Yahoo! global logo redesign rollout: a case study
Late 2013 Yahoo changed their iconic logo and rebranded itself. The rollout was proceeded with a month in which the logo had to change every day on all main Yahoo properties. On the 30th day the new logo would be revealed and rolled out on every single Yahoo! Property world wide.
I was put in charge of all UX related efforts to make all this happen. There was no plan and there was no final logo design until 10 days before the already announced reveal date because Marissa Mayer had not made up her mind yet about what it should look like.
30 Days of Change
In order to get the audience excited or at least aware of the fact that the Yahoo! brand was about to change dramatically it was decided that the most important Yahoo! properties would have a different logo every single day for an entire month. On the last day the actual new logo would be revealed. 12 properties, various web formats, 1x and 2x resolution, mobile formats, lockups with property names in many different languages required several thousands of graphic assets to be created and deployed on a daily basis.
There was NO plan except for a small army of UXers hand-creating all these assets.
I ended up creating a tool that would accept one high fidelity logo image and generate all assets needed for every day of this special month.
- Various formats (GIF, JPG, PNG)
- Web sprites (light and dark, multiple graphics in one file)
- Lockup with property name (Yahoo! Sports, Yahoo! news, entertainment etc.)
- Various languages including RTL (Arabic etc.)
- “Retina” (2x) and regular resolution for every asset
While “30 Days of Change” was in full swing, engineering had taken my image generation tool to use as a starting point for a more comprehensive image generation tool and I was put in charge of all “partner logo lockups” which could not be generated with my initial tool so the idea was to hand craft them with a team of designers lead by me.
- Yahoo logo
- Partner logo
- Property names
- Additional graphics
- Many languages
- Many graphic formats, just like in 30 days of change
There were several hundreds of partner logo lockups.
When whiteboarding out the problem we realized we needed 48 different variations of each.
The assets needed to follow a strict file naming convention that was extremely prone to error when done manually.
Once the final logo was revealed we had less than 10 days left for a small team of overworked UXers and thousands of assets to create.
I went home early that day trying to figure out how I was going to get my team out of this impossible situation…
Through the night I created another tool that would take hand-crafted partner lockup designs and generate out 48 variations for each of them, following the exact file naming convention as needed by engineering.
When I came back the next morning, the mood changed!
The final rollout
We successfully rolled out the new Yahoo! logo, pushing a grand total of over 200,000 graphic asset with the push of one button. These were created and pushed in just 10 days by a small team of UX designers and engineers.
“Project Swan” was a ringing success.
Various mobile app designs
An app that turns your mobile phone / tablet into a virtual LED board that can show scrolling messages and pixelated animations. It was released on Blackberry 10 as well as on iOS which required a different design due to lack of web-based UI widgets on iOS.
The Last Weather App
A “profane” weather app. This app would tell the user what the weather is like in their location in a new and original way. Very honest.
Some interesting links regarding these items:
Foreword Literary Logo / Identity
I designed this logo for a literary agency. The agency has changed its name since so it’s no longer current. I tried to incorporate several aspects of the name and the line of business in this logo. Foreword / Foreward as a direction and the suggestion of open books. This logo works great in color, B&W and inverted styles.
Near-future date picker UX concept
A date picker specifically designed for choosing short date intervals that occur in the near future to set dates for quick family getaways or work trips in the next few weeks.
I collaborated on this project with another designer and a user researcher.
Click the ‘view project’ link to see a prototype of this design in action.
Dark Matter Pro – A premium Pixelpost theme
Dark Matter Pro is a premium theme for Pixelpost, a (now defunct) photography blog publishing system. It was by far the most advanced theme available on this platform. It retailed for $49.99 and hundreds of copies were sold, some of them still in use today.
This theme used web features that were cutting edge at the time such as single-page UI, preloading of thumbnail images and other modern web functionality.
The theme provided a light and a dark mode to allow photographer to showcase their images in the best possible way. It could be toggled using the light switch button on the top right.
The screenshots on this page were taken from a photographer who is still running the theme.
Scientific RPN Calculator
A fully functional and feature rich scientific RPN calculator inspired by the HP-15C I used to own when I was in high school. It was first developed on the Palm WebOS platform but later on I ported it to Blackberry 7 and Blackberry 10 as well.
I designed and built three different skins for this app. The first one was a custom designed UI on the Palm Pre phone. Once I got the app to work on tablets and phones with higher resolutions I created a photorealistic clone of the before mentioned HP calculator as well as a skin that was inspired by high-end 80’s audio equipment.
At the bottom of this page you will find a video of this app in action.
I am an avid T-shirt designer. These are just some examples of my work in this area. Designing shirts allows me to flex my visual design muscles and as an added bonus it makes some extra money on the side. Most of my designs are available on Cottonbureau or RedBubble.
These are great examples of my visual & graphic design skills.