

The things Dashlane does to build trust, loyalty, and delight users.

February 4, 2021

This is part of a 5-piece case study on Dashlane. Be sure to check out the previous pieces and stay tuned for what's next.

Part I

Part II

Part III

Let's set the record straight, UX is almost always confined to the digital space. I'd disagree with putting a box around it since experiences come in all mediums and formats. As such, it's important to take a look at the User Experience from a holistic stand point, especially with digital products and software. Why? Because the more methods you have in foster trust and loyalty, the better. A billboard, an email, a poster, a website, and the product must ALL cohere.

I'll touch more on what could be done better about Dashlane's overall user experience in my next piece and focus on their product for now.

In case you missed it, Dashlane is an internet security tool riding their flagship password manager application. Some things to keep in mind is that Dashlane has positioned themselves as a premium brand within this space, since most of their competition seeks to be known as more affordable.

In light of their position and the emotions they are seeking to evoke, Dashlane built a gorgeous product. It's as if they teamed up with an artisan seamstress who finely knit together a digital application out of codified silk. Everything feels smooth and fluid.

Both the desktop and mobile app feel seamlessly integrated and carry over the same design language effortlessly. Even when you input an incorrect password, the actions taken to inform you are starkly human. Literally shaking it's head "no."

In the spirit of making internet security simple and elegant, Dashlane's interface is highly intuitive. Presenting you first with a list of recent passwords and other precious info in your home screen and then providing the most useful screens int he thumb-enticing lower navigation (Vault, Contacts, Tools, and Settings). It's so simple it's stupid. Everything their user needs is a click away and the options provided are useful, especially in their tools screen.

Some overarching notes: there isn't a whole lot of typing done throughout the experience unless absolutely necessary (i.e. entering your master password or searching for a particular item in the Vault). Most of the actions are done with clicks or switching toggles, making it easy to sprint past password fields.

Even more impressive is their browser extension that auto-fills forms and helps generate strong passwords with a click.

The peace of mind given from not having to remember these passwords and going through the painstaking process of retrieving them is a game changer. Dashlane's product 100% lives up to the name, you enter the Dashlane of logins.

More you say?

Three Books

My top three books for designing a rebellious brand and why they matter.

2.14.2020

The beauty of being literate is that it opens up the door to improve... always. That being said, a lot of startup founders and creatives overlook the fact that marketing masters and branding savants have put their thoughts on paper for the whole world to access. When it comes to differentiation and being rebellious, these are my top three choices:

Zag by Marty Neumeier
Neumeier is the granddaddy of all branding brooks. His cornerstone guide, The Brand Gap, set the record straight on what branding actually is and why it matters in business. He followed up with Zag to hyper-focus on differentiation. The significance of Zag lies in the step-by-step structure that walks readers through how to be different. Granted, he does not dive extremely deep into every step (i.e. crafting a logo or a name), but you'd be foolish not to follow the principles listed in these pages.

Link to purchase Zag

Positioning by Ries and Trout
An oldie, but a goodie. Nearly every 21st century marketing book I've read has referenced Ries and Trout's strategies within Positioning. A word of caution, this book is super heady and can seem boring at times, but the examples provided from actual companies within this book are eternally applicable. Expect to learn a lot of great terminology and systemized thinking that will explain all of the marketing efforts you see everyday.

Link to purchase Positioning

This is Marketing by Seth Godin
This was the first Seth Godin book I had ever read, needless to say it did not disappoint and I rated it as one of my top five books read in 2019. Marketing has almost become synonymous with spammed advertising, clickbait laden emails, and down right annoying. Seth's definitions of service-oriented marketing and the frameworks for niching down are the most clear and articulated I've ever seen. Furthermore, he uses real-world examples to demonstrate how it is the most generous brands that win, not the ones with the sexiest ads or the most keywords.

Link to purchase This is Marketing

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Stop Being Professional

How being professional kills your brand.

3.26.2020

Alright, let's make sure we're on the same page, as one of the biggest issues with being professional is lack of concrete definition. You probably think of professional as suit and tie, clean cut, and stoic. But that's bogus. And it is off-base for what the actual definition of professional would entail.

Professional /prəˈfeSH(ə)n(ə)l/:

relating to or connected with a profession.
"young professional people"

engaged in a specified activity as one's main paid occupation rather than as a pastime.
"a professional boxer"

a person engaged or qualified in a profession.
"professionals such as lawyers and surveyors"

Nothing in those definitions implies that one has to give up their personality, character, or style to be a professional. It seems that the only defining characteristic would be the practice of a specific activity that one gets paid for. You could pop pimples for a living and you'd still be considered a professional, so long as you get paid for it. Do you hear that? So long as you do a job and get paid for it, you are a professional. You don't have to wear a suit, you don't have to refrain from saying what you think or using slang, you have to provide something deemed valuable to be a professional.

Why do I want you to stop being "professional?" Because you box yourself in with your definition (the clean cut, suit and tie version). It makes you boring and totally diminishes the elements of your personality that make you special. Granted, this doesn't mean you should stop taking care of yourself or give the impression that you aren't put together, but that's not a hard standard to meet. If you wear a nice, unwrinkled t-shirt with a good pair of jeans, and sneakers, no one is going to think you're a slob. If they do, screw 'em. They are clearly not supposed to do business with you, but instead with someone who takes pride in posturing themselves to look wealthy rather than doing good work.

Stop trying to be professional and instead double down on being yourself, whatever that means. If you like getting dressed up, go for it! But don't let those fancy clothes become a shock collar that stops you from being yourself, telling your jokes, and saying what you feel is right.

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