Website

For my final product I decided to treat my thesis like a product, with a full website that catered to the multiple audiences that product was speaking to. I was interested in bringing the two audiences through a flow of ideas rather than introducing a full system right up front. 

My initial site architecture

My initial site architecture

Once I had a handle on the user flow, I was able to productively research templates on Squarespace. I settled on using Squarespace as it has an incredibly intuitive CMS with an emphasis on visual design. Visual design is one of my weaker skills and so I liked having the guidance from the templates. The project itself also had enough technical elements that I didn't feel I was missing out a learning opportunity by not crafting the site in say, bootstrap. Lastly, the project itself would not have necessarily benefited from a proprietary website. 

Branding

Once the bones of the final product was in place I worked with a good friend and branding strategist, Breana Robinson, to develop the visual language of the site. My early explorations were loosely inspired by the MTA branding. 

Breana helped me develop the brand strategy by asking me what four words succinctly describe the product. 

“Emotional, Experimental, Civic, and Data.”

We worked to first find a logo shape, settling on an interconnected series of lines that conveyed the idea of a network of data. At the center of that network we placed a circle with a loose representation  of a mouth or a face, depending on perspective.

Deciding on a title was an industrious process. We needed to capture the concept of civic without sounding too dry, considering the emotional aspects. The key to the name though, was in thinking about the user experience. Essentially, the prototype is a way for a user to see the types of data coming together. It's also a window into the world of a community resident.  Once we hit upon the word, 'view' we felt confident in the branding. The typeface is ITC Avante Garde, both a friendly font, and a nod to the idea that this is an experimental method.