trakt is an automated way to track what you’re watching and allows you to discover new shows and movies and follow people with similar tastes. With over a half million users at the time on the platform, the challenge was to create a cohesive brand, design and experience that would scale across the content and also help trakt grow their user base.
trakt's rebrand began with an exploration of the world of entertainment enthusiasts. The brand would have to resonate across the user base ranging from the casual TV show watcher to the hardcore users that had all of their movies ripped onto a network attached storage drive and categorized by genre. I've always thought that there was something beautiful about the glow of a TV in the dark. Being in that situation a lot from working late nights, I wanted to explore the idea of being alone but entranced. These thoughts set the mood for the initial exploration.
It took maybe 15 minutes of sketching and researching online to see how easy it was to fall into the trap of creating something cliche. The last thing I wanted to do was to create a logo that looked like a TV for a service made for TV viewers. To help out with the exploration, I enlisted the incredibly talented Christine Vo to help turn over as many stones as we could.
My favorite aspect about the final logo was that it wasn't a TV. Or a play button. It would've been really easy to create something so familiar that it blends when you squint your eyes at a wall full of logos.
The final logo chosen reminded people of the record icon. The "T" brought back nostalgic memories of retro VHS cover art. Together, the elements combined to create a distinct symbol for trakt and laid the groundwork for the rest of the experience.
trakt's structure was a designer's dream to work with. The service pulled in high-resolution assets and metadata from third-party APIs and the community was already a pretty die-hard audience that regularly contributed to movies and TV shows and together, these elements provided an incredibly stable base to design on top of.
The full-width design would eventually be applied to the entire site, making the site feel more immersive than ever, especially on large displays.
Designing for a user base of 500,000+ people was surprisingly challenging since it was the first time I'd ever worked on a project at this scale. The response from the community was mostly positive and the project went on to become incredibly successful with trakt having now grown to over a million users.
Loving the new @trakt design. Wow!— Florian Jensen (@flosoft) January 10, 2015
@trakt has such a gourgeous website design. Hats off to your developers.— Michael Vitale (@vectorvitale) March 22, 2017
@trakt Huge fan of your work. UX is great. Design is great. Features just work. I don't regret my VIP one bit!— Arnaud Castaner (@DrSynAck) February 4, 2017
@trakt now that I've had some time with it? REALLY REALLY loving the new web site design. So much clearer. nice job y'all!!— Eric M. (@EricMueller) January 20, 2015
@trakt You guys are putting in WORK! Love the website and the new design. Keep it up!— ⌠ Hᴇxᴇʀ ⌡ cyruz (@neocyruz) February 18, 2015