The Big One Pt 2 (A NEW KC) by Anthony Schmiedeler

Earlier progress

My senior branding project is in its second week of research after choosing to rebrand the Kansas City Metro area. Here are some things I've found out:

Kansas City is such a diverse state that the problem has been hard to define, but then I realized that its diversity is the problem. Rather, Kansas City's diversity isn't represented. Whether you live there and you think KC is BBQ and sports, or you're an out-of-towner and you think it's a cowtown, you are leaving out a lot of what makes KC so unique. Here are some slides from a presentation I will be giving that illustrates what KC is and what I want the rebranding to represent.

The Big One (Senior Branding Project) by Anthony Schmiedeler

I've just begun what is usually classified as the biggest project in a KU alum's portfolio. I've been tasked with choosing two organizations facing a significant problem which will then be whittled down to one. From there I will be creating a written and visual proposal to fix that problem, including a new brand identity. The organizations I chose are extremely different but the problems they are dealing all relate to communication and organization. Here is an analysis of each.

A New KC

The Kansas City Metropolitan area has a confusing and misunderstood identity. This is because there is no clear connection between the Metro’s contained cities; No consistency between their programs and initiatives; and no accurate representation of the diversity, culture, and history of the KC Metro area.

A clear, connected, all-encompassing identity of KC could unify residents, increase city pride, make it easy for visitors to understand what the Metro is, make our city memorable and competitive with other big metros, and create a vision of the future for one of the biggest growing metropolitans in the United States.

The New Prototype

The Prototype mentor program for KU Illustration and Visual Communication underclassmen does not foster real and meaningful communication between mentors and mentees. This results in a non-existent relationship between the two and very rare thoughtful exchange that would normally result in learning experiences for both sides. 

A more organized mentor program with specific direction and a sense of community could increase communication between mentors and mentees, resulting in more productive, faster learning, and happier students.



Redo #2 - A Decision-Making App by Anthony Schmiedeler

Original Logo Design

Original Logo Design

Starting with the branding and logo, I think I tried too hard to make something different and ended up with a final product I was not comfortable with. I don't think the logo represents what it really does, which is help you make decisions. I also tried to design an iPhone app without ever having used one before which left me with unreadable type sizes and overcomplicated, clunky navigation. Finally, I presented the app with a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure style book, which seemed like a funny and unique way to relate to a decision-making app, but I feel now could have been done differently with more success. 

Some things I like about the current design: the use of a die to navigate, and ultimately make a random decision if no one answers your query, as well as the "Sayso" name.

Redesign Creative Brief

Client - Saysoa decision-making app that uses your connections and personal goals to help you make the right choice.

Product - Sayso gives the user the ability to let their chosen circles of friends or family to make decisions for them, using their inferred knowledge of the decision-maker as well as a profile that the decision-maker fills out listing their basic needs and wants.

A potential strength of the product is it's specific use to make decisions, as opposed to other social networks that get clogged with a variety of other things; it has a set-it-and-forget-it setup which causes minimal interference with a user's day; and the spontaneity it adds to everyday decisions, making life more fun and unpredictable. Weaknesses include people's reluctance to download yet another app: the inconvenience of using the app to make time-sensitive decisions; it's current clunky design.

Purpose - Sayso can be redesigned to achieve a cleaner, more approachable setup and navigation; a more appealing and appropirate branding; and a more interesting way to present how the app is used and it's unique features.

Competitors - At the time this app was first made, the only competing apps were based on mathematical formulas and use several rounds of questions, or were used specifically to make ethical decisions, not necessarily based on your personal goals. Now there are a few decision-making apps but only one that stands out, Seesaw.

It has a nice clean design with simple navigation, and every feature that Sayso has except for the random decision option when no one replies to a query. It also has features that Sayso does not have including a browser version that allows people without the app to get in on decisions, the option to notify those helping with a decision through a text or social media. It also seems to be used to take polls for non-decision related questions.

Audience - Sheltered Millennials who feel "grown up" but lack responsibility. Mostly female with large circles of friends that are frequent social media users. They feel unorganized and unsure about everyday decisions and depend largely on others for support.

Insight - These people want a tool to make their lives easier and provide with them direction in their insecurities. It has to fit seamlessly into their existing lives and work with their support structure of friends and family that they are used to relying on. This tool will empower them, make them feel more like an adult, and grow their decision-making abilities for themselves and others.


 Single Most Important Idea -  Sayso is the only decision-making app that gives you an instant decision specifically tailored to your personal goals, whether that be from your informed connections or on your own with the Sayso die. 

Must Haves- 

  • simple navigation
  • clean, modern design
  • ease of use (mainly inputting info for profile and decision options)  
  • interactivity with existing social media platforms
  • least amount of lead-up to actual question asking (quick)
  • browser capabilities
  • text option for those without app
  • real-time viewing of results
  • rewards/incentive for helping?
  • fun presentation (choose-your-own-adventure?)
  • option to enter other choices as a decision-helper
  • option to see the final decision by all

Don'ts -    

  • don't make it complicated
  • don't make it too feminine
  • don't look at designspiration
  • don't make text too small/big
  • don't make screen too busy/full

Deliverables -  

  1. Wireframes
  2. Full app demo - Keynote
  3. Presentation of features - PDF
  4. Special Promo Item?