As a studio our daily creative output is quite intense, often leaving us drained of creative energies at the end of a long working day (boo-frickety-hoo i hear you mutter under your collective breath's). So when one of our creative's RJ dropped casually into conversation that he'd just found out that he's been shortlisted for a national design competition for a project he did in his spare time we were all a) slightly humbled b) mightily impressed and c) blown away by what he produced. But rather than dribble on about something the rest of us had nothing whatsoever to do with here's RJ to explain the project:
Recently I submitted a project into the Creative Conscience awards. These are awards that aim to stir young creatives to apply their talents to socially valuable projects promoting sustainability, freedom, social health and well being.
A multitude of social projects to investigate, a hoard of mediums available to vehicle your exploration; with open-brief challenges sometimes the potential scope of work is the most daunting aspect of the project. Wait I can do anything? Like literalllyyyyy?
Rather than try to reinvent the wheel, I narrowed my approach by simply taking a fresh look at Mental Health. A tricky brief, as Mental Health can mean different things to different people. It can’t be summarised in a sentence, nor fixed in one campaign. After investigating what resources were available digitally, I quickly found that most apps, dedicated to helping people who were suffering, were in my opinion blindingly introspective. Everything was looking inward, and not outward.
Uniti, is a digital application (concept) which gives individuals another feather in their cap, or a fresh approach to combat their Mental Health issues. Meaning derives from responsibility, and Uniti connects people with the opportunity to provide a service for someone else.
The Design & Brand
The brand and its identity have been a key part of this process. Research highlighted directions I wanted to avoid (namely script & handwritten type). The icon is a solid form with strength, simplicity and structure. Combined with simplistic shapes for additional graphic language, and the use of stock imagery to showcase services available. All tied together neatly with a dynamic colour scheme that changes during the user’s journey.
The icon is the primary device used for the brand. This bold visual is the connection of the first and last letters of the name - Uniti. The strapline for the brand is “Connecting You and I” – the visual literally connects the two letters. The meaning behind the visual also represents the abstract forms of three people connected together as well as representing the three pillars that the app is based around.
Found throughout the app and the advertising collateral - brand language is built up of shapes that represent changing moods and feelings. The use of the shapes is to remind us that changing moods are totally normal and to reinforce, not overthinking these emotions.
How & why is Uniti different to other MH apps?
1. The app with a deletion date.
Unlike most apps, Uniti does not stick around on your phone clogging up space – it has a deletion date. This is simply to reinforce users that they should always be looking to move through the season they are in. Based on research into brain Neuroplasticity – we now know that the brain has the ability to form new neural connections. It takes:
- 21 days to uproot a healthy or unhealthy thought / habit.
- 63 days for a new thought habit to be automatized.
- 90 days results in thought being in your non-conscious mind i.e the thought is implanted.
This research has then in turn effected the design of the app. The app lasts for a total of 100 days, at each milestone outlined above – a secondary colour scheme has been adapted. They have been picked, due to their colour theory – that suggests they are sympathetic to the emotions felt by the user at each of the 21, 63 and 90 day landmarks.
2. The 3 sections.
- The main part of the app, providing users with a list of volunteer options from the local area where they could help, includes key contact details for each project.
- With a simple click of the screen, the user can chat to a potential key contact at that particular volunteer option. They can get a personal explanation of what they would be doing, check the availability and calendar, and decide on how long they would be willing to give up.
- The second part is the Gratitude list. Being grateful breeds contentment. It eliminates the “if only I had this..” part of our lives.
- With a customisable list, the user adds the areas of life they are grateful for. They also can include images in a gallery, playlists and songs etc. Through push notifications the app reminds you to check in each day. As the process continues, the gratitude ingrains itself and we begin to realise we are all fortunate for something.
- The third part is simply the users personal dashboard.
- The key part of this being the Resources section, which has a database on various subjects, in various mediums.
- Watch (video / debate / speech / documentaries)
- Listen (podcast / audiobooks)
- Read (books, articles, ebooks, journalistic pieces, research etc)
- It also includes a Volunteer schedule, and the Deletion timer.
The finished article included the brand naming and creation, logo sting, and advertising campaign as well as the App design, especially the introduction section, menu and overview of each of the three service pages and how they would work.
The project received a Shortlisted/highly commended honour from the judges. With over a 1000 entries from 67 countries, being involved in projects like this is really exciting, let alone actually winning something. Check out the other winners on their website.