Good design can change the world or at least help nonprofits and social good organizations in the process. Whether it’s using a website to tell compelling stories or creating an innovative product, design and social change go hand in hand. We spoke to designers and creatives who work in the social good space.
While your nonprofit might be dealing with terrible, overwhelmingly depressing world events, your design should also zero in on the good your nonprofit does, how it addresses the big issues.
Good design isn’t just visual — it’s informative, and often entertaining. That’s how design draws anyone in, in any sector, but it’s especially relevant for the social good space.
Brian Vanaski, creative director at CauseLabs, says that when designing for social good, the actual design comes later. Set it aside when you’re first getting started. “Start with empathy — immerse yourself to gain deep understanding for the people you’re ultimately designing for,” Vanaski tells Mashable. “It’s all about getting your hands dirty. Get into the field, connect with the ones you serve so that when it comes time to design for them, you understand their motivations, desires and needs.”
Visitors to your nonprofit’s website shouldn’t feel as if they’re closed off from the cause; they should feel part of the community creating change. Iterate with your site’s language, bright color palettes, illustrations or photos of people working together, helping their communities.
Will they be in the field using outdated devices with poor Internet connections? Will they be in schools on older PC computers using Internet Explorer? Vanaski says, “Don’t just design to solve the problem; design specifically for your end users’ hardware, operating systems and operation environment.”
Working in design for social good means being flexible, Martin says. While solutions for current technology, such as feature phones, are important, it’s necessary to acknowledge how sophisticated technology is becoming more and more accessible in developing countries. Read more…