As the necessity for web security comes to the forefront of the mind of the everyday consumer, there are an array of technology start-ups trailblazing the way to various solutions. Swiss-based start-up, ProtonMail have created a secure-email service that prioritises the digital-wellbeing of their users over notorious commercial endeavours.
The service is excellent. Its premium features are well-priced. The technology is great. But after conducting a tiny bit of consumer research (everyday mid-tech savvy consumers) it quickly became apparent that though the service may be great, its overall look and feel fails to encourage a user to move forward in their journey past sign-up. Another participant commented saying:
“…it looks like it’s a service for nerds and not for a normal person like me…”
With this tiny yet valuable piece of insight, I got to work at re-introducing two key assets:
1 – Its logotype and;
2 – It’s User Interface.
To enhance the brand’s promise of Swiss-level security and privacy with a clean and simplistic visual identity and interface.
1 – A new logotype;
2 – A new landing page design and a revised header line that outlines the brand offering;
3 – A new user dashboard design;
4 – An InVision prototype outlining the log-in process.
The New Logotype
ProtonMail already has a great logotype and mark. It communicates security and email and it does it clearly already. So when it came time to make revisions, it was imperative that the visual structure remained the same.
All it needed was freshening up with the introduction of a new typeface and redrawn signifier.
The New Logo
The User Interface
Referencing back to the consumer feedback above with regards to its “nerdy” look and feel, the new interface had a task to challenge this perception. By the same token, I was aware that if I took the creative direction too far down the friendly-bright-happy-clappy route, the brand message could be in danger of being too watered down. Privacy and security is a serious matter and therefore should be visually communicated as so. But as with everything, a nice balance can be achieved.
The new responsive interface introduces new imagery of the Swiss Alps, a quintessentially Swiss brand attribute. Using colour hues of the image (courtesy of Alev Takil), I was able to create a cool yet trusting colour palette of midnight blues and whites.
The intro header line has also been revised to explain in as few words a possible what the brand offering was: An encrypted email service, it is free of charge (though the ‘Pricing’ button in the revamped navigation bar does the job of informing the user that a premium service exists) and it is all secured in Switzerland, a well-known security and privacy haven.
Original Landing Page and User Dashboard
The New Layout
The Log in Process (Prototype)
As the login process was the point at which users dropped off their journies, my task was to honour the original UX of ProtonMail’s 2-step verification. My rationale here would link the newly designed (clean, bright with gentle iconography) email dashboard system with the user’s motive to complete their objective. Essentially, if they are met with an easy to navigate, neatly design interface they will be motivated to complete their intended task i.e. check an email.
The below InVision prototype illustrates this simple process.
This prototype brought to you by InVisionApp