A Brand Transformation Studio
WATR is a design studio specializing in brand and experience design.
We create impact by crafting brands and products based on the underlying ethos of our interactions and interests that make us human.
Our work strives to build and nurture business along with inspiring new attitudes and behavior by delivering strategy, experience, design, and change.
We believe good design is good communication, and also, good design is good business.
We have worked in the most emerging startup areas such as horizontal and vertical ecommerce, social/ assisted ecommerce, mobility, horizontal and vertical-specific business software, proptech, investment-tech, edutech, pioneering the future of brand and experience design.
As a studio, all our client engagements are led by senior partners operating as creators of the work and primary contact for driving the project. This unique collaboration practice reflects our enduring passion and personal commitment to our clients and crafting exceptional design.
Learn more about partnering with us - write to us at [email protected] or visit us at studiowatr.com
Airblack, Strata, TASA, OnePlus
"WATR’s ability to keep a high bar here stands out."
WATR provided branding efforts and designed the launch site. They also brainstormed and designed product flows.
"WATR’s ability to keep a high bar here stands out."
Mar 11, 2020
WATR has received positive feedback from the users. Their workflow was efficient and they worked well with the client. Making sure deadlines were met, they never settled for anything that wasn't the best, globally. They had an excellent ability to think through problems.
The client submitted this review online.
Please describe your company and your position there.
I am the founder of Airblack. I lead Product, Design, Community and Growth in the company.
For what projects/services did your company hire WATR?
We hired WATR to work with us closely on the following
- Conceptualise and shape brand identity
- Brainstorm and design product flows and screens for Airblack Influencer Product on Web and App
- Brainstorm and design product flows and screens for Airblack Member App
- Design the brand launch website
What were your goals for this project?
With respect to the product: We had a working business flow on WhatsApp and Instagram. We are a marketplace with Influencers (Travel Designers) on one side working remotely, and travelers on the other side.
The third stakeholder is the business team. Key objectives were
- Enable Influencers to chat, recommend travel content and products as well as plan the entire itinerary for the member
- Enable Members to consume, decide and book various items on the itinerary
- Enable business team to track plab progress and manage various stakeholders’ experience
For the brand
- We had stated objectives and had to come up with a brand identity and website
How did you select this vendor?
We were looking to hire a full-time team early on when we started. Had interviewed more than 50 design leaders across India and eventually started looking at agencies and consultants too. Spoke to top 10 agencies in Delhi NCR. We were introduced to WATR by WeWork Community and made them do a design exercise with us lasting a couple of days. We also heavily evaluate people on first principle thinking and in our case, ability to have ‘taste’ for premium brand design. WATR stood out on all fronts.
Describe the project in detail.
On selection, the first thing we worked together on was making the brand guidelines / identity, and designing the logo. My founder and I had detailed sessions with the team where they interviewed us on what we had in mind and asked us a lot of questions around brand and desired user perception. We had to iterate on the idea a couple of times.
The final output was very well thought out with deep philosophies around the ‘why’ of things, which is something our product team obsesses a lot on. Post this, we had to start working on the Influencer and Member product. We aligned on a weekly sprint, where WATR and us would meet at the starting of the week to align on weekly priorities and brainstorming sessions. We would look at the deliverables on Friday / Next Monday and move on to next.
Being an early stage startup developing maiden product, a lot of uncertainty existed in the scope midway and we would brainstorm a lot on product and design to tackle this. There have been instances where we would have 2 day long brainstorming sessions too. This lasted for 3-4 months with where we shipped products for development every 2nd or 3rd week.
On completion of the product for Members and Influencers, we moved on to making the website design. We approached the problem in similar ways but we were chasing insane launch deadlines - the project had 4 screens and had to be shipped in a week. Website brand designs can be tougher, but we were able to iterate on this twice in a matter of a week. We are working with the team now to wrap up certain smaller tasks and maintainance design.
What was the team composition?
The team comprised me (Product and UX research), Arunabh (WATR, UX Research and Product Design), Rimpy (WATR, Visual Designer and Product Design) and in a few meetings Aman (Technology Lead)
Can you share any outcomes from the project that demonstrate progress or success?
Below are the outcomes of various things we worked on
- Website and Brand Identity - launched 1 month and 6 months ago respectively: appreciated in India’s startup community. One thing that we checked internally was how much do our members convert pre- ane post- brand launch? Since we are a new brand, 65% of members would ask on an average 3-5 questions about the brand on call before making their first high-ticket size travel transaction (only 40% completed this step) Post the website and brand launch, only 15% ask on an average 1-2 questions and 55% complete transactions. Close to 90% of our members read the website to be aware of the brand.
- Influencer Product - launched 2 months ago: 100% of our business and influencer team has moved to the product. Initial user feedback is positive. The average time to make a plan has come down to <1 hour, which initially was about 3-4 hours on WhatsApp and Instagram research. Moreover, Influencers can now create travel blogs while planning trips and it is a very exciting proposition for them. We are publishing 5-6 new blogs everyday with the product, which used to be 0 before the launch.
- Member product - launched a month ago and WIP - too early to say but 40% of our current members plan on the Member App. The planning experience is seemless with almost 90% of them using our Wishlist feature to do selection. Members are spending > 60 minutes on the app every week. However, there are bugs and technical glitches we are solving so it would be too early to comment on metrics here.
How effective was the workflow between your team and theirs?
We initially started with a more unstructured model in the first month but right after, we aligned on a weekly sprint. We would have reviews on Fridays / Mondays, discuss monthly priorities at the start of the month and then keep on aligning on weekly priorities. The workflow was efficient and worked with our development and business teams.
What did you find most impressive about this company?
From my experience of being a VC before and evaluating some of the best product businesses in India, I have seen that the most important thing in product design is the ability to think through problems from first principles and think through various possibilities / pros / cons before jumping to any solution. I have met many product designers but WATR’s ability to keep a high bar here stands out.
The second-most strength is passion for the work they have and ownership - it never felt that they were not a part of our team and someone external. We have had healthy arguments where they would put a lot of effort to arrive at a higher quality answer than quick answers. They championed design ownership and made sure our timelines (which were aggresive) were met, yet never settled for something that would not be the best globally.
Are there any areas for improvement?
Since they are a new firm, I could see there is initial struggle to manage a lot of work at once, especially while dealing with multiple clients. There were a couple of minor incidences where I saw they were extremely worked up. Having dealt with startups for most part of my life, I understand that this is the journey every new entrepreneur goes through. You say yes more often that you say no. But I am glad that the 8-9 months we spent, I saw they improving massively on this front and they helped bring good project management structure to our design and product org as well.