The Journey Behind UXDX and Our New Logo

16 September 2016

A logo is one of the most important elements of a company or project identity. To become remembered, design should combine several magic ingredients; pure and distinctive shapes, attractive colours, and ensure that the overall logo being meaningful to the target audience.

Over the past few months, we’ve been working on a logo that would incorporate our message, one that would appeal to our audience of designers and developers, who often have polar opposite views.

In the spirit of our brand - team collaboration and user experience - we’d like to share our journey with you; from creating brief and different concepts, trials and tribulations, to the final, finished and polished design of our logo.

Back to the Beginning - The Research

Our logo journey started with our conference idea. We wanted to create a conference that would actually help people navigate the ever changing landscape of best practice product delivery and deliver real benefit to product teams in companies large and small.

We started out by mapping the key stakeholders when developing a product: Product Owners, Designers, Developers, Marketers

We researched with this audience in three different ways:

Direct Communication

Through attendance of weekly meetups in almost every category, we got to meet our audience, have a beer and find out what makes them tick.

National Survey

We developed a survey to find out individual, team and industry challenges, along with what companies were getting products and teams right.

Calls with Suppliers

What their thoughts were as “experts” to the industry and what people asked them for help with.

Challenges and Requirements

The following overall industry challenges arose from our findings of our research.

Meeting targets and deadlines

  • Reducing waste in development
  • Streamlining workflow

Increasing go to market speed

  • Removing handovers and bottlenecks between teams
  • Getting designers and developers to work closer together

Usability by design

  • User experience best practices
  • Ongoing client interaction & feedback
  • A/B Testing and customer tracking

Managing ambiguous requirements

  • Lean and agile methodology to shorten the feedback loop
  • Continuous testing and deployment

Managing increasing deployment frequency

  • DevOps best practice and automation
  • Team scaling through Microservices

Improving cross team communication

  • Multi-disciplined teams
  • Team bonding and training

Hiring / nurturing talent

  • Targeted recruitment through exciting projects
  • Paired teams and mentorship

Managing stakeholders

  • Early and regular product releases
  • Agile implementation

Non traditional UIs

  • Early adopter case studies.
  • Designer, developer team collaboration

The Birth of UXDX

If we were to pick out one theme from our research it is that product delivery is all about the people! In particular we picked out the three areas below which highlight the ways in which product teams must work together to deliver the right product for the user.

User Experience (UX)

Without a customer, there is no product. A product should always work closely with and focus on the end user to provide a product/solution match. This is the foundation of product development.

Experience Design (XD)

Experience Design is the art of simplifying complex interactions into meaningful experiences; designing the product with a focus placed on the quality of the user experience and culturally relevant solutions.

Developer Experience (DX)

DX is a relatively underused term, but critical component. Developer Experience is about the aggregate of all the experiences a developer has when interacting with your API. We wanted to highlight the importance of facilitating better user experiences by making app development easier for developers.

We merged the three areas together and UXDX was born.


Initial Designs

As a team, we worked on a brief providing detailed information on what should the new logo look like (emphasising simplicity, memorability, and versatility) and what meanings should be imbued behind it. Above all, we wanted to stress the idea of bringing together people from different roles who typically don’t understand each other.

We tried not to influence our designer with preferred colours or shapes, and asked for their thoughts instead. After a few weeks our designer presented their first concepts. We’ve summarised them with the brevity they deserve below.

UXDX 1

PlayStation / XBox


UXDX 2

Xerox


UXDX 3

“We’re not a software company from the 80’s.”

  • Monika, our Marketing Manager.

UXDX 4

“I just see legs when I look at the X’s, and I think they need to go to the loo!”

  • Our director, Catherine

UXDX 5

Our favourite logo from what was provided


We’re Not Happy… What Now?

“Failure is built into creativity… the creative act involves this element of ‘newness’ and ‘experimentalism,’ then one must expect and accept the possibility of failure.”

  • Saul Bass, Logo Designer

We received several concepts of the UXDX logo, but none of them made us skip a heartbeat. We were missing the versatility and uniqueness, we weren’t sure about the colours and overall, slightly generic design.

A Fresh Start

However crazy this may sound in the middle of the process, we followed our intuition, and hired a new designer who came as a recommendation. We made sure to do a more thorough vetting of their portfolio given our first experience.

Rather than producing a multitude of logos our new designer came back with a single concept and the thinking behind the logo.

The final logo

The icon was designed to represent the idea of ​​the mutual support and collaboration. It was drawn by hand to fit all of the letters of the name X, D, U into one symbolic icon in order to express the equal importance of all the elements that our conference is focused on.

If you turn the icon 90 degrees clockwise, you can see DC characters linked together, which symbolises the need for cooperation between Designers and Coders while developing a product.

In addition, the letters together shape an unfinished hourglass icon. This is a symbol of the time dedicated to developing and learning. The unfinished part indicates that we’re not capped, limited or finished with our learning or with our abilities.

Finally, the logo was designed as a monogram, so it can be used in black or white form as well as the colour version.

No Shortcuts, Lot of Learning

We only needed to make a minor revision to this first concept to arrive at our final logo. After all the time spent going the wrong way, we finally got what we had been waiting for - the simple, versatile concept, tailored exactly to our needs.

“In life there are no shortcuts; process is still the best way to get ahead.”

  • Bidemi Mark-Mordi

As with any creative process, there were challenges we needed to overcome to get to the final result we’ve been happy with. Unfortunately, there are no shortcuts in developing creative ideas, but a lot of learning came up with this journey. Most of all, the 3 key things to remember:

  1. Always work as a team
  2. Don’t be afraid of change
  3. Good things come to those who wait

Do you want to share your own experience or thoughts on our new branding? Tweet us at @uxdxconf or leave us a comment on Facebook