Shared Belief

I'll buy when I know we believe the same thing.

September 24, 2020

I'm a huge fan of Buck Mason shirts. Pima cotton, well-cut, breathable, and classic. Que bella.

Something that dawned on me though was this question: why do I admire this brand so much and why do I go out of my way to buy almost exclusively from them.

Back up to my college years. The hipster movement of adorning button-up shirts, chukka boots, and thrifting your way to style was in full swing. I recall spending hours searching through thrift stores to find trendy looking shirts that would match my barrage of beaded bracelets and my patina ring made out of a quarter. But, I didn't believe all that stuff was really cool. In truth, I found myself hating how much time I spent shopping for all that trendy shit and how complicated the process was. Turns out, I believed more in simplicity.

Flash forward to today. I keep a Buck Mason tag in my bible as a bookmark. What's the first line on it? "We make fashion less complicated."

Boom. Instant brand alignment.

Here's the thing: the reason I buy exclusively from Buck Mason is because of this shared value. If you want to build a rebellious brand, you must find that overlapping belief residing within both of you.

More you say?

Screw Design Trends

Three reasons why design trends suck and are not good for your brand.

10.27.2020

We are approaching the end of 2020, so there will be an inevitable slew of posts and articles titled "Design Trends 2021." This punch is for the faces of these articles.

Why am I against design trends? Three reasons:

1. They aren't really trends (mostly)
A trend is an upward, macro progression. They shift societies as a whole and alter what we perceive to be the norm. For example, data transparency, responsive design, artificial intelligence, public health (thanks COVID), or E-commerce are trends. Trends are movements that you either get on board with or your company becomes irrelevant. Design trends, therefore, do not fit the criteria... mostly. So let's play a game, which of these three seems like a genuine trend: gradient color swatches, serif typography, accessibility.

Ding! Ding! Ding! Accessibility is the only true trend within that trio. Why? Because your company is not going to be put into jeopardy if you do not adopt gradient color swatches or use serif typography, but it will suffer if it doesn't take into account user accessibility. Remember, trends are macro movements, not subjective, fad design practices.

2. You will have to change it eventually
Expectedly, if you shift with the design trends, you will be shifting a lot. Stand firm on your voice once you find it. Which brings me to my last point:

3. Trends pull away from your story
I'm a firm believer in stealing your identity. Meaning, you have a story to tell, there are things that have influenced you and you can use language, visuals, and other assets from those muses to cohesively fuel your brand. More importantly, you can do so in a way that is impactful and different. Rather than focusing on trends, focus on what you want people to feel. Find things that help foster that feeling and use them in your branding.

Design "trends" are shiny objects. Screw 'em.

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Dashlane UX | Software Branding

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

1.18.2020

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.

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