Thinking about how brands typically implement personality, Output’s creative director Johanna Drewe reflects that many feel like they can’t make functional moments engaging, “because that would in some way distract the user from doing something.” But on its recent rebrand for broadband provider Cuckoo, the design studio is flying the flag for shaking up “functional” moments, like a loading page, with an exciting splash of motion – and don’t forget eggs, lots of eggs.
Cuckoo is a UK start-up broadband service hoping to be the next big thing in a market full of sluggish legacy telcos – “Just as Monzo took on the banks and Octopus Energy the energy providers,” an Output release explains. In the same way, Cuckoo’s brand has been made to “feel good”. To create a seamless, and perhaps even fun, user experience, Output turned to motion, an area of design that usually sits at the bottom of a “long wish list of things” a brand can include, Johanna explains. The brand’s new look incorporates hypnotic waves and splicing segments of pastel eggs that keep things constantly feeling mobile – which is important when you’re dealing with user wait times.
Tommy Toner, Cuckoo co-founder explains: “One of our biggest pain points on the Join Journey [section] of the website is how long it takes for us to verify a customer address and what speeds they can get at home [...] Depending on your broadband speed, that can take five seconds. That’s a massive wait time in modern websites.”
This threw up a lot of considerations for the brand: “How do you transition between states? How do you load content? How do you indicate progress? How do you manage customer expectations with a loading spinner? All of those were relevant to us,” Tommy reflects. Clever use of motion, it seems, is the ultimate salve, allowing the brand to show users that they haven’t run into a site bug, while presenting something branded to watch in the interim.
The egg motifs were also chosen as a way to stand apart from the broadband market. “We’d discussed how the egg is our unique identifier, because that’s something that would never be confused with any of the other utilities,” says Tommy. For Cuckoo, this unique choice is amped up even further. The classic egg shape becomes “3D eggy world forms”, as Tommy puts it, evoking the sensation you might get from squeezing an egg in real life – although hopefully none of the nasty aftershock of a yolk to the face.
GalleryOutput: Cuckoo (Copyright © Cuckoo, 2022)
Output: Cuckoo (Copyright © Cuckoo, 2022)
About the Author
Liz (she/they) joined It’s Nice That as news writer in December 2021. After graduating in Film from The University of Bristol, she worked freelance, writing for independent publications such as Little White Lies, INDIE magazine and design studio Evermade.