Creating a design language for Singtel Digital, the digital arm of Singtel / Optus. The goal is to provide a framework for a coherent visual experience while leaving flexibility to differentiate by service types and sub-brands.
To arrive at our insights for our project we completed the following. Review of existing Singtel Digital research material from all relevant markets. Completion of desk research. Review of existing customer segments. Definition of relevant x-market customer archetypes.
While completing these activities, we learned and synthesised a collection of insights. Our main customers have grown up using the internet. They are used to global services and design quality. Many are cost-driven and use feature phones, or recently upgraded to smart phones. They are not impressed or motivated by real-world physical metaphors ie skeuomorphism.
Our conclusions are the implications for our future design language. One single, x-regional language can cover all markets. The design should live up to global trends and best practices, but be flexible and unique enough to stay relevant when the flat trend dissipates. Design needs to be light-weight to ensure fast performance on slower networks. The design language should avoid skeuomorphic elements
To arrive at our insights for our project, we completed the following activities. Review of three corporate case studies (Google, Microsoft, USA Today). Conducted a broader global visual trendscrape covering visual aspects such as use of color, iconography, grids, and typography. Review of secondary aspects such as interaction design and animation design.
While completing these activities we learned and synthesized a collection of insights. Case studies rely on stronger rootbrands and prioritise its promotion over the sub/partner brands. Global design trends leverage a more minimalist design, where traditional layout, colors, and typography is skillfully used to create experiences that are more consistent across services and platforms.
Our conclusions are the implications for our future design language. Compared to case studies, GDL DLS needs to allow for more differentiation between services and service genres. Introduce a strong icon language and unique typography and color palette to create identity. With global design trends given, we still need to find means to push it further, stand out, and to differentiate.
We developed a design language that responds to global design trends. For our design language, we started with the basic learnings from our trend-scrape. We tried to create a system that allows more flexibility than what we have observed in our case studies. We also wanted to respond to the key visual trends we found:
• Flat and simple shapes
• Large and courageous use of typography
• Simple, monochromatic iconography
• A diverse color-spectrum
Where possible we wanted to push the trends a little further, to create unique and own-able aspects for the GDL visual language. While icons and other visual elements remain flat and are presented on simple primary shapes, we added some layered depth that will pull customers in and continue to engage them ‘on second sight’. We leveraged the global trend of simple flat shapes and added an element of depth to it. Through stacked, overlapping flat panels we can create visual priorities on the one hand, and unique own-able quality on the other. According to our conversations, a GDL news service, curative by nature should remain neutral and make its content shine. In response, we suggested a less saturated blue base color combined with orange accents as the main service colors.