monobank is a product of a collaboration of the Universal Bank and the Fintech Band team, a progressive personal banking tool in the form of a mobile application. monobank positions itself as «the first bank in Ukraine without branches.»
In 2019, the number of monobank users exceeded 1.3 million, and the total amount of money they used was 112 billion hryvnias. Mono is an actively developing project with the most convenient mobile application on the market.
For this project, we created a sound identity for the application. It is one of the varieties of audio brand. In simpler words, system sounds. Specifically, for the first iteration, we’ve created notification sounds.
The main task of these sounds is to make monobank stand out even more and add recognition to it. They need to reflect the general spirit and, most importantly, make users love them.
We’ve started from the existing character of the application, a QR cat. It provided a great space for ideas.
It was clear that the sounds needed to be exclusively organic as the human brain is more susceptible to them. Such a choice could also be a perfect fit for the general concept of a user-friendly interface.
We conducted a series of experiments with the meowing and purring of a real cat, then added some sound effects like a cash register and wooden percussion instruments to them. Our main goal was to make notification sounds functional and at the same time, cozy-like. It seems that everything worked out. 🙂
Making 1–2 seconds of sound recognizable is always tricky. But we will not lie, the most challenging part of this project was to make the cat meow on demand. For demos, we (!) even had to meow.
Purring turned out to be mu-u-uch easier to record.
For the first iteration of the project, we’ve created five notification sounds:
You can listen to them below:
In March 2020, the monobank team added a secret game to their app. In it, a QR-cat flies on a rocket through space and bravely rescues cats astronauts and dodges asteroids and coronavirus.
We gladly returned to work with mono and created this game’s audio.
We needed to match the sound of the retro style game with the app’s sound because it is essentially the same product. That’s why there were a lot of discussions on the project.
To begin, Vlad and Artyom searched for the right balance, and then together with the mono team, we put that in a test.
As a result, although the game sounds like the old Dendy games, it still has references to the original monobank notification sounds — the saved astronauts are meowing quite familiar.
Fun fact: after the release, there was a bug in the game, and the sound couldn’t be turned off as the points wouldn’t be saved this way. We swear that we had nothing to do with that!
After the success of Space Invader, which monobank clients have played more than 7 million times, the mono team added another in-app mini-game called Sausage Cat.
It is a game of the legendary snake retro genre, in which a naughty QR-cat eats jars with the logo of Ukrainian banks and dies when crashing into the National Bank of Ukraine.
We immediately realized that the June quest must sound very cunning-like. To our audio mood board, we added the well-known Pink Panther soundtrack and the Despicable Me main theme as they perfectly described the mood that we sought to emphasize.
The sound, of course, remained as retro as in the March quest because both games have the same style and share many common elements. Even the tonality of the new track and SFXs remained the same so that the whole app could sound harmonious.
As a result, the music adds fun and cartoonish mood, as well as emphasizes the light-heartedness of everything that happens on screen.