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February 2020

Scaling up the product and rebranding it.

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New positioning: adapting to the market and updating the style.

The first steps towards rebranding started with a paradigm shift in the service. The product was no longer just a community of professionals, it was an ecosystem of services helping in the search for staff, locations and knowledge.

Each sub-product could be developed separately, as an independent story for a specific audience. To make this possible, we had to re-position the main product and its sub-products in the market, adjust to demographics, and update the corporate identity.

Rethinking and rebooting: pre-launch objectives.

Before we started, we set the following objectives: Revise the positioning of the product in advertising communications; Conduct a user data analysis; To select a brand typeface; To update the palette; Redesign the logo; Update social media; Conduct an audience survey regarding the brand refresh; Update the SMM manual and brand book.

Scaling strategy: formal categories and their role in development.

The concept of the relationship between performers and customers was built on castings, so all subsequent modules had a direct or indirect link to them and were sub-products of them.

For scaling purposes, we decided to describe formal categories. These were: ads, services, people and training.

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Turning to geographic and demographic data, we found that 95% of the traffic comes from Russia, and the audience is in the 25-34 age group. These results influenced the shift to Cyrillic and a less saturated palette.

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Testing and comparison: the font selection process.

The choice of typeface took us more than 50% of the entire task. We were looking for a font whose characters read well on different devices and in different sizes.

We tested around 300 popular fonts for uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and Unicode. The top five were adapted to interfaces to assess their viability. The finalists were compared in volumetric typing and logo visualisation.

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That's how we arrived at the neo-grotesque Hauss, designed by Artemy Lebedev Studio.

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Flexibility and adaptation: the basic colours and approach to the brand.

The basic palette we gathered from the existing blue, black and white. These were the colours that characterised and set our product apart from the competition. We selected additional colours for the categories according to their purpose, namely to highlight mistakes, explanations and warnings.

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We formed semi-transparent tones from the basic and complementary colour groups to highlight information.

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We built the basic colours for the light and dark themes through transparency gradation and tested them for contrast by adapting them to the interfaces and resorting to WCAG 2.0.

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For the brand, we didn't use semantic colour names so that when we update the design system, we have more flexibility in changing the colour schemes.

Localisation and communication: regional restrictions.

In the new logo, we decided to do away with captions and icons that visually overwhelmed the sign, leaving only the text. We decided to use lower case letters in bold type because of their optimum weight.

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In addition, we introduced regional restrictions for interaction with the service and its communications in Cyrillic or Latin.

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Additionally, we developed composite constructions that include the name of the service and the sub-product to work with a specific sub-brand.

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In addition to the text mark, we updated the graphic mark, which was to be used in a limited space: in the favicon of the website, as an application icon and as an avatar in social networks.

Expected update: support from most users.

The final stage consisted of putting together a brand guide and updating the SMM rules, which can be found by clicking on the links.

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Having updated social media to the new style, we decided to make a presentation and conduct a user survey. Over 80% of those surveyed responded positively, expecting the service to be updated soon.

Article credits.

The list of persons reflects those who provided support and cooperation in the process of developing the feature and the article. Also the list indicates all those who are responsible for the content of the article.

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Aleksei Matveev

Lead Product Designer

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Tatiana Shestakova

Marketing Manager

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Artem Taranov

Head of Product

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Dmitry Kuznetsov

Project Manager