“ Find something that you are passionate about and combine that with design.” - Louise Fili, Graphic Designer
Alisa’s purpose is to unite her client’s dream with her creative talents. She loves creating visual beauty no matter where life takes her. She is based in Monroe, Washington, and is seeking full-time employment in the field of design. She is known for her project focus, using all her talents until she achieves the desired results. Alisa has proved her work ethic and tenacity by graduating with honors as a high school valedictorian, and also in her Bachelor of Applied Science in Design. In her quest for excellence in education, she has developed skills surrounding the language, thinking and application of design, while focusing on branding and digital interfaces. Alisa’s unique style emphasizes elegance and whimsical movement. Aside from design, she loves playing various instruments with friends and family, storytelling, and capturing the beauty of the woods and mountains in her artwork.
With e-commerce booming, I noticed that one area in the online business culture was missing. Why aren’t many children shopping and selling online? My research has shown that depending on the age of the child, they don’t always comprehend the value of money. Parents know that children are susceptible to scam artists and viewing inappropriate items that are available on many e-commerce sites. Apart from craft fairs and lemonade stands, how else can a child who has a business plan promote their product and learn business skills? The challenge was to create a safe online environment that gives young entrepreneurs the wider opportunity to promote their inspirations to others. The values and ideas of creativity, connection, inspiration, and generosity combined with learning led to the invention of Sprendz. It is a brand focused on helping children become e-commerce entrepreneurs. The goal for this project was to design a brand system for Sprendz with concept work that includes a magazine and a full web application prototype. Children can sell their own handcrafted products online to people that they trust by membership invitation. They can also easily set up a shop online and sell their products to other children or trusted sponsors, as well as earning themselves a highlighted feature in the magazine.
AUDIENCE & RESEARCH
Helena and Lisa are a mother and daughter team. They are not just personas, but real people that have inspired the Sprendz project and have tested the web application since the beginning of the interview phase. During that phase it was found that Helena did not allow Lisa to shop online on sites such as Amazon, Etsy, and Shopify because of possible cyber threats. These sites would also be competition for Sprendz. This including other sites such as Big Cartel, Zibbet, Artfire, Aftcra, Bonanza, Storenvy, and Indiemade. On the opposite spectrum, sites like Khan Academy, Patreon, and Lynda.com are good business models for Sprendz.
Helena feels that she needs to supervise Lisa whenever she is using the computer. She thinks current online shopping sites would be too dangerous for Lisa to use by herself. She also feels online is a very sedentary way to learn and prefers to be more active. She wants to teach Lisa to learn the natural benefits of earning power. She thinks Sprendz would be a safe site for Lisa to learn economics, business, and work ethic by setting up a small online shop. However, pricing has to be reasonable.
IDEATION & IDENTITY
The process began with sketches for the brand based on user interviews, and competitive research. The identity had to be fun and playful, and at the same time fit within the market of e-commerce. A similar idea had to be translated to the web app wireframes.
The Altivo typeface is a sans serif by the Kostic foundry, and it has an interesting character that caught my eye. I used Altivo throughout the web app and in the magazine because it is a good workhorse typeface for both print and web applications.
The Illustration style is flat, organic, neumorphism that makes the characters pop off the page. A bright and attractive color palette reflects the brand personality and is sure to attract children. Blue makes the site feels secure, the orange lends it energy, and green represents money as well as beginner’s luck.
The logo had to be readable, and at the same time attract both adults and children. I wanted to incorporate the ideas of fun and playfulness, and also position the brand within the scope of an e-commerce market. The overall shape and the negative space of the logo reflects a dollar symbol that represents the nature of the brand.
WEB APP PROTOTYPE & MAGAZINE
In the web prototype, shoppers can create an account through a special code received by invitation, search products, favorite shops, add products to cart, and finally check out. Displayed here are the six main shopping categories. Creating a shop is a little more complex as children require parental guidance for this part. Once an account is created, both parent and child can go through setting up a shop with their special product(s). Once that is complete, they can generate an advertisement for their product to send to friends that includes a shopping code. Parents can then help maintain and monitor the child’s account, as well as set up an allowance for the child to spend on other hand-made products.
The prototype was evaluated by my interviewees (Helena & Lisa) over Zoom using the “Talk Out Loud” protocol. Lisa (with Helena’s help) was successful in completing the tasks that I set for her to accomplish in the prototype. The tasks were to log in, add a new product to their established store, and search for a product to buy. Any issues in the Figma prototype were resolved and it is now ready to be handed to a developer. Click here to view the final prototype in Figma.
The magazine would be purchased on the web app where users can subscribe or buy single print or digital copies. Interesting and inspiring stories, DIY, facts, and news would be published every three months that relate to young entrepreneurs and e-commerce.
The final deliverables for this project include the identity (logo, colors, fonts, etc.) potential magazine articles, a web app prototype, and mockup work. This project has evolved over time. What began as a simple e-commerce concept has developed into a potential magazine and much more. Sprendz can create new meaning in a child’s life with educational fun. It encourages positive parent, guardian, or teacher bonding. Whether at home or in a small group setting, children use educational websites and games to complete assignments. Sprendz attempts to create a healthy balance of screen time and fun educational activities. Unlike other e-commerce web apps, Sprendz adds interactive learning elements and a simple selling and allowance system specified for children. The solution to the day-to-day learning struggle is inspiration and purpose. Without these, there is no motivation. By seeing what others are doing online and in the printed magazine, Sprendz nudges children to be productive with their creativity.