User experience design
Leveraging data to track the impact of government grants to local mental healthcare organizations.
The Mayor’s Office of Community Mental Health promotes mental health for all New Yorkers. They oversee strategies to close critical gaps in mental healthcare so every New Yorker, in every neighborhood, has the support they need. They partner with city agencies and nearly 200 non-profit organizations to implement innovative programs that reach hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers every year.
The Mayor’s Office of Community Mental Health promotes emotional wellbeing for all New Yorkers. The Office disperses $200+ million a year to various agencies for mental health services, but has lacked a platform for tracking and analyzing the impact of the funds. This gap led to external and internal confusion about the office's impact and the overall state of NYC's resident's mental health. Staff were spending large amounts of time collecting and analyzing data in obsolete databases and offline tools. The Office sought us out to bring our technical experience working within the NYC IT ecosystem, as well as a focus on user experience, visual design and using data for storytelling.
Celebrating 20 years of supporting writers and filmmakers’ bold, new ideas.
After 20 years, 200 fellows and more than 100 projects, the Fellows Program remains a core part of New America’s identity. The program’s team looked to us to develop collateral that would celebrate the incredible breadth of work from the last 20 years. It needed to be the kind of piece that would stop people in their tracks, especially current program supporters and potential funders.
We designed a frame worthy poster for VIPs and a four-sided, fold-out marketing collateral for distribution to potential funders. These pieces incorporated the existing New America branding while taking its look and feel up a notch, giving the Fellows program a chance to shine on its own. Together with their team, we crafted copy that succinctly captured the essence of what makes the Fellows program unique.
The Solution: Phase 1
We began the project by developing a strong data-infused narrative that was integrated into a public facing data dashboard that we designed and built. We leveraged data feeds that explained the inequality of mental health access across the city. We built a custom database that powered interactive maps tracking the work of 20+ projects that were addressing these challenges.
The data comes from 30-plus datasets and geocoded maps. The maps cover which communities have been hit hardest by COVID-19, as the virus and associated economic stressors have been so detrimental to resident mental health. The dashboard helps New Yorkers see the new services the Office of Community Mental Health provides with its $217 million annual budget.
The Solution: Phase 2
Now that the office was equipped with a narrative dashboard we moved onto the larger challenge: the cumbersome and obsolete database that was used to track 5+ years of work and a $200+ million dollar annual budget. We collaborated with the Community Mental Health staff and select users to develop a fully custom solution that allowed staff new opportunities to leverage their data.
Using a human-centered approach, we developed new workflows, a frontend interface, and a cloud-based database that met the challenges of tracking such a robust data set. The new platform allows agency partners to log data and to perform QA while tracking the data's progress. We also built a suite of tools that help staff analyze and present the impact of their work in new ways.