George the Poet is a British BRIT and MTV award-nominated spoken word artist and rapper, with a strong interest in social and political issues. In 2015, the UN launched their Social Development Agenda, made up of 17 global goals for sustainable development. These aspirations lay out a vision for a fairer, safer planet before the year 2030. Hard to appreciate is how much better our planet would be if we managed to complete this list, even in twice that time. Even harder to appreciate is how we are all responsible to make this happen.
Born of George's frustration at inaction and his want mobilise his audience into working towards these goals came the Search Party app.
Working directly with George the Poet, myself and team at Super Being strategised, designed and built the Search Party app; something to bridge the gap between George’s words and his audiences’ actions.
The app contains a special collection of George’s poems written about the practical future of the world, i.e. Sustainable Development. The app was designed to mobilise George’s audience in a way that generates traction towards solutions for real-world problems.
Research into George’s audience and the specific SDGs he wanted to target led us to some specific points we needed to address when strategising and designing Search Party:
People aren’t aware of these causes
“The SDGs are a huge agenda for action amongst the people of this planet. How is it so many people in George’s switched-on audience are unaware or not doing anything to help achieve these goals?”
Users need to be kept engaged
“How do we get George’s followers to use the app in the first place? What makes it special for them?”
We need to educate the users
“How to we get George’s followers to understand the importance of their helping actions?”
Mobilise the users
“Great, George’s followers have a better understanding of what’s at stake and how they can help. How do we get them to actually start?”
With these questions at the front of our work, we designed and built an app that gave George a platform to create and share topical pieces of his poetry written specifically about the SDGs he’s most concerned with. These poems would outline real issues faced using real stories from George’s life. An educational approach was used to prompt users into taking action: line-by-line analysis by George of his own work, showing off the thought behind the piece.
Aside from this, users got to read more about the piece’s overall meaning and the cause it related it, with three options presented at the end: Sign Something (like a petition); Do Something (like give to charity); or Start Something (like a social enterprise), encouraging users to step out of their comfort zone into the world of social action.
“What's your role? Ask yourself that every time you hit Get Involved, and you'll be surprised what you find with the help of a Search Party.”
As the lead designer I liaised directly with the client, initially guiding strategy and helping refine the project goals, and eventually undertaking intensive market and UX research.
After this process, I was responsible for creating initial sketches, wireframes, mock-ups and high-fidelity prototypes using Sketch and Marvel, directing branding and creating a custom typeface for the project based on George's handwriting.
For developer hand-off, an Atomic Styleguide was created to ensure development was easy, used recyclable elements, and consistent with the mock-ups pitched to the client.
Branding and styleguides
Atomic design system
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Thanks for taking the time to read through. Currently I’m only available to talk about small projects due to work commitments, but if you’ve got an awesome idea then I’d love to hear from you.
Think we could work together?