Rebranding is always a challenge, but rebranding a product that has been downloaded more than 200 million times is a whole other dimension.
Users are often skeptical when it comes to a free service, especially in the telecommunication sector filled with wireless operators charging high prices for each service they offer; hence, the rebranded version of TextNow had to be the one people trust as soon as they lay their eyes on.
The original "playful" version of the TextNow brand was often declared as more suited to the younger generation and not as trustworthy looking as it could be.
The biggest challenge was hidden in the app's name
The name "TextNow" is associated with an app that provides the opportunity to communicate exclusively through text messages (which was the initial purpose that over the years evolved into a full in-app phone service).
Competitors, both classic wireless carriers and apps with a purpose similar to TextNow's, follow the same pattern of using a chat cloud (bubble) and/or a phone receiver as a part of their identity.
That pattern is also something that users got used to and, in addition, the original TextNow thumbnail already had the shape mentioned. As a result, those apps were looking indistinguishable and almost identical, with the difference of using either blue or green color.
Merging these two motifs into one logomark/icon was, despite the market being oversaturated with similarly shaped ones, soon to be proven as the right move since that new logomark/icon was still unique and easily recognizable.
The vast majority of users that tested the new icon stated that, even though the name of the app is TextNow, thanks to the changes in the logo and the addition of a phone receiver, they were aware that with this app they can not only text but also make a phone call.
In addition to design direction, we actively participated in creative writing. Other than the examples available above, we are particularly proud of the "Dumb phones became smart a long time ago, it is time to make phone numbers smart too" phrase, which through several iterations became "Phone smarter" - one that is in use today.
The illustration journey started with making applications that TextNow needed for internal use - its merch, to be precise.
That illustration style we chose for the merch ended up as a step in the right direction, even for the illustrations used externally - public use and promotion of the TextNow as a brand. Tests showed that these illustrations are distinctive and easily recognisable, reflecting the value of TextNow as a product.
We are finding that a huge success, especially nowadays when the majority of products use illustrations as a primary way of communication with their users, making it even more challenging to distinguish one brand from another and not make yet another generic illustration set.
But we didn't just stop at illustrations. We breathed life into many of them through animation. Animated assets had different purposes, from video ads to Lottie animations implemented in the application.
The app is free, but that doesn't mean the user experience should be neglected. On the contrary, every corner of the application was improved to ensure ease of use and provide advanced features.
The implementation of a new visual identity into the application itself has opened up several new possibilities when it comes to improving the user experience.
We touched on many app segments, from the new user onboarding to the new navigation and user portal to the integrated webshop, as well as the generation of many ideas and improvements, some of which are already producing excellent results.
Since TextNow is a multi-platform application, we didn't want the desktop/tablet/web version to lag behind the primary mobile version. UI/UX for the big screen is one of the projects we are very proud of.
New user onboarding and permission priming that improved the number of successful registrations and user retention
New drawer that dramatically improved user experience and user conversion from 'wifi only' to 'free nation wide talk and text network' (SIM Card selling)
App Store Optimisation
We are always curious to hear your ideas so if you think that we can be of any help, don't be shy to contact us.
From everything shown above, we hope it is clear what we can provide and what we can improve when it comes to your product. It is very important for us that we believe in your product and that our energies match.
Add a long-run partnership to that equation and we are even closer to a hype-worthy launch.
We favor staying small (just the two of us, Jelena and Nenad), flexible and agile, cutting the middle man, and working directly with you. If there is a need to include more people - for whatever reason (like specific production skill sets) we can scale easily and bring to the table only the industry's best and the ones we have experience joining forces with.
We are also super transparent so if there is anyone besides the two of us you will know why, when, and who is working with you.