Branding homogenity drives design to boredom

How brands copy themselves based on non accurate investigations

In a recent article by Aiga, the author spoke about how app design was homogeneus and the reassons behind that trend.

Well, this homogenity drives us to boredom and perhaps due to this attitude “don’t want to risk just in case I loose this client”.

Let’s be frank, UI design is practically identical, specially in official organizations and big brands. Due to the importance of the development of the Web, many brands adapt their identity to these channels, diving into the vectorial frenzy of friendly colors.

Brand consultancy companies set non-risky brand terrirories based on deep research -very justified- but without an humanistic perspective. Investigations are based on how users answer to functions and actions but not on how these users actually enjoy something.

I remember this conference at OFFF Barcelona a few years ago. Stefan Sagmeister made a point when speaking about how we have lost our minds forgetting humanism in the expression of art and design. He used as an example Montjuic castle. This old military fortress was build with belic intentions but house floral decorativos, friezes and metopes. Why? Because humans who lived there needed to actually be happy being there.

Forgive me if I digress too much. Let’s return to the subject.

Automotive industry has indeed understood their vehicules needed to be functional as well as aspirationals. In fact they embraced long time ago Kansei engineering which is the basis of affective computing.

Other thing is that the automotive industry is not coherence with they way they design cars and the way they build their digital platforms where the experience goes down the drain.

Brands need to understand their users don’t look for a satisfactory experience but they seek the best experience posible and it is our duty as designers/communicators to bring it to them.

Being in line with the rest of brands and having a friendly appearance with the web cosmos imaginery is a mistake. Copy never surpasses the original. It’s completely different to slightly change your brand colors because vibrate in the screen -which is something good- than change your entire identity to be similar to the rest of brands because is trendy and studies indicate your brand need to be sweetened.

Haven’t we learnt anything from Coca-cola and Pepsi? Coca-cola changed their recipe to be more alike Pepsi since studies indicated public preffered the taste of Pepsi because is was sweater. Coca-cola stopped selling because they became a copy of Pepsi, they stopped being unique.

Investigations revealed that song tastes like meatballs (Shazam on the Left. Subway on the Right)
Let’s make ourselves unrecognisable and easy to copy

There is something similar going on nowadays with brands and UI. We live in a world of sweetened brands with friendly colors and cotton candy communication. The only thing brands are achieving is that people don’t recognize what tastes like each brand.

The only thing brands are achieving is that people don’t recognize what tastes like each brand. Tweet this

Thanks for reading

I will keep writting about web design, UX&UI and art direction. Please follow me to read my posts.

Pablo Serrano
Digital art director and product designer currently living in Barcelona. I am CBO and co-founder of start up Buy Yourself