On June 2, 2015, we removed our 25¢ transaction fee. Also on that date, we showcased a brand new look and feel to the Dwolla site, one that complimented our focus on providing businesses and financial institutions with a powerful platform and API that they could use to power their payments infrastructure.
I chatted with Jeremiah Wingett, Dwolla’s Lead Visual Designer, on the inspiration behind the choices he made during the redesign.
Can you first describe your role at Dwolla?
My job is to maintain the look and feel of the Dwolla brand while ensuring the company’s visual standards are carried across all properties to the highest quality. I work alongside our user experience designer, developers, copywriters, and product managers to design and develop our web and mobile applications, as well as collaborate with the marketing team to design both digital and printed materials.
What were some of the biggest challenges you faced while redesigning Dwolla.com?
As long as I’ve been at Dwolla, it’s been a challenge to visually represent our technical products and features. Features like MassPay, OAuth, and Facilitator Fees are difficult to translate into imagery. Photos don’t typically work well. Simple icons are usually too abstract and don’t draw a literal enough connection. Product screenshots get outdated quickly. I’ve found that illustrations are best to represent complex concepts like these. I did a lot of experimentation and ultimately ended up with an illustration style that is minimal yet has distinct detail and is also flexible enough to work well on light and dark backgrounds.
What aspect of the new design do you enjoy most?
The gradients applied over the greenback imagery is a treatment that I think works really well. The combination of intricate dollar bills along with clean typography and simple icons creates this old school meets new school effect. I really like the idea of this physical meets digital concept. Overall, the new color palette and imagery establish a more rich, lush, bold experience and modern vibe.
Can you talk us through the typography and your choices?
The typefaces were selected for their subtle distinctiveness and legibility. Roboto Slab and Open Sans pair really well together. They have similar letter shapes and proportions, yet you can distinguish between their slab and sans-serifs.
Roboto Slab is used minimally and primarily reserved for headlines. Open Sans is mainly used for running body copy and subheads. They are Google fonts, so they are free and easily accessible to anybody in the company, which was also a big factor in my decision.
What key differences are there between Dwolla’s home page then and now?
We’ve pivoted our design focus from individuals and small businesses to be more inclusive of and even focus more on financial institutions and platforms that utilize our API. It not only changes the way that we communicate, but also influences the imagery.
With the removal of the 25¢ transaction fee, we’ve packaged up the powerful payments features and tools we’ve been building over the years for specific companies. These features are now available in simply priced packages—allowing you to pay for what you need (such as white label payments and next day ACH transfers) without having to worry about per transaction fees.
Jeremiah has taken this focus and translated it into impactful design. Check out Jeremiah’s work on dribbble.com.
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