Polyhooks is a new company offering a novel way to learn foreign language vocabulary. It uses mnemonic stories to help learners connect with and remember vocabulary words.
Polyhooks was releasing an illustrated book series in multiple languages and planning to build an app. They needed cohesive branding and a responsive website to market their products.
This case study explains how I developed the Polyhooks digital branding and designed their responsive marketing page.
Based on the research I recognized several user personas.
Since Polyhooks was a beginner program offering fun, easy, vocabulary building, I focused on personas that valued higher vocab and cultural learning goals, with lower fluency and grammar goals:
After interviewing the founder I synthesized a framework for the Polyhooks brand. I focused on defining users, problem, and solution:
I anchored the visual branding around the printed book, which had illustrations and lots of color (the book file I received had over 100 different colors!).
I wanted to capture the friendly, warm tone in the book, but also brighten some of the colors to create an exciting first impression.
The business goals for the website were straightforward:
In addition to clearly highlighting the value props, I wanted users to be able to see themselves in the pain points.
After lots of brainstorming and many long showers I arrived at a solution. If Polyhooks used stories to teach vocabulary, why not use storytelling to explain our method?
I developed a scene sequence to illustrate the link between vocab, hook, and definition. I wanted the sequence to feel connected, like the word–hook relationship, but a rotating carousel made the sequence feel like separate steps. 🤔
My solution was to advance the visual story alongside animated text to create a feeling of togetherness through synchronized motion.
Bringing together the research and branding work, I developed value props, copy, and designs for the website.
Working with a passionate founder who had thought so deeply about the product and vision was a really cool experience. It’s rare to have access to so much knowledge in one place.
At the same time, coming in as a designer proposing change was a delicate undertaking. I think my biggest takeaway was that it’s sometimes more effective to demo new ideas than to verbally try to get buy in. Early inclusion of key stakeholders is core to my belief as a designer, and learning when and how to do this well is a skill I work to refine every day.