Brand Guidelines
Before UX started
Before I started at FSI, there was no advocate for the ‘people’ part of the product in the product development cycle. New products were developed by taking inputs from within the company’s departments and in this process the clients were never reached out for feedback. This led to a total increase in the launch time for the products and at times removing the product from the market altogether since the product didn’t really solve the customer's’ actual needs nor were they designed empathically.

My Motivation
After being exposed to design thinking process in graduate school, it was almost as if my brain ‘flipped’. In addition to focusing on business factors and technical feasibility, I realized the importance of people ‘desirability’ that governed a lot of success surrounding the product. I proposed a trial ‘UX run’ for one of the products that the company was planning to launch soon but no work had formally started.

Sitemap of the new website

Challenges I faced
One of the biggest challenges I faced was to create empathy in the minds of the people involved in the product development cycle. I tried to illustrate how a single bad design can influence user’s workflow and distract them from their end goal. I also tried to demonstrate how design should be accessible by even the extreme users - like color blind people, by running our designs through color blind simulators. This helped in advocating empathy and accessibility in our product team for our users.

Inclusion in Design Guidelines
Guidelines include information starting right from which typefaces are to be used in the company for different mediums like print, web etc., the acceptable font sizes, which kind of images to use on different mediums, acceptable formats, style and colors for logo, to how user experience of a product can be created and evaluated.

A section in Brand Guidelines includes information on user experience and covers information ranging from design methods used during UCD (User Centered Design) process to components/interaction elements that are used in layout and everything in between.

This living, breathing design organism aims to serve the company in helping it design products for its users in a way that resonates with them in an emotional way to help them complete their job successfully on time, every time.