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Branding
UI/UX
   NEW HAVEN RAMP

Democratizing resource access in New Haven

Branding
UI/UX
   NEW HAVEN RAMP

Democratizing resource access in New Haven

Branding
UI/UX
   NEW HAVEN RAMP

Democratizing resource access in New Haven

Designing a formidable brand identity

Role
Duration
Tools
Skills

UX Design Intern
May 2018  -  August 2018
Sketch, InVision, Mural, Zeplin, Jira
Low-Fi Wireframing, Prototyping, RITE Testing, Accessibility Analysis,  Design System Development

Background

At Yale, I've served as the Vice President of Yale for North Korean Human Rights, an organization which aims to promote awareness of human rights advocacy for Noth Korean citizens and refugees. As an officer, I've helped to organize hosted lectures by North Korean defectors, joint security conferences with other universities like West Point, North Korean black market simulations, and other campus awareness events.

Last year I connected with Jieun Park, a Harvard Kennedy fellow and North Korean human rights advocate. Jieun is in the process of launching a cutting-edge nonprofit called Lumen that's focused on information infiltration into North Korea and asked if I could design a simple, sleek, and modern interface for Lumen's website.


Process

The process of designing Lumen was a completely unique experience because of the digital security issues that the team had to work around. Throughout the design process I remained in contact with the security team, which was working tirelessly to secure the site against North Korean cyber attacks--an unfortunately common experience for human rights activists fighting the regime's information blockade.

Lumen's brand identity was still fairly flexible when I began to design its site. I was connected with Lumen's font, logo, and color, but I was otherwise allowed substantial creative freedom to create a site that reflected the team's vision for a "modern age nonprofit." The team pointed out Google's Jigsaw site as a point of inspiration, and I attempted to adapt Jigsaw's sleek, edgy aesthetic into my mocks.

I like to whiteboard my interfaces before I turn to digital tools . Check out the early stages of Lumen's development below.

After understanding my general plan for Lumen's layout, I translated these sketches into an initial static prototype.

Security and Revisions

As a designer, it was interesting to work within the security regulations that this line of political advocacy demands. Ultimately, security concerns had a significant impact on my original mockups. While the team was highly satisfied with the site aesthetic, they were concerned about posting a public contact form, a team biography section, and a donation button--all of which posed threats to personal security. The final design template focuses primarily on Lumen's work and the threat it addresses, leaving out its organizational background.

A few of the sections before and after edit requests can be seen below. Most notably, each section became more minimal.

"Learn More" from this heading section was removed for simplicity.

The descriptions for each about section were also removed.

The list of team members was removed and replaced with a single descriptive bio for the founder.

Another area of pressure was the project timeline and the highly public status of its team. Mid-way through the site design, I was sent this screenshot of a tweet by renowned NYT reporter Nikolas Christoff in response to a tweet on North Korean-focused nonprofits:

Talk about time pressure! It was exciting to see that Lumen was garnering public attention, but nerve-wracking to know that people were actively waiting on the site, especially as the security team was dealing with privacy workarounds and important logistical details.

Check out the website live at http://www.lumen.global.