With the slow rise of parents separating over the last decade, it is time that the new technology we take for granted these days be used to help those who get effected the most during these separations, the children.
Ohana aims to help parents keep an eye on their children’s happiness during and after the separation process.
Families stick together, no matter what
Studies show a slow rise in adult separation with a child involved. Whilst these cases are often unavoidable and sometimes for the best, it can be emotionally scaring to the children involved. Both during and years after the actual event, sometimes even lasting way into adulthood.
After conducting focus groups and gathering real data from parents & children who have gone through separation, as well as talking to adults whose parents separated whilst they were young, it was obvious that a large factor of the struggle is that the child feels disconnected from one or both of their parents.
Ohana aims to help ease this problem by using an app with an adult facing UI and also a child facing UI. Overall, Ohana will allow children (aimed at children aged 8+) to update their thoughts and daily events/feelings onto an online journal. Which in turn will allow the parents to keep up to date with it, even whilst they may not be able to see the child as often as they need.
I was hired to design a meaningful brand that can be carried through both the adult and child facing application, as well as design the adult facing application.
Part of Hawaiian culture, ʻOhana means family (in an extended sense of the term, including blood-related, adoptive or intentional). The concept emphasises that families are bound together and members must cooperate and remember one another.
The balloon & anchor
When it comes to logo design, I like to try and incorporate some meaning and feeling into it. Whether it be slightly obvious, or more abstract.
With Ohana, I really wanted to emphasise what they are trying to accomplish, helping separated families work together to help the children involved. Making them stronger as a unit and helping the child feel secure. Even though both their parents can’t always be around anymore.
I wanted to use an anchor to represent the security of family and a balloon to signify the child. Often a balloon can give us that feeling of childishness.
I decided to use three balloons, whilst a family often consists of more than one child and two parents, I wanted it to be personal to each child.
Using a transparency and then overlapping them shows strength when the objects work together, just like a family would.
Overall, the security of the anchor, the three child like balloons and the overlapping objects to form one strong centre.
Clean, sleek and clutter free
As far as app design goes, this was relatively simple and straight forward. For the adult facing side of the app, Ohana needed to be clean, sleek and simple to use. It only needed a filter feature, to select the range of dates the parents want to see and then display these results on some sort of timeline.
I decided to keep the colour scheme simple and calm, so I went with the light blue (just like the logo) and white, with small hints of very light grey when needed.
For the actual timeline itself, I used the three strings from the logo, and continued them in a vertical path along the screen.
Now, this is where it gets a little creative. A feature the guys implemented on the child focused app, was to allow the user to select which parents can see it. One, both or none at all. To carry this over to the parent facing app, I decided to signify a post by adding a dot, and a dot will appear on each string it is being shared with. So, if the child wants only one part to see, a dot will only appear on one side. If they selected both, it would show both.
The reason for this is because if one parent is continually being left out, whilst not being able to read the posts or what is being said, they can see there is an obvious issue keeping the child from wanting to share with both parents.
One half complete!
Overall, the app was received well and, based upon a small user group, it proved to be simple to use. This was the first time I designed only half an app, but because the adult facing app was so different to the child facing, yet wanted both to be ready for a tight deadline, it only made sense to split the design process into two parts to two different designers.