Mini Project: No Place Like Home

I was approached by a friend of mine to create some content for a nonprofit proposal. I embrace small, fun projects as a channel to design with more freedom, so of course, I jumped!

She's training in Occupational Therapy (OT). It's much like Physical Therapy but focused on restoring daily tasks. The goal is to improve quality of life and independence more than physical (or muscular) function. OT can involve things like developing fine motor skills, but this project is a little different.

The proposal is for a mobile therapy center to provide reminiscence therapy for senior citizens in low-income areas of Austin.

 
 I made a quick photo for context using Google Maps and generic RV 3D model from  Pixel Squid

I made a quick photo for context using Google Maps and generic RV 3D model from Pixel Squid

 

Reminiscence therapy triggers happy memories to stimulate the brain in positive ways. It's proven in studies to help with Depression, Parkinson's, and other cognitive issues in elderly populations. Their target patient age is 60-80, so their childhood memories fall from the late 30's to the 50's.

A Mobile Home is outfitted with objects from 1930-1950. Groups of 2-3 are paired with a therapist into the mobile home and recall positive memories. The mobile home can serve community centers like churches and recreational facilities as well as individual homes.

The project is coined "No Place Like Home."

 
NPLH-logo-dribbble.jpg
 

I was super stoked to provide support on the project! The concept of reminiscence therapy feels like an exercise in emotional health. There's already a natural narrative about searching for belonging and comfort we've all felt before.

There was no lack of inspiration. The time period encompassed World War 2 ('The Good War') and Midcentury Modern design aesthetics. It was a sort of blissful period for design that people love to reminisce and reflect on today.

I decided on an open door as the main graphic.

It transforms a house into a home. It also represents a door to memories and a different time--a reference to the therapy.

 

 
 

The typeface I chose reflected script fonts from classic brands. Many brand redesigns during this time were merging hand-painted designs and more machine-influenced aesthetics. Futura was created at this time and the Bauhaus blossomed.

Instead of using primary colors (red, yellow, blue), I chose to feature tertiary colors (purple and teal). Dusty blues and warm grays hint at a vintage origin.

 
 The brand guide is simple in order to serve non-designers

The brand guide is simple in order to serve non-designers

 

Overall, I'm satisfied with the result of such a quick project! I hope they make the proposal a reality. 

Process #1: Project Planning

I get asked from a lot of people, whether they're interested in me or in design as a field:

What is your process?

 

I always have trouble answering this question because there's so, so much to say! I tend to tailor my approach based on the content being designed or developed, the user types and the individuals involved. So here is where I start: Project planning.

Every project should have a set of objectives, defined users, and timeline.

Every project balances some type of business needs or limitation with a user experience.

Every project follows a sequence of researchdesign, implementation or build, and quality control metrics.

Ultimately, the goal is to identify and involve stakeholders at the right time.

The various voices, whether literal or figurative (ie users), must be weighed appropriately with other project needs.

It's easy to get lost in a single step--getting caught up in resolving a single design element or visual objective--when there's bigger fish to fry and larger problems to solve. I often step into the role of developer, or user tester and tech troubleshooter, and it's easy to get lost in a different mindset.

Using this project map really helps me put things into perspective and remember that:

The goal is for a user--a person--to experience and not to simply design an object.

I'll flesh out the design process in later blogs!

Feel free to steal and use this! Nab a copy from my google drawing here.

Animated Buttons

I'm working on a blog post about design and development processes, but in the meantime, this is what I've been making in the last week!

***Animated buttons***

I'M BOUNCEY
I'M SHAKING!
I'M SHINEY

Check out my codepen for more! These were made to be implemented into Instapage, so most of them were taken to a minimally viable point so that I could get them to fit with Instapage's quirks and UI.