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Contributors: Abby Schmautz, Kent Riggs
Have you had a chance to get your hands on our new Design Studio yet? (Or, are you sitting there thinking, what’s that? If so, we’d encourage you to check out this previous blog post to get up to speed before diving in here).
As many of our clients are quickly discovering, the Design Studio (released in January) provides an array of opportunities to unify your entire customer experience and ensure that live chat plays a seamless role within that experience. It’s more important than ever for companies to create compelling brand experiences if they want to stay relevant in today’s landscape, which is why our team has worked tirelessly to bring you the Design Studio.
But, why is branding so important?
As industries become saturated with competition, each component of the user experience plays a key role in ensuring that companies stand out and get noticed. While first impression may start with a name or logo, the other elements of the user interaction (such as live chat!) all work together to continue shaping this initial impression. Branding is no longer limited to a single element of design such as a snazzy logo. It’s become a top-to-bottom experience. We’ve witnessed the emergence of two camps of brand identification — both identified by the “out-of-the-box” approach in name, but with very different meanings.
For some, the out-of-the-box approach could simply mean “set it and forget it”. This is a no-frills way of having your product speak for itself. On the other end of spectrum, out-of-the-box is all about channeling creativity or taking a maverick approach to an old problem. Keep in mind, true brand identity does not come out of a box. A brand’s core identity is established (and evolves) over time through calculated design decisions and strategic vision.
At SnapEngage, we believe branding is about owning the entire experience. Just as we’ve developed a look and feel on our website that promotes our mission to provide the best live chat experience, we want our customers to have the capability to do the same. The live chat solution we provide should always be a reflection of your vision – and with the Design Studio, it’s easier than ever to accomplish this.
The ability to get creative and integrate the chat experience for your website visitors is a prime opportunity to further your company’s brand identity and contribute to the overarching user experience. Don’t let that opportunity go to waste! Ask yourself — is your brand already identifiable to visitors? The entire experience should be consistent while leaving a lasting and positive impression. Introducing live chat to your site already increases the likelihood of a memorable experience. Now, let’s make sure the entire user experience is fully integrated. You’ve worked tirelessly to create a compelling brand, so allow your chat experience to enhance (rather than detract) from that brand.
Details, details, details!
Creating a strategic vision for your brand means focusing in on the nitty gritty details – elements that may not feel very significant alone, yet all add up to make a compelling brand or leave your brand lingering in the dust of competitors. For example, color choice in branding may not seem critical at first, yet “90% of snap judgements made about products can be based on color alone.” This is why it’s recommended to take color theory and the psychology of color into consideration when choosing colors to represent your brand identity.
The same goes for the tone that your branding conveys. To keep your brand recognizable, ensure that all written copy across your website, emails, help articles, chat forms and more uses a consistent tone that showcases your brand’s personality – whatever that may be. The Design Studio makes it easy to switch up tone to make your brand’s voice consistent by allowing for full customization of all visitor-facing text.
Introducing patterns and background images
Our Design Studio now allows users to further customize the chat experience with the ability to add background images and background patterns to the custom chat form. The branding opportunities become unlimited as you can add custom background images that convey what your business is all about and use visual elements to prompt visitors to chat with you. Make your chat box a prominent feature on your webpage and encourage visitors to start a conversation with you by taking advantage of this new feature.
Our patterns release features a gallery of over 20 unique patterns that will work well for a variety of brands and scenarios. Pattern offerings range from fun to modern to abstract and beyond to suit all kinds of brands and verticals. We even offer some holiday-inspired patterns, such as an Easter egg pattern which would be most appropriate for this upcoming weekend (chocolate Easter bunny not included). Is there a pattern style you’d love to see included in our gallery? Let us know in the comments!
Don’t be afraid to showcase your personality
The chat box to the right was designed for a company that sells children’s shoes and uses a fun polka dot pattern and colors to convey the company’s playful vibe. The color yellow carries a cheerful association and is considered one of the “happiest” colors, while the sky blue color accent complements the yellow and creates visual interest.
The goal here is to create a chat experience that conveys your brand’s identity – so if that means polka dots, go for it!
Patterns are an easy way to add dimension and style to your chat experience, and it’s now easier than ever to use them in the Design Studio.
Try using a custom background
If patterns aren’t your style, try using our new backgrounds feature which allows users to upload custom background images. Below we’ve showcased an inside look at the Design Studio WYSIWYG custom form builder. Upload any image and see a real-time preview of the background on both desktop and mobile-optimized forms. This custom form was designed for a Colorado apparel company, and showcases the beautiful Rocky Mountains whenever visitors chat on this website.
Feeling creative? You have the option to upload custom backgrounds and patterns, too! Our gallery will get you started, but only you can decide what matches your brand best. (Hint: The ‘repeat’ function will be useful when you’d like to create a custom background pattern from a repeating graphic element).
Adjust transparency for additional customization options
We also now offer the ability to adjust the transparency of your background images and patterns. The mountains form above uses a transparency setting of 76 (fully opaque would be a setting of 100) to ensure the chat experience is still easy to navigate and that the background photograph serves as more of a backdrop element only. The website below employs a similar approach, but uses an even higher transparency setting to allow the cityscape to show through the chat box background more clearly.
We’d recommend playing around with all of the Design Studio settings and features to see what works best in your scenario.
Want to become a Design Studio pro?
Join us at ChatUp 2017 for our exclusive Design Studio Live Workshop.