Mozilla’s rebrand and the benefits of user dialogue

The johnson banks rebrand of Mozilla has been conducted in the public eye since mid-2015. In an exciting move, design studio and client chose to develop Mozilla’s new look with feedback and involvement from the Mozilla community.

The first round of options presented to the users

While the unveiling has brought about the usual gut reactions expressed via Twitter, the process itself has shown there is an alternative to conducting a visual overhaul behind closed doors, culminating in a sudden and sometimes unexpected change for users. One good example of when this approach can result in the ire of its intended user group is the rebranding of football clubs. Everton’s in-house team redesigned the club badge in 2013 but were soon forced to retract the new visuals following the protests of fans. They later went on to develop a new mark with the input of their fans.

Rebranding a public facing platform will always bring strong opinions, though arguably this is preferable to no one noticing or caring. However, as graphic design has become something that more members of the public notice, it has also unfortunately become an easy target for tabloid-style articles. These frequently lament the money ‘wasted’ on a redesign and question the amount of work involved. This widely held opinion was possibly best summarised in Peep Show, where upon hearing that his former girlfriend is now dating a graphic designer, Mark performs the following impression: “Hello, can I redesign your logo? Yes, that’ll be a £100,000 for a squiggle”.

The chosen route

The Mozilla rebrand is an interesting experiment in what user involvement from the get-go can do to reduce these snap judgements, as well as the added value it brings to the final outcome. Whether many design studios would be happy to put their process out for everyone to see and judge while still in the development stage remains to be seen, but football clubs looking to rebrand could do well to take note.

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