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Transhealth Northampton

Project Duration: September 2020 – March 2021
Studio Services: Branding // Print Design // Website Design
Done in collaboration with Landry Communications
Transhealth Northampton logotype design & typography by Taylor Smaldone (He, His, Him)
Additional brand & development consultation by Zarah Sikora & Devon Riley

Transhealth Northampton is an up and coming health organization in Western MA, with the mission of expanding quality healthcare for transgender and gender non-conforming youth and families. Started by Perry Cohen, the idea came from the pain point of having to drive to cities like Boston or Providence to find quality, gender-affirming healthcare. Armed with a founding team of highly trained and passionate healthcare professionals, Transhealth Northampton will be the first organization of its kind, dedicated to serving the local community, by the local community.

Initially engaging with Landry Communications during the summer of 2020, the Santoro Design team was brought on for the design of the clinical website and the finessing of the brand exploration. Through a rigorous and collaborative process, Santoro Design created a fully responsive and accessible website experience for the organization, as well as a brand identity system that reflects their mission to the core.

RESEARCH & DISCOVERY

Partnering with Landry Communications, we began the Discovery Process by engaging with the local LGBTQ+ communities, and organizations around Western MA. Results from the in-take survey, as well as results from The PATH Project report, reflected a general dissatisfaction and distrust of the traditional healthcare system, rooted in issues from lack of empathetic care to non-transparent insurance acceptance policies. In some cases, these issues end up keeping patients from coming back for their health needs. Furthermore, we found a greater disparity in the healthcare experiences between caucasian LGBTQ+ and QTBIPOC (Queer Trans Black Indigenous People of Color) individuals.

Insights from our intake survey allowed us to define two primary user communities within our audience. While the “Distant & Disillusioned” reflected those who avoid going to their healthcare providers due to lack of empathetic or quality care, the “Inadequately Affirmed” reflected those who experience varying inconsistencies in the affirming care they get, and are sensitive to the flaws in the system. It became clear to us that we needed to create an overall presence, through brand & website, that prioritized the patients in all aspects, all the way down to the smallest details. Everything we created needed to communicate hope, inclusivity, and warmth—reinforcing the message that when you walk through the doors or get onto the website, your health needs will be met, no matter who you are.

WEBSITE DESIGN: USER EXPERIENCE

To meet the pain-points of our primary audience communities, problem statements were developed to keep all stakeholders in line with how the website needed to work for each persona. Of the needs shared by both primary personas, we saw a need for community-building with other transgender and gender-diverse people, full transparency about medical staff qualifications, and a sense of belonging. While the Distant & Disillusioned needed to quickly request prescription refills, the Inadequately Affirmed wanted to check in on related LGBTQ+ events—either run by Transhealth Northampton or other organizations—and check staff credentials & training. Through site-mapping and mobile-first prototyping, we solved these problems by allowing for easy access to the Patient Portal in the navigation, as well as building out clinician & staff profiles centered around background & credentials.

The biggest highlight to the website user experience? A Resources page with an extensive library of curated content, related to transgender and gender-diverse healthcare and other resources. This would be accessible to our primary personas, as well as our secondary communities which include parents of transgender/gender non-binary children and healthcare providers.

WEBSITE & BRAND DESIGN

Our goal was to create an identity system that complimented the wordmark designed by graphic designer Taylor Smaldone (He, His, Him), while ensuring it met the primary audience’s needs for an empathetic, gender-affirming safe-zone. Stylescapes were crucial in establishing a brand direction, which also affected the decisions made while designing the UI for the website. For this project, we effectively designed the brand identity through the website UI, since the website was going to be a primary audience touchpoint. A modern, clean design style with fun illustrations and iconography, paired with a high contrast, gender neutral color palette, was a big step in making an optimal experience.

Towards the end of the Design Phase, we revisited the need for a logomark to pair with the wordmark. Through careful iteration, we came to an impactful final result, one that resonated with the organization’s mission to the core. Taking the vernacular of the medical cross, we incorporated elements of fluidity and intersectionality to create a unique rendition; one that would allow the organization and the LGBTQ+ community to “take back” their right to gender-affirming healthcare.

 

View the completed site here

I have worked with Santoro Design on projects with three different clients, and each experience has been outstanding. The team combines unusually fine graphic design talent with a strong commitment to process. This means that projects move efficiently while eliciting and responding to the needs and ideas of the client. Every time I work with Chris and his team, I look forward to our next collaboration.

CONCLUSION

With the launch of the website, Transhealth Northampton has begun ramping up its hiring processes for clinicians and staff, as well as the opening of their on-site clinic in Northampton, MA. The clinic is set to have its grand opening on May 1, 2021, and we could not be more excited for the Transhealth Northampton team as they begin to take the steps towards realizing their mission.

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