May 25, 2018
Zooie’s grown up!
Just the other day someone asked if I was a “dog person.” I responded that I love all animals! Especially when they’re part of a brand and a logotype. That’s why when we started UserZoom it was a must for me to add one to our logo. We ended up choosing an owl and we named it Zooie (pronounced ‘zoo-e’).
Let me explain why we went with Zooie the owl. Our claim was ‘Zooming in on the User Experience.’ In order to do this zooming in, you need to have great eyesight to capture the details of the end user behavior. You also need great wisdom and intelligence to analyze data and convert it into UX insights. We figured what better animal encompasses these two things than the wise owl.
It’s now been over 10 years since we started the company and so, among many other things, Zooie has grown up. In this article, I’d like to explain how Zooie and our branding have both evolved as our business has matured.
Last September UserZoom turned 10. This past decade has been filled with lessons learned, constant growth (with both the excitement and the pain that it brings), and thousands upon thousands of user experience studies. All of which contributed to the evolution of the business.
We started out building an online research tool for the advanced UX researcher that would enable them to scale research projects by automating the tedious process of conducting usability studies. Over time we added more functionality and capabilities, making it a UX tool that uniquely offered a multi-method approach.
We also added integrations with other software tools, such as Google Analytics, Adobe Analytics, and prototyping tools like InVision, Axure or Justinmind.
Then in the past few years we added two major services that have helped us catapult our business forward: 1) UX Research services delivered by a team of high-quality consultants and 2) A robust and flexible integrated sourcing solution to make it easy and fast to find the right participants.
The combination of an all-in-one software suite + robust sourcing + high-quality professional services makes UserZoom so much more than a tool. When I look back, I hardly recognize what I see!
And trust me – seeing how far we’ve come is an AWESOME feeling. In fact, when we realized just how far we’ve come, and looked at our friend Zooie, we knew it was time for a rebrand.
I’ll admit it: I enjoyed reading this article so much that I had to essentially copy one of the section titles and paragraphs:
We took a long look in the mirror (noticed some new wrinkles, cried a little) and decided that while our culture and passion hadn’t changed – our customers, our market, and our platform had all matured.
This rebranding work has been a four-month journey, which, as far as rebrands go, is actually pretty fast. Some people that don’t get what branding is all about think that a new logo is just a repaint exercise. In our case, it couldn’t be further from the truth. Zooie’s growth, along with our branding, had to be the best representation of our business evolution.
The business hasn’t just grown in revenue, people, functionality, number of studies, and active users. It’s also evolved in values and culture.
So the rebranding exercise, including a full brand audit, started with some deep soul searching. Who are we, really? What do we stand for? What value do we provide? What’s our value proposition? How are we perceived in the marketplace?
Here’s an image of our previous logo:
As we started the rebranding journey, we felt that the previous owl was more like an owlet. Super cute and all, but also small and fragile. At one point we even questioned whether to keep Zooie around.
That question only lasted for a few days, fortunately, and it was decided to keep the owl. So our awesome creatives started brainstorming, thinking, and sketching new versions. As co-founder and CEO, it was a lot of fun to witness and be part of this process.
Check out just some of the interesting stages highlighted below:
At the end of the process she came up with the concept of a great horned owl. As I mentioned earlier, I love animals and this owl is no exception! What a gorgeous bird, and what a fantastic way to express the maturity and evolution of our business.
Just as Zooie has grown from an owlet to an owl, we’ve become something much bigger than what we were when we started and we’re proud of it. Today we offer:
No other company in the world offers this breadth and versatility of UX services to deliver high-quality results.
That’s why our new branding reflects that we are the UX Insights Company.
Your strategic partner for all things UX insights. With our software and services, we help Businesses get the insights they need to deliver great User Experiences.