Plugging some play into your homework.
How we created a vibrant brand and product to liven up the most tedious part of school.
THA Private Ltd.
Branding, Brand Strategy,
UI & UX Design
Logo & Visual Identity
The Homework App is a mobile app that allows teachers to create and share homework assignments with their students. Students can then complete and submit their homework, and check back when they’ve been assessed. Initially, the product was rolled out as a barebones MVP. The aim was to evaluate the product market fit, and not much thought was given to the brand itself.
The app struck a chord. The rapidly burgeoning pandemic meant that the time was right for a remote learning tool of this sort. Schools saw the potential in the MVP, and slowly started to get onboard.
But homework was still... homework. The founders knew it was time to take a step back, revisit the brand, and make their product more appealing to users.
The problem -
Yaaaay homework! Said no one ever...
Can you call your product ‘Homework App’ and also have users think fondly of it? A little digging exposed three major pain points.
Homework is no fun.
We needed to smash that homework-is-a-drag stereotype out of the way and create a vibrant, engaging brand.
You can’t speak the same language with everyone.
THA users were little kids, older kids, parents, and teachers! We needed a brand that let us turn it up a notch when needed, and take it down when not.
Can you really own ‘homework’?
Would you start up a cake shop and name it simply ‘Cake Shop’? How do you stand out?
Searching for inspiration -
Back to school!
Starting at the source, we spent some time riffling through old school textbooks and student notes. We found a wealth of inspiration in there, from which we extracted the key elements of the brand.
The logo -
The logo plays with the idea of scratching off ‘work’ and replacing it with things that are fun. The logo unit is constructed using a fixed vertical lockup, and multiple variations of scribbles and handwritten text.
Putting it all together.
What we ended up with is a brand that’s crisp and respectable, but also makes space for play.
Searching for inspiration -
A flexible system for illustration.
We developed an illustration style that mimicked the ballpoint pen scribbles you’ll find in every school book. The style was thematically apt, but also simple enough that it could be easily adopted by the team later on.
Mobile app -
A thoughtful, inclusive experience.
The Homework App would be used by a wide variety of users — teachers, tutors, parents, students — from across the country. We needed to account for a diverse range of personas, ranging from young children in metros to adults in tier 2 cities, to senior citizens who struggle with their phones.
The app had to be easy for all sorts of people to use. At the same time, we had to keep our original aim in mind — to make homework fun, and to capture the natural warmth and vibe of well-worn school books and classic stationery.
Embracing the quirk.
With a stubby, solid typeface, a handdrawn scrawl, ballpoint doodles and pale paper colours, The Homework App is a quirky brand. We made sure the app retained the personality of the brand, designing components and screens that were functional and usable, yet visually distinct.