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What do eclectic creatives at a marketing agency have in common with teens that like to talk with chatbots?
Well, maybe not a ton. Definitely not as much as we thought. (Are we getting old?) —But that’s what made our recent website design for Kik’s teen messaging app an exciting project!
kik chat up a notch.
Kik is a popular messaging app that allows teens to connect with their friends and favourite brands through chat. As the first messaging app to launch chatbots, Kik users spend more time talking with chatbots than in other apps. This remains a core draw for teens on Kik.
Kik wanted a new website to drive more downloads and solidify themselves in the market as the best way for brands to engage with teens.
Kik's previous website:
Design that chats to teens.
We discovered an abundance of chat apps in the market. They all had their own websites, but with the exception of Snapchat, nobody seemed interested in talking to teens. Instead, they touted features and showed product screens with messages like, “our app lets you chat with your friends for free!” (Yes, we know—they all do).
Clearly the way to separate Kik from it’s competitors was to remember our audience: teens. Kik is already a unique chat app with lots of personality—just like it’s users—so we had to mirror that energy in our designs to get teens excited about chat!
Sending out the scouts.
Our first step was to learn about Kik’s primary audience—teens. We bought a pile of teen magazines (they still exist!) to get a glimpse into the teen brain for some design inspiration. Browsing magazines and ‘collaging’ was admittedly the fun part, but we also spent a lot of time analyzing the market.
We studied data from emoji focus groups and research about the specific kinds of teens that use Kik. We had to do more than just ask Graeme, our youngest team member to fully understand our audience. Do teens still say things are ‘on fleek’? Is FOMO still a thing?
All the feels.
Kik selected the concept that would sell their messaging app by evoking emotion (yay! That’s what we were hoping for). Rather than showing the product with boring UI screens in phone mock-ups, our designs expressed the emotion behind the user experience. This demonstrates the value of being able to express your unique self. After all, emotion sells.
This approach allowed us to bottle up the essence of Kik and pour it back into their new website. Here’s how this approach ended up looking in our final designs.
Kik’s top ten Kik emojis of 2016 top ten Kik emojis of 2016 list really came in handy on these pages ;) 😘
A homepage that shows the story.
The homepage—more so than any other page—needed to convey the emotional appeal of connecting with your friends on Kik; and thereby driving downloads. And what better way to get inspiration than by watching music videos from J Biebs and other teen stars? We wanted to communicate how Kik fits into the energy, colour and lifestyle of teens. Energy to us meant movement, so how about creating a homepage video?
We set to work finding teens to cast for homepage video vignettes that would match Kik’s brand image—authentic and diverse people with interesting hobbies and interests. We found actual teens who were skateboarders, basketball players, breakdancers and even an awesome kid who designs his own bicycles.
These unique teens walk across the homepage in short clips to show how Kik lets you connect with your friends through chat. Be it organizing a road trip, sharing what you’re doing, or making sure you’re on time for your basketball game—Kik has you covered!
Let’s pause for a quick game, shall we? Can you spot the three One Netters that appear in the vignettes?
The Moral of the Story
One good thing leads to another.
Collaboration is always at the heart of everything we do at One Net and it’s never a surprise when a great relationship develops! That’s why we were honored to work many sleepless nights on a second website to help several leaders of the Kik team launch their newest vision: Kin cryptocurrency.
We’re looking forward to helping Kik continue to change the way we communicate with their constant drive for innovation—not just with the end customer in mind, but with society as a whole.
“Everyone at the company is pleased with the new website. One Net is a great partner who provided creative ideas that made the website unique, like the homepage vignettes, and provided great client service throughout the whole project."- Rod McLeod, Senior Director of Communications at Kik Interactive
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