Building a brand identity may not be all about visuals, but the design still plays a huge role in building the right brand view among the users. Through the use of colors, fonts, patterns, and common design principles achieve the desired brand identity in the market is easier than it looks like.
This is a digital age we are living in and in this digital age, having an online presence for your business is crucial for the success of the business. And when it comes to website design, the matter of UI/UX is of monumental importance.
When you own a business, whether you are selling fried chicken, or renting out a car, you need to turn your business name into a brand so that you can distinguish yourself from everyone else in the market. This process is called branding, and this process makes sure that your business doesn’t become one of the crowd.
Now that we have talked about both UI/UX design and branding, it’s time to analyze how these two mix. Turns out that the most effective way of branding today is through the website since only a few people today actually bother to visit the physical store. So what is the role of UI/UX design to create an identity for your brand? Before we go deeper into that, let’s go in-depth about branding.
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Understanding Your Brand
Ask anyone what a brand is, and most of them will give you one answer only.
It is the logo or the symbol associated with the product/company.
For example, we can consider the Starbucks cup above. Starbucks is one of the most famous coffee sellers in the world. And their trademark symbol, the siren (though it is hard to understand since the re-design.) is now well known and wide all around the world. The image is enough to remind us of a cup of coffee, but is the Starbucks symbol the only element of its brand?
It’s not. When it comes to brand, the symbol, or any kind of visual representation is only part of the “branding”. The brand refers to the overall experience a customer/client has with your business. And that ranges from the aesthetic of your website to the customer interaction your clients may have with you.
And that is why UI/UX design is a key element of creating a brand identity. Let’s look deeper into the matter now.
Role Of UI/UX In Branding
When it comes to a website, UI/UX and branding are tied to each other through customer experience. The design of the website is going to promote a good experience, and the good experience of the customer boosts the brand, meaning successful branding.
So you can see that the role of UI/UX design in branding is simple. It just needs to create a better design, that improves the customer experience. But it gets complicated from here.
The great experience you are going to have on a website needs to be connected to something, a visual element, or a name. And that element needs to be consistently present throughout the website, otherwise, the connection never happens and the customer will feel lost.
Think about Nike shoes for a second,
The curved symbol is something we are all familiar with. It is the brand symbol of the clothing company. And the symbol is distributed throughout their website.
And this is not just about the symbol. But true to Nike’s products that have a clean and beautiful design without going overboard, convenient and sturdy, the website is designed to reflect its product qualities. This is a neat example of good relation between UI/UX design and branding.
But good UI/UX design doesn’t always mean good for branding. The moment the design of the website is too complicated or hinders the customer experience, it will create a negative opinion in the customer’s mind.
Branding To UI, Or UI To Branding
Now the question we might all be thinking, is, whether it is branding to UI or UI to branding.
If you are feeling confused then let us clear it out for you. The question is all about which one comes first. When you are building your website, which one are you going to think of first? Are you going to let the brand decide the UI or are you going to let the UI create your brand?
At the end of the day, the brand is the image of a product that is created with the help of various marketing techniques, some of which also heavily rely on human psychology. Together all these techniques are used to promote the product, whether it is a material or a service. And this promotion is done by creating an image among the users.
Now when we are talking about the user interface, branding becomes an essential part of it. Through proper research, analyzing the competition, and getting to know your target audience, you can collect valuable data that can be used to create an effective UI for your website. When your website design reflects the needs and wants of the customers, you will know that your business is going to become a known brand soon enough. In this case, the UI actually supports all the branding concepts that are based on the data collected through research, creating a smooth experience for the user, where branding is an integral part of the UI.
But you don’t always have to do extensive research before building a UI for your business website. You can always create a clear and refined UI for your website, and let it do its job. But with this technique, the branding impact will be considerably less
Unless of course, the design of your UI becomes so famous that it becomes a brand itself. This approach to branding is useful to startups, who can’t afford both branding research and UI design at the same time. So mostly they go for the UI design of their website, making sure to build the website right. And when the popularity of it catches on, they can use those UI elements for branding.
In both cases, however, there is the chance of things going horribly wrong and the entire thing becoming a giant mess. And that is why you need to know about the right tools to get the design and branding right.
Tools For Design – The Branding Necessities
The visual effect of UI design is created with colors, typography, and patterns.
These tools of design are also branding necessities. Creating a visual brand identity means depending heavily on these three elements. So how are these elements going to help you to create a brand identity? Let’s find out.
Color is the key element of creating a visual. Whether a visual is going to make the client happy or make them feel anxious, relies on the color. And that is why color is such a necessary element for branding.
The reason why the use of color can make or break your brand is that colors have a serious impact on people’s emotions.
From the above image, you can see the colors and the emotions associated with them. And you will also notice how the brands have chosen the colors wisely to send out the desired message to their consumers.
Blue invokes a sense of trust and strength among the viewers. And that is why leading companies such as Dell, HP, Intel have chosen this color to create their brand identity because as tech companies, they definitely want to be dependable for their users.
Similarly, red is energetic, and at the same time, it also excites hunger. That is why you will see brands like Coca-Cola, KFC, Kellogg’s using this color for branding. This way they can appear attractive to their customers.
The color you choose has a serious impact on the customer’s minds. And that is why when you are building your website UI, you have to determine what kind of brand identity you want to create, and what kind of message you want to send out there. Once you have determined that, make your choice of color based on that.
We are all familiar with the famous Facebook logo.
Not only because it is one of the most famous social networking platforms in the world, but also because of its font type.
Picking the brand font may look like it’s a tricky business. But really it’s a lot similar to choosing a color for your brand. When choosing the right font for your brand, you have to make sure that your choice of font fulfills these four criteria:
- Conveys your brand message clearly
- Is legible to the users
- Works on all the platforms
- Is unique
You have to start with your brand personality first. Depending on whether you want to go with the cool and quirky personality or serious personality, would affect your choice of font heavily. It should also be mentioned that your brand personality, voice, fonts, and colors should be aligned perfectly and match, to give the users a sense of coherence.
When visiting different websites, users are used to some well-known patterns, such as the logo on the top left corner of the screen, micro animations when hovering over a menu text, etc. These patterns are not only reusable components, but they also bring a sense of comfort to the users, because they know what to expect.
The use of patterns in UI design, to create a brand identity is a little tricky since most patterns are so vastly used among the websites. Use of the most generalized patterns can make your websites look generalized while breaking these patterns can shock the user.
And that is why the use of patterns in creating brand identity needs to be balanced. Make sure to use new elements, but don’t shock the users too much, otherwise, you might fail to gain the client’s trust, and that will affect your brand poorly.
Consumer Trust, Branding, And Design
Branding is all about consumer trust, and design can help with that too.
At the end of the day, it all goes in a circle. Branding influences the UI design, UI design affects consumer trust, and consumer trust affects the brand. So how are you going to build consumer trust through branding and design?
There are many principles to gain consumer trust through design and branding, but here are the three most important ones.
Applicable to every component on the website, consistency is key to gaining user trust.
Be it text, images, illustrations, or colors, you have to keep to a coherent style. Any slip-ups can confuse the customer by sending mixed signals. Having a brand guideline for all your landing pages can help you to achieve consistency in your design as well as brand identity.
A little transparency goes a long way to build up your brand identity. If you track visitor actions on your website to enhance their experience, then you should let them know about that. Having informed that you care about their privacy will not only make the users happy and trust you more, it will also enforce a positive outlook towards your brand in their mind.
The security of the user should be of utmost importance to you if you want to create a positive brand identity. And that’s why if yours is an e-commerce website, or requires the user to log in or sign up to acquire any services, you should integrate serious data security measures. The more secure your site is, the trust you can gain from the users.
Consumer trust is elemental to building a strong brand identity. So keeping up with these principles will ensure that you achieve proper branding through your UI/UX design.
Brand identity and UI/UX design are both connected in a circular pattern, where the brand identity affects UI/UX design, while the UI/UX design affects the brand identity as well. It goes without saying that the UI design of an app or a website plays a s\huge part in creating a brand’s identity since maximum people are still obsessed with the visual aspect of the brand identity and make their decisions based on it. And that is why whether you are a big enterprise or small startup, you should keep the matter of UI/UX design while creating a brand identity.