BrandLab is a customized acceleration program designed to drive excellence in video strategy for Google's top advertising partners. BrandLab represents an entirely new way of working for many of the participants — a team-oriented, hands-on workshop designed to have guests actively develop creative strategies based on a data-driven understanding of their audience. Though months of planning go into each BrandLab workshop, the ask of guests is simple: for one day put aside all the distractions of the outside world and commit to the curriculum, to this new way of thinking, and to working side-by-side with the rest of your team.
Because the wall is positioned to be the first thing a guest sees when they enter the BrandLab space, it takes on an especially important role in helping establish the mood for the day.
The bright and bold “welcome mode,” which includes high contrast colors and large fonts for legibility, is focused on celebrating the physical and emotional shift guests take as they pass through the entry. Each guest is greeted by name on an individual cubby screen with a customized color just for them. Beyond the customized colors, cubbies are set up in a way that keeps in mind things like each guest’s stature — where each cubby’s position can be changed on the fly to facilitate everyone’s needs.
As the guests interact with their cubbies, the wall updates to show them a sequence of data visualizations contrasting them and their team with the audience their workshop will focus on that day. The goal here is to help the guests understand that every piece of data they’ll be seeing in the workshop is the story of a person.
As guests complete this part of the story, they’re greeted by a final surprise: the screen they’ve been interacting with slides to reveal a secret cubby.
Inside, each guest finds all the materials they’ll need for the day, such as a customized notebook and pen. And, because BrandLab is a screens down workshop, guests are encouraged to leave their phones and laptops in the cubby where they can be charged during the day.
A “quiet mode” takes over while the workshop is session. It features more subtle animations that are designed to prevent guests from being distracted, while still making it easy for them to find their cubby when needed.
In the afternoon, as guests leave the space for lunch, the wall adapts again. This time the focus is on comparing the top trending YouTube videos for the guest demographic with that of the target audience they’re learning about more in the workshop.
Finally, at the end of the day, as guests are preparing to leave, the wall shifts into its final mode. In this mode, the wall serves as more of a retrospective for the day, showing photos captured throughout the workshop and asking the guests how they felt about their time at BrandLab. This time, when they open their cubby, they not only find their fully-charged phones and laptops, but also a special gift from the BrandLab team.
When I joined Uncorked, the demolition of the wall was well underway, but we needed to create documentation to pull together all of the various states and modes of the experience.
As we charged toward the final build, we needed to consider the overall user experience that would add a final layer of polish to the design. During this phase, I architected out final choreography for LEDs, potential companion devices, and much more.
Pen and paper