Timeful was a startup dedicated to helping people change their behavior & use their time better.
I say "was," because they were acquired by Google, and their team is now building their mind-blowing technology into Google products (congrats, guys!!!). The original app went way beyond a calendar and to-do list. Using machine learning, algorithms, and human behavior research, Timeful helped turn intention into action. Google, you are lucky ducks.
Here's a look at their original app:
"The existing logo has yet to convey that mystical thing we’re accomplishing for people, and it feels out of line with the rest of the app."
Yoav Shoham, Timeful Founder
In interviewing key stakeholders for the project, I asked about their contributions to the company, future goals for the brand, and feelings about the current identity (both positive and negative). I learned what key attributes the future identity needed to convey, and what the team hoped users would think or feel when interacting with Timeful branded materials and products.
I saw many common threads in their responses, but I also noticed some key differences of opinion. In order to hone in on the core attributes, I pored over user reviews, blog posts, and marketing campaigns, and conducted a number of exercises with Timeful's brilliant design team to define the brand voice and archetypes. This helped to reveal the identity of Timeful as its users see it, rather than merely using feedback & visioning from the team to define the direction.
With the results from my research, I was able to begin sketching for the Timeful identity. I began with super rough drawings on paper, transferred those to black and white illustrations of which which a few evolved into high-fidelity logo concepts.
Much of the criticism of the existing identity was that it was cold, unfriendly, and felt more alarming than comforting or friendly. While a task-centric app shouldn't necessarily aim to make users feel warm and fuzzy, it should better reflect the goals of the app and the personality of the company.
Below you can see a few of the initial concepts.
In the end, a symbol of time and change was the most appealing, aspirational, & recognizable mark.
The final direction we landed on was the monoline hourglass. Initially the team wanted to leave that shape behind, but we found a way to reenergize the familiar icon. The triangle symbolizes change, a word with profound meaning for Timeful, which aims to change users' behavior. There are endless ways to tessellate and evolve the mark, and these simple rounded triangles are both kinetic and anchoring.