I joined Penn Labs in Fall 2017 as a web designer. We work closely with the University of Pennsylvania to bring university resources to the student body. To do this, we use the most accessible channels for reaching students: web and mobile apps.
Inclusivity and usability are core tenants of Penn Labs products. Apart from talking to our users to understand their needs, we also strive to maintain a presence as observers of day to day life on campus. This is our way of making our products work for more people.
My work at Penn Labs includes UI design and branding, as encapsulated by the three projects below. I'm also excited to be taking on a more technical role in the organization, as I start learning how to implement my design on the frontend.
Over the years, Penn Labs has created a suite of web and mobile products for student life. But these products didn't have a cohesive identity. Although Penn Course Review and Penn Course Alert share similar names, they do not share an identity.
Strengthening the Penn Labs brand is integral to our mission. Our products are made for students, by students. These aren't generic productivity tools, or simple lists of University resources. They're unique products designed to address the specific, unmet needs of Penn students.
I redesigned the logos of our main suite of products with a modern, unified feel. Looking to similar product suites from Google and Atlassian, I focused on cohesion and simplicity.
The new logos are more recognizable as part of a set. This reinforces the Penn Labs identity and builds accountability. For example, Penn Course Review is a trusted, comprehensive source of course evaluations. Maintaining its contribution to our track record of good products means that our new launches are more likely to gain traction.
New Penn Labs Website
Penn Labs must also maintain its presence in campus culture. So much of what we do relies on the feedback and input of all Penn students. Our website should be a key way of collecting and disseminating information about what we're doing.
I'm currently redesigning the Penn Labs website with detailed information about what our products offer, as well as a more responsive feedback form. I believe that if we welcome and listen to student input, we can build better products that people will actually use and benefit from.
Building the Penn Labs brand is an ongoing process. It also means thinking ahead and planning for the future by developing flexible style guides that can be applied across all products and assets. I look forward to continuing to grow this organization and community.