One in three women worldwide who have ever been in a relationship will experience violence by their intimate partner at some point in their lives. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) utilizes mobile technology and innovative approaches to end violence against women. As part of these efforts UNDP embarked on a project to raise awareness about digital domestic violence and abuse, and encourage people to speak up about a silent epidemic that thrives in environments of secrecy and shame, aiming to ignite and empower people to help themselves and others.
I worked on this project during my time at UNDP within the Digital Team formed by a Project Manager, three Editors, a Web Developer, and myself as a Visual Designer. I had the opportunity to lead the creative direction together with the main editor and produce all the illustrations, motion graphics and UI for the website.
1 × project manager
1 × photography coordinator
3 × editors
1 × illustrator
1 × animator
1 × web designer
1 × web developer
With the integration of communications and other digital technologies into everyday life, the intertwining of the social and the digital has particular implications for interpersonal relationships. Digital harassment and abuse refers to a range of harmful interpersonal behaviors experienced via the internet, mobile phones and other electronic communication devices.
The team wanted to raise awareness of day-to-day digital harassment that many people are suffering around the world and offer the tools to fight such harmful behavior.
Phase 1: Ideation
The team saw an opportunity to raise awareness of a type of domestic violence that is new to many people. To do so, we decided to create a storytelling piece, and generate a scenario where harassment takes place in an SMS environment. This allowed us to create a connection to people who are victims, people who are witnessing abuse and people who are perpetrators, and offer them the tools and resources to fight it.
Phase 2: Production
The editors, designers and developers worked to create a 3-part script to define the 3 most common phases of harassment: The fact, the realization, and seeking help. We wrote SMS messages for the 3 phases and then we moved to design the website. In this stage I met with the developer to define how people would interact with the interface. We wanted to achieve an effect where people interact with the story as if it was happening and so created an SMS interface where messages would appear while scrolling. I then moved into illustrating the facts that would complement the storytelling. The final result was an appealing interactive website.
We published the interactive web story during International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women 2018, which served as a great tool to raise awareness about sexual violence and abuse in the context of a growing digital era.