Once again, Ellipsis Digital is the sole London, Ontario firm to be honoured with an award in this year’s So(cial) Good Design competition. The So(cial) Good Design Awards is an annual competition presented by the Association of Registered Graphic Designers (RGD) to celebrate “top-notch communications design projects with the power to incite positive action and make meaningful societal change.” In 2014, Ellipsis Digital (then known as rtraction) won for LUSO Community Services’ 1,000 Acts of Kindness Challenge.
This year’s winning project was Be Safe, an app designed to guide youth during mental health crises. The app was created for mindyourmind, an award-winning, non-profit mental health program that engages youth, emerging adults and the professionals who serve them. Be Safe was originally created for London; its use has since spread to 13 communities in Ontario.
As an app that provides critical support to youth, it was essential that Be Safe be widely accessible. It has a clean interface, uses clear language, and employs colours that can be seen by individuals with colour blindness. The main navigation screen gives simple and direct access to all of the app’s features, which include a decision tree, the “Be Safe Plan,” a personalized “Get Help” script and a list of local resources.
“The development of the Be Safe app provided nine members of a mindyourmind youth team a platform to turn their experiences with the hospital system into a resource and tool that will help many in similar circumstances,” said Heather Miko-Kelly, mindyourmind Youth Project and Volunteer Coordinator. “Their contributions and insights over 18 months of development resulted in a very successful mobile app, connecting youth to resources across Ontario. Having this team of youth direct and guide the development of the app was crucial to its success, and similarly parallels the co-creation process that mindyourmind uses every day in our program.”
Andy Ratz was the principal designer for the project; the lead developer was Sean Sandy.“With Be Safe, we were given an extraordinary opportunity to connect youth in crisis to the services that could potentially mean the difference between life and death,” said David Billson, Ellipsis Digital president. “For the amazing, honest, engaged youth team members, this was personal, a passion project. And that made it personal for us, too. Our team knows that we’ve helped to create a tool that can save lives, and that’s a unique way to use our talents.” Be Safe is available for free download to any Apple or Android mobile device from http://mindyourmind.ca/
In the two client-initiated projects categories, London, Ontario’s Ellipsis Digital was the only winner not from Toronto or Montreal. The complete list of award winners is at http://www.rgd.ca/2014/08/28/