In previous articles, I discussed in some detail the concept of a mobile portfolio for your organization. The concept of a single, large and multi-purpose, mobile application was countered with the alternate approach of a multiple, highly-focused but less complex, mobile applications. It was discussed that both were completely valid approaches in your mobile strategy; however, time was spent covering the risks of very large applications and how they can quickly become unwieldy. Last month we discussed the concept of creating a mobile portfolio (collection of mobile solutions) for your organization and the importance of branding them consistently to create a sense of an “organizational ecosystem” of application much in the way Google and Apple do with their solutions.
This month, I’m going to continue on the theme of branding your mobile “portfolio” to better create that sense of a unified ecosystem to ensure that clients know, without a doubt in their mind, that they are using one of your applications. There are many ways we can accomplish this and they are not mutually exclusive. In fact, they should be done in unison and as a collective mobile and branding strategy. I’m going to use a current client of my company (Timmons Group), Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC), this month to help illustrate this concept and key considerations. MDC is a complex organization that services many audiences including outdoor sportsmen, naturalists, and private landowners interested in conservation. To accomplish their organizational goals, they are looking to create a portfolio of mobile solutions such as the image below depicts.
The applications shown in this image above are not all built yet, however, some are and several are planned for the coming year. MDC made a concerted decision to create highly-focused, solutions geared towards specific audiences (e.g., private landowners, fisherman). They also had a keen desire to ensure when any given person was using an application from MDC, it was easy to find other applications of interest, and further, that the person knew all the applications were created by MDC.
Key elements that were included in this strategy included:
- Fonts – a consistent font including font style and sizing
- Agency Logo – consistent sizing and placement of the agency logo
- Application Logo – prominence of the application logo to ensure each application could be easily differentiated from other applications in the portfolio (see image below)
- Interface design – consistent application of the interface elements and placement of icon, navigation controls, and overall usability standards
- Colors – colors are a key to consistency and brand recognition. Creating your own palate and applying it correctly is extremely important
The image below provides guidance for anybody in the organization of how to place and size the Agency Logo and the Application Logo to ensure consistent branding of the solutions while preserving differentiation of each application effectively.
The mock image below depicts how multiple solutions can be developed and deployed to the Google Play store (or iTunes store). This is only a proof of concept for this column, however, it helps to illustrate that common use of colors, symbols and patterns can help to create that connection and virtual ecosystem needed to connect customers back to your organization and your mobile offerings.