Monthly Archives: August 2013

Learning from you

As we talked about in this previous post, we’re looking to make some major revamps to the Unbranded Designs website. We’re extremely excited for the developments and our team is doing an incredible job of getting us there. Hopefully you feel the same as we unroll the new features very, very soon.

This week we had our first round of user testing on the new web features. With the help of our new intern Harrison, we met with 10 designers to show off our new stuff and believe me, the feedback was eye-opening. It is truly incredible how people can understand or interact with a page so differently. Whether making assumptions, navigating in a particular way, or noticing items on the screen, users see things differently.  Fortunately we’ve already been able to pull a few major themes from these interviews to refine our new website.

Look at the things we’ve already cleaned up:

  1. Process explanations
  2. Website features
  3. Page headers
  4. Graphics and colors

Out of just 10 interviews we’ve learned 1) that our initial work was pretty far off and 2) we could easily fix it!

What’s the moral of the story here? Whatever you’re working on, don’t wait until you have the final, polished, perfect design to get your user or customer’s feedback. Put it out there, see what people say, and keep moving! You can’t possibly predict what people will think or say. You’ll save yourself time and energy and you’ll have much more confidence in your final product.

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Help us redesign our submission process!


One of the things we love about Unbranded is seeing amazing submissions from designers of all backgrounds and skill levels.  It’s always fun to see seasoned veterans and young novices sharing their great ideas side by side.  Furthermore, it is consistent with our belief that great design ideas can truly come from anywhere, and we are merely a platform to help bring the best ideas to life.  For those reasons, we have always tried to require as few pieces of input from designers as possible when they submit a new design.  We also allow designers to submit as many images as they want, and in whatever format they prefer.

Moving forward we are going to change that a little bit.  Starting this fall, we will require that all the designs that are submitted to our website meet a consistent standard.  Here’s what we are thinking:

  • Clear imagery that presents all views of the design
  • Descriptions of the unique story, inspiration, or problem your design solves
  • Categorization to communicate where and how you see the design being used
  • Details that any person would be curious about when shopping including materials, finishes, and dimensions

So why are we doing this?  There are a few reasons.  First, we are adding several new features to the website that will improve the critiquing and refinement process around design submissions, and we want to ensure that we have clear, consistent designs so that the community can offer the best possible feedback.  Second, we think that by filling in these pieces of information up front, it will allow designers to better communicate their design ideas to the public and explain what is unique about their designs.  Third, other designers and consumers connect much better with designs that have clear imagery, a holistic story, and can easily be searched and categorized.

As you can see, these items shouldn’t require additional expertise or a lot of extra effort from our designers.  In fact, these are all things that designers have already considered when creating their designs.  We are simply offering an avenue on our website to share these important components.

So we mentioned in the title that we need your help.  We are still ironing out the details of exactly what we will require in a submission, and before we release anything, we want to get your feedback.  After all, this community is for our designers.  Let us know what details you want to see added to a submission?  How can you better communicate your story and ideas to the rest of our community?  You can provide comments below or send me an email directly at  We’d love to hear from you!

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