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  • Dovetailed

Celebrating Lele and illustration in UX

Lele Saa, our Creative Director and visual designer, has had her project, Hooray! It’s a totem parade, shortlisted in the World Illustration Awards 2020 - Site Specific category which is absolutely brilliant. Lele's mural, commissioned by Horizon, a centre for adults with learning disabilities in Cambridge, has been selected for the final shortlist of 200 projects. Over 4,300 entries were submitted by illustrators from 79 countries into the World Illustration Awards 2020 which is delivered by The AOI in partnership with the Directory of Illustration. The judging panel includes industry names such as D.W Pine from TIME, illustrator Axel Scheffler and Erich Nagler, Lead Art Director for Google Doodles. We are all extremely proud and excited for Lele - the winners will be announced in October 2020. Good luck Lele!

Lele's wonderful achievement has also made us think about how we have developed our use of illustration in our UX and UI designs here at Dovetailed. As a UX design agency, we understand the power of an image to tell a story and relay a message to the reader or user. From pictures and illustrations to icons, videos and animations, we use them because they are impactful, memorable and easier to digest than text. The picture superiority effect refers to this phenomenon where people remember pictures better than they remember the corresponding words which is very important for us to consider when creating products - both digital and physical - for the user. 

Lele has been instrumental in developing our use of illustration and has weaved them into some of our UX design projects. They are brilliant at conveying complex ideas and notions in a simpler, easier to understand form. Illustrations can also be abstract enough to be more atemporal than pictures and therefore have a longer shelf-life. 

Some recent examples of where we have used illustrations in our work include in the UX of AI. Lele created the below illustration called 'User Journeys and Personas' to convey the notion that human-centred design is still super important when designing applications with AI. When building personalised systems, we still want to understand the users, witness their everyday worlds and routines, and build personas and user journeys to capture and translate these insights into the development and design processes.

The Clean Tap kit was designed in partnership with Anglian Water to help their customers better understand the importance of cleaning their taps, resulting in a positive change to their water quality. The kit also aimed to maintain adherence to tap cleaning through captivating visual design using illustrations and printed materials that would engage and remind customers.​

As a company, Dovetailed has many strings to its bow and we wanted to tell our story in a compelling and fun way. We designed a set of stickers, each one with a different illustration capturing an element of who we are and what we do - they include our nūfood 3D food printer, our office on Hills Road, a sketch pad and Lapka, our Chief Tickles Officer. We now use these stickers as our business cards and to promote our story to our community - friends, clients, new business contacts and industry peers.

We also use illustrations on social media - where text is limited - to visually represent our ideas and thoughts. A recent example is an illustration we designed to celebrate International Day of Women and Girls in Science - an issue very close to our hearts! 

As you can see, we are passionate about illustration and how it can be used to articulate a message. To conclude, Lele has given us her top tips for using illustration in UX:

  • Limit the number of colours. Less is more. Overlapping two colours creates a third one, use the negative space as another colour

  • Keep consistent colour palettes, for your audience to get used to and recognise it is you 

  • Create your own visual style. Be authentic. Avoid following trends that are not relevant to your message otherwise you will blend in with the rest

  • Keep experimenting. Try to bring something new or different to your visual language that you haven’t tried before. Social media might be a good place for that and eventually you can apply to clients and own projects

All the works from the shortlist will be featured in a new Online Showcase from September 2020, offering an exciting insight into the stories behind the projects, and commissioner and industry insights into the shortlist. The category and overall winners will be announced on 21 October. 


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