Amy Le and Julie Pang
At Impira, we view our brand as a living entity that shifts and evolves over time. Over the past year, our business focus has shifted, but one thing remained constant: Impira’s mission is to help users do meaningful work. With this shift, it is time to reevaluate our brand personality.
At Impira, we view our brand as a living entity that shifts and evolves over time. Over the past year, our business focus has shifted from intelligent content search to AI-powered data extraction, but one thing remains constant: Impira’s mission is to help users do meaningful work by automating manual and repetitive tasks. With this business shift, we decided it was time to reevaluate our brand expression. We’ve updated our website and product with a bolder design that’s more intentional about highlighting user actions in a highly data-centric application in order to unlock user’s superpowers.
Our original brand was designed with the creative industry in mind, but as our business shifted, we started targeting users who are innovators in IT and operations. The usage of Impira’s platform began to revolve around higher amounts of textual data rather than visual assets. Our customers clearly demonstrated two pain points; first, they struggled with time as a resource constraint and second, being overloaded with too much data to parse through to accomplish what they need. Given the sheer amount of data displayed in our platform, we became even more mindful that the design of one seemingly simple element, when multiplied at scale, can easily become overwhelming.
In a world filled with clutter and stimuli, it is important for us to design an experience that breaks from that mold and offers users an easy way to accomplish their goals. With these principles of intuitive design in mind, we give users the control and freedom to accomplish what they need without being overly instructive.
To match our new emphasis on user experience, our visual brand became bolder, more innovative, and simpler to empathize and guide our target users. In this shift, our fonts, logomark, colors, and design system all stayed the same, but how we used these elements became more intentional. Because Impira lets everyday people play with machine learning and optical character recognition (OCR), the principle of simplicity guides how we create flows, interactions, and how each element works together on a page or screen.
Previously, we used large shapes in our colorful secondary palette, which only added to the noise that our users deal with everyday. In order to decrease the clutter and to provide focus, we reinvented how we use our shapes, rebuilt our structured design system, and reprioritized our primary and secondary colors. At the same time, we added a new illustration and iconography style and extended our brand design system to our product. These new elements were created in order to enable our customers’ to get back to the non-manual parts of their jobs.
Our original brand and product design systems were built independently. We realized we weren’t thinking about how a user moved from one experience to the other. So now, our newly evolved brand and refreshed product design system now presents one unified experience in three main ways: a cohesive experience, a clear color hierarchy, and clear color usage.
First, it was important for us to create a cohesive experience for a user’s journey, end-to-end. The marketing website had a unique marketing-specific design system. After users logged into their account, upon entering the product they were taken to a completely new experience, leaving them wondering if they had mistakenly signed into the wrong platform. To keep a consistent experience, it was important for us to update our design system holistically, in tandem with our brand evolution. In this product redesign, we removed rounded corners, created a custom icon set, and switched out old colors with our marketing design color palette.
Second, we elevated the use of our brand colors (white and black) in order to help give customers’ focus on the site and product. In the previous system, our secondary blue color was used as our primary button color. While this provided contrast to other elements on the page, it directed too much attention away from the data displayed throughout the rest of the page.
With our new system, our black primary buttons still stand out from the rest of the page, but also exist more harmoniously with the rest of the page elements. This allows our design system to be more intentional about maximizing users’ attention to high-impact actions.
Third, we used our secondary colors to more intentionally indicate actions. Our secondary blue is still used to add more focus to active elements, allowing users to direct their attention on the main focus of our product: viewing and extracting data from documents and images.
Additionally, in the previous design system, machine learning data predictions were displayed in orange and green to indicate low and high confidence predictions. Data was only displayed in black if a user had added or reviewed it themselves. This color usage became problematic at scale as we began adding other types of predictions to our product. As the user continued extracting out information, the majority of table cells would appear with large areas of orange or green data, making it more difficult to read through a row or a column with a multitude of seemingly confusing colors.
In our new system, confidence is displayed through accessible, colored shape indicators on each prediction’s table cell, and both machine learning predictions and user inputted data are shown in black. This new system allows users to distinguish the types of data when needed but to also view and take action on their data more uniformly.
While we do some pretty technical things at Impira, that’s not all we care about. We believe that everyone has a superpower. Impira makes very technical tools accessible to everyone so they can focus on their superpower at work. While this idea is central to the way we design our experiences, we've also added easter eggs throughout the product to tangibly remind users of these superhero qualities. Our empty state is the perfect place to marry functionality with our superhero analogy.
Using the same new elements across both marketing and product design allows for faster iterations and testing so that we can shift more focus on the user journey and user interactions. Unifying the experience allows both design disciplines - brand design and product design - the ability to collaborate and learn from each other's area of expertise, providing a cohesive and inspiring user experience.