The Benefits of a Strong Visual Identity in Digital Product Design.

On 10 / 03 / 2023 / by Jonas Verheijden

A strong visual identity is crucial for a digital product's success in today's digital age. When a visual identity is well-designed, it can make a digital product more memorable, recognizable, and appealing to its user base.

What is a visual identity?

A visual identity includes elements such as the logo, color palette, typography, photography, and graphics. Using these elements in digital products immediately impacts the user interface (UI) and user experience (UX).

Let's look at some of the benefits of creating a strong visual identity for your digital product:

  • Brand Recognition:
    Visually consistency helps people recognize and remember your product. It is crucial for digital products, where competition is high, and users have other options.

  • Trust and Credibility:
    A well-designed visual identity conveys professionalism and reliability, which can increase trust in your product. Therefore, design can help with customer acquisition and reduce churn rate.

  • User Experience: 
    It helps to create a cohesive and enjoyable user experience. When using consistent and coherent graphical assets, you can guide users through your product and make it easier for them to navigate and understand.

  • Differentiation: 
    A solid visual identity can help your product stand out in a crowded market. Unique and memorable branding can make users more likely to choose your product over others.

  • Consistency: 
    An excellent design system can be used across all your touchpoints, such as your website, social media profiles, and marketing materials. This consistency helps reinforce your brand image and ensures that users can recognize your product no matter where they see it.

A strong visual identity is essential to a successful digital product. When working with our clients, we always emphasize this importance.

Jonas Verheijden / Design Lead @ Born Digital

So, a strong visual identity is essential to a successful digital product. When working with our clients, we always emphasize this importance. Even with existing branding, their visual identity usually needs to be improved for a consistent and digitally mature user interface. And that's where our brand and interface design expertise comes in handy.

In this article, we're not going to deep-dive into our entire branding process (we'll save that for another time), but rather have a look at some steps we like to take to create a visual identity as the backbone for a digital product. And it goes a little something like this:

Our approach to creating a unique visual identity

  • Key messages:
    We usually start with a co-creative workshop in which we define brand drivers. This workshop is the input to write out the narrative and storyline of the brand/product. The deliverable is a framework with the key messages and a slide deck that describes the storyline of the brand/product. This exercise aims to align everyone about the brand identity and how it will communicate with different audiences in the future.

  • Research: 
    We research the competition, market trends, and industry standards to understand what works and doesn't.

  • Mood board: 
    A mood board is a visual representation of a brand's look, feel, and tone. We collect a range of interesting (existing) examples and combine them into a slide deck with possible routes for a future visual identity.

  • Logo design: 
    Based on the feedback from the mood board, we dive into logo design. In the case of existing branding, we might improve the current logo and make it suitable for a digital product. But when we start with a blank slate, we design several logo options and, after review, choose the one that best represents your brand. All logo options we propose have a first draft of a matching design system and mock-ups to showcase their potential.

  • Expand the graphic universe: 
    When a final logo is chosen, we expand the graphic universe of the brand by picking a matching, unique typography, a color palette, guidelines for photography, illustrations, and iconography. Combined, they form the basis of the visual design system. This system allows for consistent visual language throughout all the brand's touchpoints.

  • Visual guidelines: 
    When all separate elements are ready and validated, we combine them in a set of guidelines that outline how to use your visual identity consistently across all channels.

  • Implementation: 
    Using these guidelines, we can create templates and examples for all touchpoints. The visual identity is implemented consistently on all marketing materials, websites, applications, and social media channels.

  • Evaluate & refine: 
    After release, we continuously evaluate and refine the visual identity to ensure it remains relevant and effective.

In summary, a great visual identity is essential for digital product design. It helps create a unique and consistent brand image, establish user trust, and improve the overall user experience. A well-designed visual identity can differentiate a digital product from its competitors and make it more memorable and recognizable, leading to increased customer loyalty and brand recognition.

A consistent visual identity also helps establish trust and credibility with users, leading to increased user engagement and satisfaction. By prioritizing a solid visual identity, digital product designers can create unique, user-friendly, and effective digital products.