eSkate Lights

Introduction

It is another project, which is visible under several categories, due to its complexity. During my first semester of studies, I was feeling bored and wanted to put my skills to the test. Because of that, I started searching for an issue that could be solved with a product. I quickly realized that during my evening commute, it’s so dark that others cannot see me and I have hard time avoiding obstacles on the road. Since my primary vehicle of commute is an electric skateboard, it’s not so easy to find a light that fits onto its trucks. As a result I decided to create a brand, focused on selling high power lights, which can be mounted on any skateboard. Bellow you can navigate between highlighted parts of the project:

brand design, website, videos, product design, social media

Brand design

To begin the process of starting the brand, I needed to define its mission, through brand design. It needed to visually represent the vibrance and energy. In this case, emotions of this kind could only be represented with colors.

Above color scheme is supposed to be minimal. True black and white, as well as 50% grey were used for background and simple elements. In addition to earlier mentioned colors I choose orange for indicating mistakes on the website. Last but not least, the most important color of all, yellow. It not only naturally represented light and brands purpose, but also the vibrant energy behind it.

Shortly after defining color scheme, I moved onto designing the logo. In my opinion, most of the time, it represents the true essence of the brand. Even though I don’t think, that primary focus should be put on the logo, it is a important part of the visual identity. In the case of eSkate Lights, the logo should represent a combination of skateboarding and light. As trivial as sounds, I have to admit that it took me quite some time, to combine the two. Final logo shows “flashlight skateboard”, with shortened name of the brand “esk8”. Putting the logo on the yellow background, indicates existence of light and connects with the holistic brand identity.

In addition to color scheme and logo, I also needed to pick the official brand font which could be used, for future packaging parts of the website etc. I needed something unusual which would grab attention, while maintaining fast, bold, sharp edges. Full Pack 25, it fit to description perfectly and fit brand identity even better.

Website

Link to prototype of the website

Shortly after creating brand identity, I moved onto prototyping and coding the website. Even though it is no longer available, I saved several parts of the website, which has been turned into interactive prototype above. To speed up the workflow and used well known cms for building ecommerce website – Shopify. The main focus while creating the website, was to maintain good UX. I aimed to achieve it through snappy performance and easy purchase targeted, navigation. In addition to good user experience, I took care of the SEO. This resulted in top 3 position in Google search while entering phrases such as: skateboard lights, electric skateboard lights, or lights for skateboard.

Videos

Even though there was no long version of the promotional video, I managed to create several short pieces out of the unpublished edit. They were all primarily used for Instagram promotions, where they attracted the highest number of potential clients.

In addition to traditional forms of video, I also invested time into creating cinemagraphs, which turned out to attract even more attention, than I anticipated.

The last set of motion graphics I created, were Instagram stickers. Even though they sound silly and without meaning or importance, they did bring a lot of awareness to the brand. While posting a Instagram story, some users search for relevant gif stickers. By doing so, they enter the search of giphy (well known GIF service). As soon as they do so, they’re greeted with several transparent GIFs, called stickers, showing relevant motion. In this case, searching for “electric skateboard” brought up several gifts related to eSkate Lights. This converted into high amount of awareness, by sharing stories, with my brands logo.

Product design

Before going any further with the brands publicity, I focused on designing and finding the right product. I started off by sketching possible designs and shapes of the lights. My main priority was to keep the size as small as possible, while maintaining high power output. I quickly realised that there are already plenty of good designs, which can be adjusted to my needs. As a result, I have managed to contact factory in China, which was responsible for creating reinforced, waterproofed version of their flagship flashlight. At the same time I was trying to find a solution, which could enable mounting cylindrical flashlight to a skateboard truck. After reviewing several ideas, I choose simple solution. In this case, I picked standard “p” pipe brackets. It was strong enough to withstand the vibration and came in with rubber coating, which damped unwanted, rattling noises. after several weeks of testing and adjusting the final product to withstand the rough riding conditions, I was satisfied with the product.

Next on the list, was to decide on shape size and design of the package. I picked recyclable cardboard tube, originally used for prints. Additionally I put on the stickers with logo and products name on the side. Contrast between plain cardboard pattern and vibrant yellows, made the product pop from the retail shelves. I also add bubble wrap to the library, for additional protection, during transport.

Even though I was satisfied with the first version of the product I knew it could be better. That is why I started working recently, on the new, improved version of eSkate Lights. Above you can see first two prototypes designed in fusion 360. So far the one with the screw on system presented itself, to be more promising.

Social media

Social media were big part of eSkate lights, more specifically Instagram. It is the place where I found the most loyal and active audience. In addition to that I was able to gain around 3000 followers, through organic recognition and promotion from similar accounts. I was also able to build up the sense of anticipation, through release countdown.

Comparing the above posts, we can see increase in overall engagement. At the same time, we can notice that it varied, based on the hashtags used. Throughout the process of posting, I have been testing what type of content gives the highest engagement as well as conversion rate. Overall it helped me grow and learn during this experience.

What helped me grow even more and enabled me to promote the product better, was the collaboration with Mellow boards. They are a well known, electric skateboard manufacturer from Germany, representing quality. Review and recommendation form them, was a big step resulting in several orders. What is also worth noting, is that at the time, eSkate Lights were the only lights, which could fit on their drive, making it unique selling point. Overall, I was and am very grateful for this opportunity, to be recommend by industry veterans.

Conclusions and hopes

In the end, it was a truly eye opening experience, during which I could learn about creating own business. Mistakes i have made will be a good lesson, for the future projects of mine. eSkate Lights are currently on hold, due to high demand and my own need of improving the product. Regardless, I am looking forward to coming back to this project, while launching second generation of the flagship lights.

Links & Resources

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