Best of Galaxy Store Awards 2019 Winner: Cogul Planet Focuses on Design and Readability to Create Successful Theme Designs
Our Best of Galaxy Store Awards series highlights publishers who won awards at our second annual Best of Galaxy Store Awards ceremony at the Samsung Developer Conference. These publishers represent the top performing apps of the year, pushing the boundaries of innovation, quality, and creativity.
Next in our series, we sat down with Cogul Planet, the winners of not one, but two awards: Best Themes Brand Collaboration and Best Themes Designer (Big Brand). The Cogul Planet team shared their inspiration for their MLB Themes, technical challenges they faced, and advice for designers who want to have a successful Galaxy Themes business. Check out the interview below!
What inspired your idea for the MLB Themes?
There are many ways for a fan to cheer on his or her favorite team or favorite player. Some of those ways are to visit a game in the stadium, buy a uniform, cap, or purchase other accessories. They can also participate as members of team clubs. Fans interact in these ways because they want to feel a sense of belonging. They want to feel that they contribute or that they belong to the team dynamic.
Taking that into consideration, we thought that applying a sense of belonging into the fans' mobile devices, which they check and use nonstop throughout the day, could be a new way for a fan to be part of the fandom as well as maximize their sense of belongingness and satisfaction.
Although there are many online wallpapers of MLB teams and players with some available on the MLB site, we wanted to take the next step and provide a more advanced experience to the users by not only providing wallpapers, but also designing icons, buttons, animations, and sounds.
How would you describe your approach to design?
First, we like to design themes that are easy to use from a user perspective. Even if a theme is filled with pretty and cool images, if it doesn’t have good legibility or doesn't harmonize overall, the user will get tired of it.
From a designer’s point of view, we want to communicate the topic of a theme clearly and harmonically so the theme stands out among many other themes. Creating a theme that can capture both design and readability is our main approach to creating themes.
What is your process for designing Galaxy Themes?
The first step in the process of designing a theme is to have a concept meeting with the designers and the planning department. The meeting will occur two to three times each week. During the meeting, seasonal issues and trends of major countries are discussed. Meeting participants recommend concept production ideas. We always try to maximize each designer’s individuality or merit by applying their ideas and supporting them for an optimized result.
Once the concept is set, each person will sketch their ideas and share them with each other. After ideas and sketches are shared, drafts are made. In case of different feelings and aesthetics among two drafts, we choose one and proceed with the work on the editor. The final theme reflects more individuality than the team, but the team collaborates a lot in the production process.
What is the most important thing to consider when designing Galaxy Themes?
It’s important to attract consumers’ attention with a pretty and cool design, but one of the things we think about most when designing is legibility. Especially the home screen, the dial screen, and the message screen that are frequently used, and the purpose of their use is clear, so if poor readability interferes with that purpose, users will feel uncomfortable using their smartphone and will find a different theme soon.
What is the biggest technical challenge you face as a Galaxy Themes designer?
At first, video lock screens were not supported and as technology evolved, it was difficult to learn new skills by using a video production program in addition to a lock screen produced by a theme studio. To create a theme that is more complete with maximized quality, designers need more skills and to always be learning new skills to adapt to advanced technologies.
What design elements do you think all good Galaxy Themes have in common?
Popular and pretty Galaxy Themes have a clear concept and are clearly visible for users. When users use various functions of their device, they can experience the detailed work which gives them a fun and complete feeling. For example, we think you bought a good theme when the details of the lock screen pattern, Iris design, buttons, switches, and keyboards feel alive. These themes are legible and comfortable to use.
How do you keep your Galaxy Theme designs fresh and relevant?
We do a lot of research to understand the tastes of Galaxy Theme users and to create new and fresh themes that haven't been seen in the traditional Theme Store. We use new concepts or mix and match two categories to create something brand new and fresh.
What advice do you have for designers who are starting out to have a successful Galaxy Themes business?
If you study the tastes and minds of Galaxy Theme users, you can come up with a variety of themes that suit your individuality. It’s as important to be up to date with trends, markets, and seasonal events of the Theme Store as it is to create a new theme.
How did it feel to be recognized with two awards?
I felt proud and responsible to win two awards among countless sellers. Since becoming a member of the Theme Store in 2016, Cogul Planet has launched nearly 20,000 applications so far and has been working hard to create new trends and segments such as Ebichu, Siba, MLB and “Good job today.” I believe our contribution both quantitatively and qualitatively to the Theme Store was recognized and rewarded.
In the future, we will continue to create many good and fresh themes so that our users can have a better and easier experience using our Galaxy Themes!
Thanks to Cogul Planet, Inc. for sharing their insights on the complexity of theme designs, how to approach design thinking, and how new designers can get started building Galaxy Themes for the Theme Store! If you're on a Samsung device, check out their designs and MLB themes.
Follow us @samsung_dev for more interviews with Best of Galaxy Store Awards 2019 winners.