By Sarah Jane
client: Turning Point Macomb
When Turning Point, a domestic violence shelter in Macomb County, Michigan, approached me to redesign their website, I used the opportunity to put systems thinking and sustainability principals to work.
I first identified the systems involved; all inputs and outputs of the main and sub-systems. This gave me a good overview of all stakeholders and potential outcomes of the systems.
The next step was to identify the problems with the current system. This involved isolating patterns. What wasn’t working and why?
I identified pattern solutions that truly utilized human-centered design and improved the site use (User Experience) for all stakeholders in the system (users, Turning Point staff, as well as website managers).
View the Case Study
Tax Trilogy: Branding and Web Design
Tax Trilogy came to me with an idea for a social and informational website for tax professionals. After a brand strategy meeting and some break out brainstorming, Tax Talk Forum was born. Launching in January of 2013, Tax Talk Forum is a user forum and social network for tax professionals. The site is a fresh vision of professional tax resources on the Web and is unique in both its approach (young and social) and its content.
The Tax Talk brand was designed to be clean, professional and fresh. The orange shows the energy and youth of the firm, and subtly ties to the parent company Tax Trilogy’s brand of yellows and oranges.
The web design incorporates the branding and user-centered design to create an integrated blog, social network and forum.
A character named “Onerous Bastard Tax” was created as a humorous character to add levity to particularly difficult taxes. Each month a super tricky tax is featured in the “Onerous Bastard Tax” post. A Flash map graphic was created to display the various “Bastard Taxes” in the states in which they apply. The goal was to make the map fun and engaging. When the user mouses over a state, it is highlighted and a tiny version of the Bastard Tax character pops up. When the user selects the state, it enlarges and bubble pops up identifying the onerous taxes. When the user clicks a bubble, they are taken to a full explanation of the tax within the forum.