How we crafted Minimal Audio’s brand and online sales experience
The Founder of Minimal Audio is a legendary sound engineer who provides original audio samples and ultra-innovative audio software to the worldwide music community. Minimal Audio was created to create exceptional and unique high-quality products and learning resources focused on engaging user experiences.
When Minimal Audio approached us, they were looking to turn what was essentially a personal project into a viable worldwide ecommerce business. The name was decided, but other than that they had no idea how to start building their online brand effectively.
Our first job was crafting their brand identity, and once that was done we proceeded to implementing their ecommerce site.
We connect people with audio tools that allow them to achieve their creative goals.
Minimal Audio started with only a name and a great idea. So, our first challenge was to answer the question: “What is their brand personality?”
We chose to use a Google methodology called BrandSprint to turn their abstract ideas into actionable design concepts.
We aligned the founders’ ideas around a unified vision for their brand; the “whys”, “hows” and “whats” of their company in a way that brought consistency and focus to the big decisions involved in the design, inventing a common language to describe what their company is about using visuals, voice, and identity.
Relying on the resulting brand brief, we devoted about a week to experimenting with graphical ideas that portrayed daring and inspiration. We wanted to position our client as inhabiting the cutting-edge of the audio production industry, without becoming intimidating to less experienced potential customers.
When shaping the visual forms involved in the branding, we always kept in mind music, movement, and rhythm, communicating that Minimal Audio is not afraid to take risks. The founders praised the end result as feeling young and radical, and promising its audience an exciting experience.
Now it was time to gather all the information previously gathered into a Brand Book document that would explain the proper way to use Minimal Audio brand anywhere. We displayed the branding within a variety of contexts, and surrounded by images or other objects.
Approximate cost of branding phase: 6000 USD
With the design of Minimal Audio’s brand all done, it was time to bring their product ideas to market with a stylish and engaging ecommerce site.
When designing ecommerce websites, we aim to match the design with the brand’s narrative, so that the business feels more engaging and authentic than it would with off-the-shelf templates.
But, how would we achieve that for Minimal Audio? We started by listeing all the features we wanted to include in the design system. Then we put iterated on an Minimum Viable Product (MVP) containing functional layouts matching the Brand Book.
After deciding on the scope of the MVP, we ran a workshop with the founders in order to flesh out ideas and specify the website’s basic features using a Feature Canvas.
Once the features were listed, it was time to work on the User Experience. We started by performing extensive competitive research, gathering information on functionality from other similar sites that we should take into consideration.
Next came the site maps and flowcharts, and we used a DoGo map to draw a perspective of the overall system combined with the functionality of each page. As the name says, we draw the flow to know what those features DO and where they GO.
Constant communication with Minimal Audio was always a top priority. The Founder has his own account on our Slack, and he collaborated with us extensively in directing production of the high definition wireframes.
The project got more and more fun as we began to flesh out the graphics. We adhered to the branding guidelines for visual identity and the tone of voice, and after lots of communication and feedback sessions with Minimal Audio we settled on a concept centered on neuromorphic shapes.
Multiple iterations of the home and principal pages ensued, until we finally arrived at an approved Design System and full design of the website.
It was time to pass the torch to the software engineering team.
Bringing the user experience to life
We are legendary Ruby on Rails experts. So we chose to implement Minimal Audio's ecommerce website using Solidus, an advanced Ruby on Rails-based ecommerce platform that's open source and free.
Our expertise in Solidus let us to build some very specific custom features for Minimal Audio’s business without bloating the budget.
During the implementation phase, we stayed agile by continuing to communicate and collaborate extensively with the Minimal Audio founders, who enjoyed regular demos of their ecommerce site as it came to life.
Our work included components allowing the Minimal Audio team to easily maintain and expand their product offerings and ecommerce features in the future without necessarily needing our help.
MagmaLabs worked with us not only to create a beautiful brand package, but also push us further to understand our customers, business model, and the long term vision for our company.