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Injecting Personality with Content Strategy

Brightgauge Software
Senior Designer
Visual Design, Illustration, UX


BrightGauge has lots of personality - unfortunately not much of it was showing through to the app. From my very first session using the app, I was not in love with the tone of the site. Scary technical jargon and log dumps directly on the screen abounded. It came from an honest place... the developers tackled bugs by looking at customer screenshots and troubleshooting. With the code on the screen, it made this easy.

As part of a backend code cleanup, the team upgraded everything that had to do with logging and it made needing the logs on the screen unnecessary.

The brand has a fun 404 page already, but this is the only place that actually had any humor or levity. I love the error screens for Git, the fun app messages in Mailchimp, and even Dropbox and Google have some playful error / empty states.

Seeing the opportunity, I pitched the idea of making the errors more human-friendly and support them with some fun illustrations. I got the greenlight to do a Proof of Concept, which was put up for a vote to the team. Unanamously, everyone wanted to have a more playful app.


I have always enjoyed doing small illustrations, but as luck would have it I have spent more time than not working on teams that have a dedicated print/graphic design resource. This means I don't spend much time in Illustrator on a daily basis.

This project ended up being the perfect opportunity to kill 2 birds with one stone: inject personality like we already were doing in our newsletters in the app, and learn how to use this new app called Sketch a lot better.

By doing the illustrations in a vector format, the .svg files never had to worry about the size we ended up using in production. We also can scale and modify color schemes much easier. It's a win-win!


Once the new messages went live, we Tweeted about it and offered anyone that could find a specific image in the app a free BrightGauge t-shirt. Our customers loved it and we got nothing but positive feedback.

If you're seeing one of these screens there's likely something going wrong with the app. I'm thrilled that we could turn an inherently negative experience into a positive one!

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