THEME DESIGNER INTERVIEW VOL.16
Introduce [MOH Inc.] and talk about some of the projects you’ve worked on up until now.
Hello^^ It’s an honor to be doing this theme designer interview.
At MOH we work with domestic companies on applications and platform planning and design in a wide variety of fields, including mobile, smart watches, the automobile cluster, etc.
Our work with Samsung Themes started as simply providing creative assistance to designers to help create better products. At some point, however, it became the most important division of our business.
We also provide emoticons and related service to Kakao Talk, Line, iMessage, etc.
Is there any meaning behind the name [MOH Inc.]?
MOH stands for ‘Moment of Oh’ — meaning that ‘moment of surprise,’ or ‘moment of awe.’ The name contains our goal and aspiration to make people see our final products and say “Oh!”
Because everyone pronounces it ‘Mo,’ there are a lot of funny anecdotes surrounding our name. The one that sticks out the most, and it happens quite often, is when people ask what our company’s name is. When we answer ‘MOH,’ they usually reply, ‘no, I mean what’s your company’s name?’ (In Korean, ‘Mo’ sounds like the word ‘what.’ Saying the company name is ‘Mo’ makes people think they are replying ‘What?’) So now when people ask us our name, we say ‘Creative Mo,’ or spell out ‘M-O-H.’ ^^
How do you go about planning and designing themes?
Our theme creation process usually starts with research on ‘consumer theme preferences’ and ‘issues of the season,’ then progresses to individual idea planning from our designers. We also use artwork from our designers that may not reflect current market research, and use that as the base for theme design. Then of course we put the themes through an internal review process, which is quite complicated and thorough. We get all our employees together and work and work and work on the concepts, until we all reach that ‘Oh!’ moment. All these processes demand lots of time to create even one theme. It’s our view, however, that these processes are a necessary investment in creating high-quality themes.
Is there a collection that holds a special place in your heart, or left a deep impression on you?
All of our themes hold a special place in my heart. I get upset if even one out of 10 themes isn’t received well. That being said, our most popular themes do stand out for me.
One that comes to mind is a theme we made using the ‘Today’s Meme’ Kakao Talk emoticons I mentioned above. The theme was called ‘Today’s Meme & MOH.’ It was the first time we’d used this ‘silly’ character to create a theme.
‘Today’s meme & MOH’ was sort of an experiment to see if gag code would be popular. It was really popular domestically, which may have been due in part to the fact that it was free. We were very pleased nevertheless. We will be looking to use more of our various IPs and original concepts to create themes moving forward. We hope for more support from our users in the future!
Please talk about a theme that didn’t get the reaction you thought it deserved…or, a gem of a theme that you put a lot of effort into.
Honestly, they all feel like gems to me. We put so much attention into each pixel, every layer. If you really look at our themes, you can see how much detail goes into them. There are a few themes that haven’t been acknowledged fully for this detail that I’d like the recommend. If I recommend them will it help their download numbers?
One of these incredibly detailed themes, where each dot was placed pixel by pixel, is ‘Classic Fantasy.’ Using a modern expression, I would say that this theme was made by ‘taking some of our designers’ skill and putting it directly into the theme.’ There’s a rumor going around that our designers finished that theme and suddenly got worse…
The next one I’d like to recommend is one of our most top of the line themes, ‘The Dragon Fantasy.’ This one took all our imagination for fantasy. We even included sound.
Do you have any funny anecdotes from designing / creating themes? If so, entertain us! 🙂
One of the themes we released when we first started doing our theme service was called ‘Forest illusion & MOH.’ To be honest, we didn’t have high expectations internally for this theme. Our designers thought that the icons and button points were too excessive.
Yet it got such a good reaction from our users after we released it on the market. It was downloaded over 300 thousand times in the month after its release!
We learned firsthand that our designers’ perspectives were different from those of our users. We learned the importance of weighing user tastes. Since then, we’ve paid way more attention to our user research.
Is there a seller out there that is grabbing your attention? Maybe a seller you’d like to get to know in our next interview?
I’ve been paying close attention to Echo Visuals, Inc. Their animation is amazing. I’d love it if they shared some of their knowhow on live themes if they do an interview.
Are there any reactions from Korean users that stick out in your memory?
- Amazing! It’s gonna be so pretty on my phone. I wanted it so bad, but I had no money…I was crying. I bugged my mom for money to get it. I’ll be sure to use it well! – Moon during the Night & MOH
- I feel kinda bad for the theme, it being free. Good for me though!!!~ Camping Bear & MOH
- Money well spent. I’m very satisfied using this theme. – Sea of Illusion & MOH
As a designer, do you have a goal for 2018? Please let us know!
I want to take the MOH style and use it in a variety of subjects and themes. It’s our goal to create themes that users will love, We strive to create an image among our users where they say ‘this is a MOH theme…I can trust it’. We don’t want to do this by simply making themes we think will be popular. Rather, we want to make unique and amazing themes that only we can pull off. It’s not just about taking good concepts and making good themes. We want to become designers that make users happy with themes that could only come from MOH.