Designmatters in the Field: For the Future

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Jennifer Sorrell, Graphic Design Adjunct Instructor March 27, 2019

Designmatters’ For the Future studio has been partnering this term with the Pasadena-based consulting firm, Sentient Research, to develop an application that would support and empower underserved young parents in the U.S. by providing them family planning information and relationship-building opportunities.

The challenge for the studio has been to design a platform that not only connects young parents to each other, but also to experts who may help provide knowledge on parenting and sexual health, and access to local resources.

We began the class with a wealth of research completed by the team at Sentient. In week 4 of the term, students were able to design and facilitate in-person focus groups at an El Nido Family Center in South LA. This allowed students to converse with teen parents face-to-face, and enabled them to design solutions that were based on what they heard, challenging their own biases and assumptions.

Students learned quickly that young parents are proud, ambitious, and care about their children more than anything else. They want an application that will help them gain access to resources and trusted information faster so that they can spend more time with their family.

These insights are an integral part to not only how the application functions, but how these needs translate to the brand identity and messaging. Relying on the research ensures students are creating something that not only supports young parents but also inspires them. 

Jennifer Sorrell is a designer and typographer specializing in branding and editoral work. She is currently Creative Director at Su Mathews Hale Design and teaches at ArtCenter College of Design.