Rebranding Asana: a Former designer of the company about re-platform project management

“This is a story about how Asana has moved from the logo with three circles to a new logo — again with three circles,” writes the author of the material. Work on the rebranding and new logo, which is a symbol of cooperation and energy that lasted a year. A new brand of Asana, according to the staff reflects how they see the company and team.

“Let me first introduce you to Fred. Freds a nice guy, hes smart, kind, and will help you if you need it. Hes exactly what should be good friends. But its hard to find new friends,” says Dahl.

The fact that Fred gives people a bad first impression. The last five years, he wears the same frayed sport suit. He said sincerely, but his speech sounded way too professional and impersonal. Fred hard to get close.

“When friends Fred acquaint his friends with Fred, they whisper. “Give him a chance. Youll like him if you know him”. This is exactly what we thought about our product and our brand to redesign,” explains the author of.

Dahl says that he liked Asana and before he came to work in the company. When he was accepted into a startup, he learned that the system has a great team consisting of “people with an open heart and a sharp mind”. But it was not evident how the team presented themselves with their brand, he said.

“To begin with, was inspired by our old logo. The letter a and three dots next to it, which symbolized.. Enumeration.

List. Alignment. No one could recall exactly,” writes Mika Dahl. The main color scheme in Asana consisted of two colors — blue and grey — and called “Rainy day”. The texts that appeared in the corporate blog and on the site of Asana, believes Dahl, often looked rather “stiff” and did not reflect what a sense of humor actually have employees.

Even real photos of team members on the site were similar to stock photos. “In the ocean of various enterprise software we felt at least a narwhal, but it was clear that a simple user, looking at the system, imagined a very different fish,” writes Dahl.

According to the author, the main goal of the system redesign was initially to clean up and “beautify” it as many users believed that the application interface is too confusing and “gray”. However, when the team began to consider various options for improving the interface, it came to much more radical solution. At first the designers were thinking about changing the font in the project. Many believed that having only one font (as in Asana), it is difficult to create a clear hierarchy in the system.

In addition, you had to “lighten” app — and thus, to develop a new palette of colors for the style of illustrations, but it all had to be consistent with the logo. Then the staff decided that the company needed a new logo. “We began to dig even deeper. If we decided to revive the design, it was necessary for us to spice up and style of the text in the app.

How much text can be considered too serious. Whom we are trying to contact. Who are we trying to be?” — says the author. Head of design company has gathered a team meeting where staff had to decide whether or not together with conduct a redesign and rebranding of product.

“We knew that rebranding will cost us. But if we wanted ever to re-branding, now is now the right time. Updated product needed a strong Foundation”. As a result, the staff decided to rebrand, but according to Degli, no one expected that in the end it will turn out so radical.

The new interface of Asana, writes Dahl, clean and bright.

“It allows you to focus on work, at the same time Recalling that the work does not have to be boring. When you mark a task as complete or evaluate the comment teammate, the interface is illuminated as if to celebrate your progress,” said the former designer of the company. In other words, goodbye “rainy day”. Hello, rainbow.

Mika Dahl identified several key stages in the development of a new design and brand of Asana. A Central aspect of thinking about a new brand, according to the author, from the very beginning was the concept that Asana is the man. If the team could not find the answer to a question, she returned to the idea. “In fact, every person is the product of their values, personality, life story and your biggest goals”.

The biggest goal of the company is its mission. The mission of Asana, says Dahl, the team was well known — to help humanity on the path to prosperity, allowing employees from various companies working on some projects, with less effort on communication. The values of the company were laid by its founders — transparency, awareness, a strong corporate culture. “But what about personality. Goals and values are something deeper than personality, which directly indicates that a man.

This is what I see them” — said Dahl. A year before the decision to rebrand the Asana guide is presented “personality” of the company as of 22 “brand Attributes”. This was a good start, says former designer of the Asana, but theses were too many and it was difficult to remember. The first task of the team was to reduce their number to an acceptable, understanding the views of all employees. Designers launched a survey where participants were asked to describe Asana, providing that the system is man.

“The answers we were stunned. Employees wrote thousands of words in just a few days”. After this, the team involved in the rebranding has reviewed all the responses and formed eight new “brand Attributes”.

After discussing with other employees their number decreased to six. A week later, designers have introduced new “Attributes” at the General meeting and hung posters with them all over the office. The reaction, writes Dahl, followed immediately. In discussions staff startup has begun to refer to “Attributes” — “This letter is truly inspirational (Empowering), but can it be a little more playful (Playful)?”.

Some employees even wanted to order a t-shirt with their lubimimi “Attributes”. Designers, says the author, were inspired by the change. They were ready to focus on rebranding. The company decided to hold a meeting with representatives of global creative Agency Moving Brands.

According to Mika Daigle, the Agency has made on the team a good impression from the very first minutes of the meeting his staff were able to very quickly assess the problems that tried to solve the Asana team, and to understand how big was the gap between the companys brand and its determination. Signing a contract with Asana, the Agency started with same, with what at the time was started by employees of the company from conducting countless interviews with employees. “They were trying to understand who we are and what we believe in, and achieved much greater success than we ourselves.”. As a result, the number of “brand Attributes” was reduced to four.

After that its time to deal with the “life story” of the brand — that is, to understand why the team does what she does. Staff told how they feel at work, what do you feel, as well as what goals they are guided by taking certain decisions. Then the designers were able to highlight the main landmarks that were destined to follow in the process of rebranding. “We asked ourselves whether something is available to the user.

It does what Asana helps to make great things together. If the answer was negative, this meant that we still have to work on a specific issue”. “A good logo is like a magic bag. It looks small and simple, but at the same time can be filled with infinite value,” says Mika Dahl. As suggested by the designer, best logos look so simple, because I do not seek to independently transfer the user too much — they leave space for reflection and self-filling of logo with the right meaning.

Apple Apple and the Nike swoosh — by themselves, these symbols mean knowledge and the movement accordingly, but when you look at them in the memory float hundreds of other concepts and ideas. The power of symbol lies in its ability to provoke deep thinking, not in its complexity. Team Moving Brands was engaged in the development of the first versions of logo for two weeks. After conducting interviews with all staff and General brainstorming, the Agency has proposed three directions of development of the company logo. Figure — outline of the logo for one of the directions:

Three points, which was previously used in the logo, but were arranged in a line, now symbolized cooperation, lying closer to each other. Together, they formed a triangle, which symbolizes the letter A. Some employees Asana the idea immediately liked and others didnt doubt her. “Isnt that just.

Will this logo become memorable. And if it doesnt look like the deadly lasers of the Predator aimed at the victim?”. Two other concepts, writes Dahl, also looked promising, but not as much as the first. The team didnt want to rush and asked the Agency to conduct all three options in parallel and to explore other opportunities.

In the next few weeks Asana employees saw dozens of new concepts for the logo. In the end, the team has selected some of the most promising options and figured out how they could be extended to the whole system: Eventually the company settled on a concept with three points — it became clear that it is best suited to the brand. Asana co-founder Dustin Moskowitz (initially expressing skepticism about the concept) said that looking at the logo of the application on the smartphone screen, the user immediately realizes that it is service for team collaboration.

After that the employee of the Agency Moving Brands along with the Asana team spent the whole day working on small parts of the logo. For example, the distance between the circles until the head of the design direction of the company not approved the final version. By itself, the logo, writes Mick Dahl, not create a brand is only a symbol that the team now had “more” on all aspects of the company. Employees Moving Brands has developed the color scheme and typography for a new system and introduced the concept of the change theme throughout the day:

The team liked the idea, but seeing it in action, writes the author of the material, the designers had doubts about and couldnt explain why. Meanwhile approached the appointed date of launch an updated version of the service, and the designers needed ASAP to decide what will be the new brand. “The Agency Moving Brands was willing to work with us further, but we decided at the last stages to do a rebranding of their own — it would be faster.”. “When you feel that you are nearing solution, but still fails, it often means that you have chosen is too complex,” says Dahl.

It tells the designer, for some time the team really tried to get to “work” the concept of changing color schemes depending on the time of day, but the staff still did not understand, whats wrong with her. Then the designers checked, whether this concept of “Attributes” of the brand and came to the conclusion that does not match. This decision was not unusual, expanded the possibilities and reduced the transparency of the interface. It became clear that the concept takes the team from the new brand.

“Now we needed a new visual motif — that is, something that would unite all the elements of the interface and gave the product integrity. After brainstorming we came to the idea of “Clarity and energy” — Clarity & Energy”. The idea was to help the user, including animation effects or illuminating the necessary information. To implement this concept, took me a few days.

At first, the employees feel that we are moving in the right direction. Using bright colors are “concentrated” in those places and moments that deserved it, the team was able to make the system more “playful”.

In the new version of Asana one of the elements “by default” became a flying unicorn, which marks the completion of all tasks in previous interface it was available only to those users who have independently included this animation element in the settings. According Deigl, it turned out that the people who from time to time seen the unicorn, on average, worked more efficiently and completed more tasks than their colleagues. Help me I am being attacked by the new @asana logo. Pic.twitter.com/wVqaKL9Kbi. From the beginning, the designer says, the team was determined to expand the new brand to all the companys.

All design specialists engaged in the implementation of the new brand to all aspects of the life of a startup. Dahl gathered several of the main advice he could give to other companies who decided to change the branding:

Source: google.co.uk

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