Before getting into dashboard ideas, it helps to frame the overall look and feel of Chatterbug with some branding exercises - to define some visual rules to keep a sense of order to the design (a set color theme, hierarchy of text styles, etc).
For this I usually make Style Tiles - rather than building fully-fledged mockups, you can quickly iterate on styles to show different vibes.
I made a mooboard, looking through different consumer sites/brands that have a playful feel. Ultimately, something that has a couple of strong colors and a motif that you can adapt and apply to different settings (and that looks good big or small).
See the moodboard here: https://niice.co/m/809b33ec652b7214c59a3d4392a2ef6f
I started out comparing humanist, sans-serif styles / and more formal serif styles. Discussed with Scott, who expressed a preference for the more humanist, consumer-looking sans-serif and colorful approach.
(1) Punchy, bold type work mark:
For the icon element, I’m just sticking abstract shapes together - to look bold and simple, rather than trying to convey complex bug/language/chatting/learning visuals.
The bold, modernist type will work well with stark backgrounds and solid blocks of color. I elaborated a bit more with some brand blocks (better for print assets) and how a milder treatment could look for screen use (menus, buttons, etc).
This type of approach is pretty stark, and can look very professional and clean - often corporate. The colors keep it from being totally cold.
(2) To contrast this, I wanted to look at a warm, nostalgic type style. Slightly more bookish:
Here I’ve added a little chat bubble at the end, so it’s a bit more direct than the first one; though it’s not necessarily referencing language or learning either.
The color palette is warmer. It’s important to have a strong / dark tone to contrast with, hence the navy. I also tried a more retro, illustration approach with this branding style:
I like this one, it’s playful. For German in particular, this reminds me of their flag and certain aspects of Bavarian culture.
These are the results of initial experiments. I wanted to show some theme ideas, to aid the design conversation - and to create some baseline rules for the dashboard UI ideas (to follow).
Note: I know you guys have been working with some brand elements thus far, I don’t mean to disregard the bug motif and the yellow/blue colors entirely. These brand ideas are explorations - I can happily incorporate any elements, colors, fonts etc that you would like into the overall theme.