Rally Reader made a great start in the US educational system and had proven that the concept works great for kids having difficulty reading. They provided a fun digitally guided reading experience without the need of an instructor. This helped allocate time to other important tasks for the teacher, while lifting weight of the shoulders of parents. To support this they needed a redesign of their look and feel. The existing bear didn't fit the broader target audience of children between 6 and 14 years old. Rally Reader would have to look less youthful yet remain as inspiring to learn children to read (better). Besides that the app could benefit from some User Experience optimizations. The new and improved design would also need to be transferred throughout the website; something we set out to do as well.
While already having a unique concept and an initial app, Rally was in need of a freshly polished environment. One that would need to be inclusive to all children trying to read better, independently.
We created a brand identity including a logo and did an entire design overhaul for the app on Apple iPadOS, iOS and Android phones. We translated this design direction into a web app and designed and built a new website.
A modern and inclusive new look
The Rally Reader team had grown fond of the bear and what it represented as a caring mascotte; they sensed it was time to steer away the somewhat child-like mascotte and move towards a more modern visual direction that matches with visual that trigger kids to read.
We suggested going with a geometric typeface to make the interface feel modern yet unpretentious. The Hellix typeface plays nicely with a modern looking UI while at the same time maintaining the ability to be timeless.
Colors and visualizations
To lay a great foundation for an extremely fresh brand direction we settled on a base palette that exists of yellow, green, blue and magenta. These have been tweaked to resemble neon colors that walk the line between the four primary colors while being fairly bright and saturated. The palette helped create a brand that appeals to the target audience by being rebellious, playful and young and innovative. Since growth and motivation is one of the key elements of Rally Reader, we wanted to extend this by utilizing gradients that hint at growth by combining colored gradients with graph-like shapes to subtly incorporate them into backgrounds.
In order for the users to stay engaged with Rally Reader, we implemented different types of gamification elements to achieve this. We created a concept based around becoming "a master of words". Having users collect words they come across while reading. An awarding system with custom designed badges from our visual design team makes sure the user feels a sense of accomplishment.
Mobile app transformation into a webapp
To support the increasing use in Chromebooks in the educational system, Rally Reader had to be optimized for web application purposes as well. The challenge this brought along was quickly crushed by our UX team who knew how to make use of the increase in space this medium provided.
New website? No problem!
When finalizing a new fresh ecosystem, a website can not be missed out on. Therefore our visual design team went ahead to design a beautiful website for Rally Reader, giving all of its products a coherent look and feel. Our front-end development team was invited to the party as well, doing a fine job of realizing the website.
A huge spike in usage by new kids and schools was an indirect result of the visual and UX refresh. The months to come will prove what an impact can be made with the right direction.