In our last blog post we announced Coachmetrix, our new leadership development coaching platform launching this month. The response was so overwhelmingly positive that I’m inspired to share more of the story with you.
It was three years ago that I was clear on the roadblocks that limited my leadership development programs, but I knew the solution was outside my expertise. That’s when I reached out to a good friend and web developer who patiently listened to my dream of accelerating learning and behavior change for the coachees in our leadership development programs. Our first step was to tackle an online action planning system. Easy, right? It was just the beginning of many starts and stops but over time we made it work and are now thrilled to have our own mobile planning and measurement tool.
Over the last two-plus years, hundreds of participants in our leadership development and coaching engagements have adopted our system. While it was seamless on the coachee’s end, it was clunky and hard to use on the backend by anyone but my team and me. I was happy to see a quote from Reid Hoffman, the founder of LinkedIn, “If you’re not embarrassed by your first launch, you launched too late.” The first launch worked, but in retrospect it was embarrassing.
It was time to make a big investment. We owed it to ourselves, and other trainers and coaches, to explore the full potential of the system. That’s when we partnered with a web development and design firm, Crow & Raven in Boulder. Things got really interesting, really fast. What should we name it? What about fonts, color palettes, and other design considerations?
At this point, we realized that we weren’t just creating an application, we were inventing a brand.
Logically, we started with naming our product, Coachmetrix. Our hope was to have a lean, iterative, and collaborative experience. We created a spreadsheet with +100 names, then applied a 1-5 scores across four factors:
How unique relative to the competition?
Can we get the .com or another good domain?
The purpose of this exercise was to weed out bad names, not necessarily identify a winner. In subsequent conversations, Coachmetrix started to feel more natural and appropriate than the alternatives. Rather than mulling this decision over for weeks, we made a decision, bought the domain name, and moved on to the next challenge: brand voice, tone, and style.
Crow & Raven designed two moodboards, each with a different take on the brand style we’d previously described as empowering, inspiring, friendly, clean and simple.
Mood Board 1:
Mood Board 2:
From this, we quickly arrived at decisions on typography, tone, and style. In our lean branding approach, that left us wondering about a logo. We knew that a typographical logo was the simplest and best option to keep us moving forward, so we explored a few possibilities.
Our initial thought was to purchase a theme, then customize as necessary. But as the Coachmetrix style progressed, we realized that a simpler and cleaner design was a must. At this point, was easy to assume we needed designs for many pages and screens, introducing a lengthy design and review process. Instead, we designed key functional and branded components for use throughout Coachmetrix. User avatars, project cards, discussions, and data visualizations stood out as important design considerations.
Wireframes, clickable prototypes, development, and user testing all followed before we could consider our application anywhere near launchable. The result? It’s sharp, dynamic and intuitive. It’s Coachmetrix. Sign up here to be notified on launch information this month.