HP’s UI Design Vision

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Often, when I work on projects, they’re for a client’s internal use, or otherwise secret, and I can’t share the work. So I was excited to discover that some work that I had helped lead was finally online, and I could post some of it.

In 2009 I was working for BMW Group DesignworksUSA and we were hired by HP to help develop a product and interaction design language that would unify all of their products and services. At the root of the project, HP was working with Moving Brands to rebrand themselves. The brand language being developed was more than a visual and stylistic change, it was fundamental… it was about defining behaviors and characteristics that would bring unity to HP’s disparate divisions. As Rick DeMarco, HP’s Director of Internal Brand Alignment & Corporate Marketing described it, the goal was to support HP in “moving from a house of brands to a branded house.”

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We worked with Moving Brands and Native to translate the new brand characteristics into a design vision that would help make the brand tangible, and help them “rationalize [their] existing portfolio and drive future decisions.” Essentially we were developing a company-wide user interface strategy that would bring rationality and consistency, as well as signature interactions, to all customer touchpoints.

We started by interviewing people throughout the different HP divisions in order to understand their various product and customer needs. We also learned where HP saw their future business heading, so that the designs could be targeted to that future state. We then developed a design framework and series of interactions that could give customers an “HP experience,” no matter what product they were using.

Although HP chose not to implement the new identity, much of the interaction and interface design work is online. I can’t say much more about the project’s details. But thought it would be interesting to post a collection of screenshots to give an idea of the complexity and depth of a project like this.

It’s also a nice example of the power and value of creating design visions. Unlike far-future visions which tend to be more for external audiences and marketing purposes (and which there are someĀ heated arguments against), work like this uses design to effectively unify its audience, educate them about the new guidelines, and help them achieve design targets within a realistic timeframe.

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