project

It Gets Better

Client
HYPHA
Category
BRAND DESIGN, UX/UI, WEB DESIGN

The challenge

It Gets Better is an LGBTQ+ Youth Advocacy organization that offers community and mentorship through storytelling, but their brand is outdated and their website is hard to navigate.

The goal

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the case study

From brand discovery to design

We went through an in-depth discovery process with the client, their current audience, and even a research group of fellows from UC Berkeley who fit their target demographic. We learned that their brand recognition is relatively low in their space, and that the needs of their target audience just weren't fully being met with their previous brand and website. The central needs for their audience of LGBTQ+ Youth who are exploring their identity is a community, and a place to find resources on what is often considered a taboo topic. It Gets Better already had a great well of video content that was well-produced, and well-received on social media and Youtube, but as far as views go, they just weren't receiving the recognition they deserved for their high-quality content. We learned that this was because their site was hard to navigate, and their brand recognition just wasn't at the place that it needed to be for their content to be popular. From the get-go, we knew that we needed to simplify, streamline, and create more engagement.

Learning from the past

We wanted to build off the energy we were driving with 50 States. 50 Grants. 5000 Voices. and make the overall It Gets Better brand site just as engaging and vibrant. Their colors, which they wanted to stick with, already held a lot of that energy, so it was just a matter of applying them in the right way that feels fun and dynamic but not overwhelming.

Carrying it through UI/UX

It's easy to get carried away with complicated/fun UI design when working with a client like this, who really loves the creative touches. But we knew that accessibility and smooth user flows are of utmost importance to our audience in consuming the content that It Gets Better offers. Our site design is taking into account all of this. What we have been designing combines dynamic, fun design with seamless, stream-lined UX to help youth find what they need, even if they don't know what they're looking for.

The PROCESS

It Gets Better wanted to elevate their branding, and find a way to evolve from their wordmark and current branding without departing so far that their current audience no longer recognizes them. So we took shapes and colors from their current brand and applied them in new ways. The lines, designed in the initial brand as a part of the rainbow, took on more narrative form. They became pathways that represent the non-linear nature of self-discovery, something the target audience is experiencing. They wrap around subjects in photos, or act as frames for imagery. The forward angle feels progressive, like something is always changing and moving forward within us, and that's what we really wanted to drive through the rest of the branding.

After the client's large board of stakeholders agreed on the above direction for the branding, we created style tiles that showed how the brand would come to life on the screen. Due to the nature of the type of content that It Gets Better offers (mostly video) we found it important to design for dark mode, also. So, in presenting the style guide, we provided the two different screen designs.

The client has been very excited with the brand application and user interface design of the site, which is fully underway. We're having a great time with this one, nerding out about organization as well as funky design. Site is still under construction.