Design As A Bridge Between Users and Technology
Kanan F. Whited IV is a seasoned creative director and executive known for driving automated, user-friendly, and visually dramatic technology solutions in the hospitality and lifestyle industries. Kanan has collaborated with renowned brands like Virgin, Airbnb, Whole Foods, Museum of Modern Art, Ralph Lauren, and Coach, delivering captivating marketing campaigns, immersive designs, and rebranding projects. Using that experience, he is a co-founder of Orion Haus, a software that seeks to transform traditional rental communities into lucrative home-sharing opportunities. With fully automated processes and a mobile app, tenants and property management companies can earn extra income through short-term rentals, benefiting both parties and addressing the issue of high rental costs in America.
GDUSA: What current projects are you working on right now?
K. At Orion Haus, we try to push the boundaries of technology and design to revolutionize the home-sharing experience. Our team is currently immersed in an app that seamlessly integrates advanced technologies to create a personalized and immersive journey for users. We are now enhancing our AI features to transform experiences, redefining how people experience travel. The fusion of AI with our platform is a game-changer. It’s the next step in ensuring that home-sharing becomes more than just feasible, it becomes effortless. Imagine having a virtual concierge, always ready to assist you, learn your preferences, and make suggestions to improve your experience.
GDUSA: How did the idea for Orion Haus come to mind?
K. The idea for Orion Haus was born out of an understanding of individuals’ evolving needs and aspirations in the real estate market and the short-term rental industry. As someone passionate about technology, design, and user experience, I saw an opportunity to reimagine how people search for, lease, and join communities catering to the life and travel lifestyle. Orion Haus was conceived to simplify the home-sharing process, change the industry, and empower individuals to express their their unique tastes and preferences.
GDUSA: Can you explain the Graphic Design inspiration behind Orion Haus?
K. We sought a balance between simplicity and elegance, drawing inspiration from the principles of minimalism, believing that less is truly more. Clean lines, thoughtfully chosen typography, and a refined color palette are the hallmarks of our creative and graphic design approach. Every element should serve a purpose and contribute to a seamless and visually pleasing user experience. By embracing simplicity and clarity, we aim to create an interface that allows users to navigate the app effortlessly and engage with its features to shape their lifestyle. The graphic design of Orion Haus is a testament to our commitment to creating functional and visually delightful products.
GDUSA: Specifically, how is Orion Haus different from its competitors?
K. Orion Haus sets itself apart from its competitors by focusing on innovation, design excellence, and user empowerment. Existing platforms were complex, often leaving people needing help navigating the process. The difference can be encapsulated in one word: simplicity. But this simplicity isn’t achieved through reduction but through innovative problem-solving. We looked at the pain points in home-sharing and created solutions that automate and streamline these areas. But it’s more than just automation; we’re transforming the experience through a user-centric approach.
GDUSA: What is the motivation behind Orion Haus?
K. The fundamental motive behind Orion Haus is empowerment — empowerment for the many Americans who devote an unbalanced portion of their income to housing. Over half of Americans, today spend more than 50% of their household income on rent. This reality can be a massive burden, limiting one’s lifestyle and financial independence. Orion Haus provides an avenue for individuals to alleviate this burden by allowing them to home-share when they otherwise couldn’t. By making home-sharing simple and accessible, we’re helping people reclaim control over their financial destinies. More than 58% of Americans can work remotely part-time. Imagine the possibilities if your apartment, rather than being a financial liability, becomes an asset and tool for flexibility. I believe Orion Haus has the potential to aid in stimulating affordable housing, not in the traditional sense of creating more low-cost housing units but by transforming existing housing units into more economically viable living solutions. It’s a new way to consider affordability as well as opportunity and growth.
GDUSA: How has design influenced the principles of Orion Haus software?
K. At Orion Haus, we view design as the bridge between our users and the technology that powers our app. Good design is as minimal as possible, stripping away the unnecessary, leaving only what is essential while ensuring it is rich in functionality. Our design principles are built around simplicity, usability, and elegance. We want our users to understand how to use our platform intuitively and to enjoy the experience. Our focus on design has made us more than a tech company; it has made us a user experience company.
GDUSA: What’s your secret to marketing and branding an organization?
K. I’ve always believed that marketing is not about selling products. It’s about conveying a story. It’s about resonating with people’s aspirations for their life. At Orion Haus, we focus on telling a compelling, authentic story – a story of empowerment, breaking down barriers, of making dreams a reality. We take the time to understand the live-travel lifestyle, and to delve into their desires and pain points. We don’t just talk about our features; we talk about the possibilities they unlock. We don’t just discuss our benefits; we demonstrate how we fit into our users’ lifestyles, and how we can enhance their experience of the world. This focus on authentic storytelling, this connection to our users’ aspirations, is my secret to marketing and branding. It’s about seeing Orion Haus not as a product but as a journey, an experience, an opportunity — and conveying that perspective to our users.