Brandish App

November 2020

image of brandish app on smartphone

The Problem

With the proliferation of mobile and social media platforms, there is no longer “one size fits all” for publishing digital content. To reach a wider audience, digital publishers must make their content adaptable across a variety of platforms.

In my Adaptive Media Experiences course, I was tasked with creating a business persona and adapting this persona’s content across multiple platforms. I created Brandish, a would-be marketing resource, that features content about how to build a brand from the ground up.


High-fidelity prototype

The Solution


Early in the semester, I reviewed what branding/marketing apps are already available. I found multiple sources that provide marketing services, such as consulting from Brandology or business card design from Brandly. One of the more well-known brand-building platforms, HubSpot, provides some marketing resources and methodologies, but focuses on inbound marketing, sales, and service software.

Many digital publishers take a DIY approach to marketing—at least in the initial stages of growing their brand. Brandish content, specifically the Brandish app, is designed to take the user through the process of building a basic marketing plan—focusing on foundational marketing concepts rather than the mechanics of tracking leads and sales. Once the user has the basic concepts down, other Brandish platforms, such as social channels, provide a flow of ideas and tips to hone their marketing efforts.

I was stumped when it came time to pick a name for my persona. It seemed that all the variations of the word “brand” were already in use. I wanted something bold that would stand out from all of the trendy or obvious choices like "brandily," so I searched online thesauri and talked with friends and family about my ideas. The word “brandish” was proposed. This felt like a winning combination of the word "brand" paired with the bold concept of "brandishing." I selected Brandish with the tagline, Show off your brand, and a longer tagline for use on mediums such as a podcast: Is the world ready for your brand? Don’t promote it. Brandish it.


I began the ideation process by sketching, and progressed to low-fidelity wireframes. With each iteration, I added more layers of content from my research to build a richer experience for the user.

image of brandish logo
First iteration of sketches

When I was building my business persona, I created a negative space logo in black and white. I love the simplicity of black and white and this high-contrast color combination feels clean and bold. I used black and white as the app’s color scheme for the reasons listed above and to maintain consistency with the Brandish brand.

image of brandish logo
Brandish logo

Ui Design

Prior to this project, I’d spent months working on UVU websites which feature pre-configured elements. Since it had been a while since I designed from scratch, I had some questions about mobile dimensions. I availed myself of the resources provided by InVision and Kapeli’s iOS cheat sheet. I made some slight modifications to the recommendations in order to create content hierarchy, but it felt satisfying to base my design off what users are familiar with and what has worked for high-level designers. Doing a little research took a lot of the guesswork out of the design.

Once I had the dimensions down, I started on the navigation. Traditionally, a popout menu is featured in the upper corners of a mobile app. I’ve frequently found this menu difficult to reach while navigating on my phone.

I have a minor skeletal malformation called Brachydactyly type D or “stub thumb.” The last section of my thumb is stunted, making my thumb shorter than average. This condition is sometimes called “toe thumb.” Imagine navigating an app with one of your toes! Okay, it’s not that bad, but it does make reaching that corner menu harder.

I decided to do some more research on mobile navigation and came across an article by UX designer Kiril Karov about reinventing app navigation: “One-handed Use of Tab Bar/Bottom Navigation — Best Practices for Reachability.” Karov talks about how a majority of users navigate using their thumb, making it difficult to reach the menus located in the upper corners. With this in mind, I designed a bottom navigation menu. This app only has three menu items—if additional items were needed, a menu that pops out from an ellipse icon or the word “more” could be used.

image of mobile phone app navigation
The bottom nav menu


This app was intended to be simple, but some of the sections featured too much information for easy navigation. I hid some of the content so that the user could choose to progressively disclose content at their own pace.

Black and white is bold, but the app’s UI didn’t say “brandish”—it felt cold and a little flat. I added some pops of neon-colored gradients and a background gradient to add some warmth and texture.

image of mobile phone app design
First Iteration
image of mobile phone app design
Second Iteration
Second Iteration

Lessons Learned

It was eye-opening to design the user experience around a problem I encounter on a daily basis. Navigating on my phone wasn’t ruining my day, but it started to bug me increasingly over time until I was able to put my finger (or thumb) on what the issue was.

Since it was a problem I experienced frequently, I was invested in finding a solution. I want to be just as motivated to solve problems for other people, the users, in any project that I design for. Becoming invested in the problems of someone else takes empathy and hard work, which is something that I plan to keep practicing.


High-fidelity prototype