Scarlet - Digitial Assistant


Scarlet - Digitial Assistant


A personal digital assistant who briefs you at key moments to help you understand your day.

I joined Scarlet as a Design Consultant at the end of 2015. Scarlet is a startup here in NYC developing a digital assistant that combines Ai and natural language technologies to deliver personalized briefings to its users throughout the day

The driving force behind Scarlet is a believe that there are better and more natural ways of interacting with technology. 

Their intention is to design a more natural way that the information we care about is interwoven into key moments of our day.

At the time I joined the team they already had a working version of the app that they were testing with users and were now focused on defining the brand and personality of Scarlet.


Scarlet has a natural voice. She considers the day ahead, your interests, and the factors that impact your day, like weather, meetings, and traffic. She distills it all into personalized briefings to help you orchestrate your day.


I was tasked with defining the brand and Ui for Scarlet, as well as working closely with the founding team as they developed a marketing message. This was unique branding opportunity. The brand would ultimately be personified by the voice and name, while the app experience would be audio first and visual second.

The challenge was to define a digital brand/product that aimed to reduce the anxiety that our connected lives create and instead deliver personalized briefings that both calm and ground us in our day. It also needed to communicate that Scarlet was contextually aware of her users and use the audio experience as a unique selling point.









The logo combines both the idea of an audio-wave and cloud services. The form is made up of two arches which mimic the wave form created by the lowercased 'scarlet'. These rounded shapes overlap to emphasize the augmented aspect of the product. Dressed in shades of pink these curves soften and add a human quality to the design whilst the multiplying effect produces the approachable yet bold 'scarlet red'.

This visual language extends beyond the brand mark itself  and is reinforced in the animated sound-wave which represents Scarlet's voice in app.
I also created a series of small illustrations which reuse the sound-wave motif as the speak to users 'day-scapes' and Scarlets integration with them. 




We started with the already existing Android interface, which had been used for testing. We considered the feedback it had received and how it could be applied to both Android and iOS designs. We also questioned the role a visual Ui should play in a primarily audio experience and how the interface for this new product segment should function and look. The result is gestural based simplistic user model with alternative player types with easy access to alarm functionality, content management and the user's profile.

The interface is comprised of two distinct styles.

Firstly, during playback sessions the user is greeted with colorful gradient backdrops depicting clear skies which change accordingly throughout the day.  Layered on top is a combination of content titles and corresponding icons which emanate from Scarlet's animated voice-wave. The minimal controls that are present on screen are bolstered by simple swiping gestures to skip through content.

The minimal design is intentional and necessary in setting the users expectations. As the experience is intended to be calming and non distracting we wanted to create an interface that seemingly offered little interaction whilst setting a serene tone with its combination of audio, graphics and animation. 

Users can choose between 'session playback', where they can enjoy customized playlists that update throughout the day and can be assigned to an alarm or reminder
...or snack on individual pieces of content selected from the content grid.
Users can quickly access their settings with single tap revealing full controls for customizing play session as well as defining content sources and organizing alarms/reminders. 

The second style was created specifically for settings and the alarm interface itself. As one of the primary uses of the app would be as a morning alarm we created this style for low light scenarios. Example; when the user sets the alarm at night or as the user interacts with the alarm as they wake.

Here the 'scarlet red' is perfectly set off by the screens dark background, offering perfect functionality whilst being easy on tired eyes. 



The challenge in designing the icons was to define a set that would function equally well when seen as part of player and at a reduced size within settings.

The final set are both functional and appealing. Small details and use of opacity create an additional character that works well when partnered with the lowercase Sofia Pro type used throughout.




Getting THE Word out

I provided additional support in the form of a responsive marketing site and facebook advertising campaign.