5 minute read

Beginner

Strategy

How Growth and Design at Appcues aligned for on-brand flows

If you’re not on the design or product teams and you’re using Appcues, those teams can get (understandably) a little prickly at the idea of someone else decorating their space. Partnering rather than quibbling over ownership makes for better flows that look and feel like your product.

The background:

When I joined Appcues, I didn’t want to bust in like the Kool-Aid Man and break down walls without first building a little goodwill with design. Even if Appcues is brand new to your organization, starting with design best practices helps folks in other departments learn about Appcues and ease into the idea of you making some changes. 

Plan of action:

I joined an existing account with a bit of a history, so I had clean up work to do. I jumped on a call with our brand director, Tanya, to go through each theme and learn which elements were on brand and which were not, and learn where we could experiment to improve our themes.

Two takeaways: Turn meetings into content and don’t call someone you don’t know that well peaches.

That first meeting was crucial. I took a ton of notes and was able to walk Tanya through everything we could customize in detail, so she had a better understanding of what was possible with Appcues. After our discussion, I was ready to implement the new theme and present some best practices to the team.

How we built it:

One of the first action items from our design meeting was a clean new default theme and an emoji labeling system (notice the red x?).  If you’re brand new to Appcues, this might not be as valuable, but you could use it to label any default themes to avoid anyone using those.

Our themes use emoji in the title as a label to avoid using any “defunkt” themes.

Once our themes were sorted, I set our default theme and moved on to writing up best practices for internal reference and my own personal guidelines. I’m the only one who publishes flows here, but your organization might have multiple folks publishing, in which case it’s super important to share these guidelines everywhere (and often). 

We have a specific channel for this type of communication, and I pin our resources from Notion within that channel.

I pinned important documents to our internal channel in Slack.

In our best practices doc, I outline exactly how we should use Appcues along with specific design guidelines. I won’t share those secrets here, but definitely reach out if you have questions or want to know more!

The last step for creating beautiful, on-brand flows is seeking some guidance from your friends in design. I was lucky enough to have a great resource—our internal brand guide. This lists out exactly what fonts we should use when, hex codes for colors and buttons, and so much more. I use it as a reference all the time, especially when getting creative outside of themes.

Even if you can’t get a whole microsite (thanks Tanya!), just a simple list in a document or spreadsheet can go a long way.

A sampling of our internal brand guide I use to help design flows.

Lastly, images and icons! Another great resource we have here at Appcues is our brand resources folder. This is a gallery of design-approved icons and imagery we can use for flows.

If your team doesn’t have the bandwidth to build specific images, ask if they have an existing icon pack or an approved pack you can download. You can also download images of emoji and customize them with your brand colors for a quick pop. 

Our shared resources folder to use design-approved imagery.

Did this help you unite with design for a better experience? Did you approach it differently? I’d love to hear it all. Let me know at lyla@appcues.com or message me on LinkedIn. 

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