With everything going on in the world, we could all use some optimism, some positivity, something GOOD. What a perfect time for the 2020 Designing for Good competition! If you’re someone with design, writing, UX, or development capabilities and have a generous heart, we need you. It’s your chance to call attention to a nonprofit you’re passionate about, dream up how you would help them creatively, and help them receive a $10,000 grant to make it a reality. (Notice we said ten grand—that’s double compared to previous years!)
All you need to do is is submit a 90-second video telling us how you’d help your nonprofit by May 8. And if you’re wondering just how big of a difference this contest makes to these amazing organizations, read on! In our upcoming blogs, we're going to catch up with previous winners of Designing for Good. Today, we meet those representing healthcare, art, and environmental causes.
A UX boost for MGY, Community Health Worker training
MGY was named for the physics formula for potential energy (Mass x Gravity x Distance — maybe our scientist readers can help us with why distance is the ‘y’). It’s an organization on a mission to enable more healthcare in the world’s remote areas, from the Peruvian Amazon to Uganda and even Madera, California, which is also underserved when it comes to healthcare.
Brieanna Waggoner saw an opportunity to streamline the UX in their app, which serves as a training guide for Community Health Workers in these areas and can even work without a WiFi connection. “Sometimes there may only be two physicians for 100,000 people,” she tells us. MGY partners with local organizations to find volunteers and then trains 50 healthcare workers who will each then be responsible for serving 100 people in their community.
Because there may be limited access to technology, Brieanna knew it was important to have a simplified UX. Additionally, she explained, “The original UX and UI were almost afterthoughts. Each location had its own curriculum that worked in its own way — definitely problematic for developers.”
Brieanna and a designer created a version of the app that could handle different versions of the curriculum, had a more intuitive interface to better serve their audience, and eliminated other minor bugs. Brieanna tells us, “There’s an increase in demand for the Community Health Workers and training to serve them. This will impact thousands in underserved communities.”
Using art as the path to history
Talia Souki has a lot of love for the Urban Memory Project, a New York City non-profit that helps schools, community organizations, and cultural centers get residents to find the links between their own personal histories and the history of their city. The goal is to create more empathy and connection between what may be very diverse groups of people.
Talia worked with the nonprofit to create a game called Memory Kaleidoscope, which uses artwork and guiding questions to spark memories. It helps players practice active listening and truly get to know each other. With the help of the Queens Public Library and a pro bono team at the Design Dream Lab, Talia’s team developed branding for the game; designed the cards, packaging, and a player guide; and printed 100 sample sets for a field trial.
“Thanks to this grant,” Talia tells us, “We can spark conversations, strengthen social bonds, get people to put their phones down for a minute, and come together to learn more deeply about ourselves and each other.”
Turning up the design heat for an environmental cause
The Environment Centre (tEC) is a Southampton, UK-based organization that has been helping people, businesses, and communities reduce their carbon footprint for 25 years. Designer Nicki Hodgson loved what they were doing with their Healthy Homes program, which aims to keep Southamptoners warm and well during the cold winter months by offering funding for home energy upgrades, advice for switching suppliers, and information on how to tackle issues like mold.
Nicki believed they could get even more online referrals if she spruced up their site with user-friendly, aesthetically pleasing content that would be easier to find via search.
In addition to a security certificate, a PHP version upgrade, and improved compatibility on mobile, Nicki created a secure online referral form, a calendar of outreach events and a new case study layout.
“We continue to simplify content, navigation, and layout, with lots of re-organizing, categorizing, and tagging to improve SEO,” she tells us. “We’re hoping to have that done in the next month or so, fingers crossed!”
Nicki believes that all of these changes will increase the number of people being referred to tEC and says “this funding could potentially save someone from becoming a winter death statistic.”
That's awesome because a) you haven’t even met all our winners yet! And b) there are a ton of amazing nonprofits out there like these and they are eager for your talent! If you don’t already have one in mind, check out volunteermatch.org and taprootfoundation.org. Then, let us know what you’re passionate about—submit your video by May 8! And check back next week for two more 2019 Designing for Good winners.