50 years ago, having a car that didn't breakdown as much as the next guy gave a manufacturer an edge.
Would you expect anything less today? No. Products need to work, they need to be easy to understand, and they need to be reliable. You need to be reliable. 24/7.
This doesn't change when entering the realm of software design. Meeting these requirements is not optional, it is expected. I'd say rise up to meet them, but it's almost like telling a runner they need to move their legs in order to participate. They are self-evident.
With me so far? Good. You've got your product working and you are prepared to help users 24/7, now what?
Focus on being irresistible. Craft a story for users to engage with, be fun, be authentic, courageous, and create as much opportunity as possible for your users to be head-over-heels for you. Specifically, head-over-heels for YOU and subsequently, your product.
If you want your software to exceed expectations, build an awesome brand.
It takes balls to do something unexpected and different. In the case of choosing brand colors for your software, this is most evident and it matters greatly. Color is one of the core ways your brand coheres its marketing efforts, expresses itself, and distinguishes your brand from competitors.
Uber demonstrated this well during their rebrand in 2018. The black and white base of their brand colors allowed them to expand their marketing efforts globally and uniformly while shifting the focus to rich photography of their users. Difficult to do if you're playing with a myriad of colors.
Compared to their largest competitor, Lyft, who bolsters a hot pink badge of courage, the Uber color palette connotes feelings of maturity, elitism, and professionalism. A smart move in trying to distance themselves from the hyper-friendly and childish Lyft.
What's cool is that the flip-side of this is also true and valid for Lyft's color choices. It takes just as much fortitude to come up with the hot pinks, poppin' purples, and other vibrant hues that construct their energetic and playful appearance. There is no way you'd mistake ads from either brand for each other, in large part due to color.
The point? Have the courage to use color boldly and to stake your claim emotionally. Use it often, with confidence, and throughout your product as well as the pieces that sell it.
During my month off from writing, I wrestled with the concept of rebellion. There is a vision in my head of what a rebellious brand looks like, but it's hard to detail. Naturally, it seemed smart to try and breakdown the term into sizable chunks that could be combined into something more concrete. I landed on three "F-Words," starting with Fearless.
Understanding what it means to be fearless starts with defining fear. Cue Webster:
/ˈfir/ an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat.
In other words, fear is the looming awareness that things could go wrong. Unfortunately, our bodies can't help but be on the lookout for such threats because it is in our best interest to avoid pain. It's a primal function that enabled us to avoid meeting our doom at the jaws of sabretooth tigers and other adversaries hellbent on ending our existence. If that's the case, why is it so important for a rebellious brand to be fearless?
Cue Webster (again):
\ˈfir-ləs\ free from fear
In this instance, fear becomes a captor. A crushing slave merchant. Fear puts one in a cage and limits their potential.
Rebellion is anything but conventional or expected. It is a venture into the unknown and experimenting with what could be. A trip into chaos. To be fearless is to break free from the part of your lizard brain that tells you "this may be a bad idea, you might fail, you might get made fun of, people might reject you."
It is to liberate oneself from the chains of uncertainty. To understand that novelty, creativity, and change are found through a trial in the unknown. Most importantly, it is accepting that failure is necessary and to be expected in the search for greatness.
Rebels are not slaves to fear, they are free.