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sma care
Enriching the lives of SMA affected individuals

Educate the public to help and care for the SMA affected

Background

overview

Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) is unknown by many. The ignorance towards this genetic disease is the root cause of the death of many SMA individuals. 

In order to create public awareness, XIMNET was reached out as the long-time partner of We Care Journey, to build a separate website solely focused on Spinal Muscular Atrophy – SMA Care. 

SMA is a genetic disease that can affect many people. Whether you are healthy or sick, child or adult. As such, we wanted SMA Care to be as inclusive as possible, giving accessibility to those who need them.

the client
Dhiraagu is the leading telecommunications company in the Maldives, offering a comprehensive range of mobile, internet, data, fixed line and TV services.

SMA Care is an organisation that is dedicated to the treatment of spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) – the number one genetic cause of death for infants.

Committed to respecting and fostering diversity and inclusion in the people they help, they deliver relevant information to enable families with SMA to achieve better health in their lives through trusted comprehensive medical content, insights from experts and real families, and useful toolkits. 

SMA Care works to empower everyone to make a positive impact on healthcare for SMA.

challenges

Unlike the many more known diseases like cancer or diabetes, not many are aware of what Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) is. This makes it difficult for people living with SMA to reach out and connect with others and may even struggle with getting the proper resources. 

Some of the challenges we faced in designing the brand and its website are its overall mood and content structure. In order to make SMA Care seem warm and inviting, we had to figure out the perfect balance between lightheartedness and seriousness. 

As different target audiences have different expectations, we had to work out how to consolidate them all into a single website in order to map out a user experience that makes it easy to navigate and comprehend for both users who know about SMA and users who don’t.

our approach

When thinking of diseases, doctors and medicals, the images that might pop into your mind might be that of something bland or sombre. We wanted to avoid building SMA Care as a brand that is too cold or serious, one that focuses too much on the scientific and medical side of things without giving into consideration of the human emotion and mind. 

We breathed life into the new brand by using light colours and illustrations to evoke warmth and hope and selected images that give an overall feeling of quiet compassion.

We breathed life into the brand with colours and illustrations
The Work

Research

We did some market analysis to study how other organisations pitch its content through their website, identifying the strengths, weaknesses and opportunities of different competition to define an adequate communication strategy.

As we want to expand our reach to increase awareness, we also did some research on inclusive design. From the types of fonts used to the sizes of each button, we looked into how to make SMA Care website friendly to all types of users.

With the research the team has done, we managed to determine some of the best practices in web accessibility.

brand Concept

The main concept of SMA Care's branding is to have the two different sides of SMA Care – the hopeful and compassionate with the serious and medical – blend together harmoniously.

The idea was to use light colours and child-like shapes and illustrations to create a sense of hope and innocence to the overall mood.

This approach helps to lighten the weight of the topic by shedding some hope into the overall communication.

Blending two different sides of SMA Care harmoniously.
logo design

We went through the process of designing various logos for SMA Care, keeping in mind the website's style and tone – warm, friendly, and hopeful.

Each concept of the logo design has a relation to Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA), from the letter 'S' to spines, DNA strands, and more. 

Some logos have a more abstract design, whereas some were more straightforward. One thing that all versions have in common was the added elements that represent the caring nature of SMA Care. Each version was designed with a friendly appearance using circles, rounded borders or heart shapes to add a positive charm to it.

With a combination of preferred versions, ultimately, we came to the decision to design something simple and easily understandable at a glance – SMA CARE with its brand colours of dark blue and yellow in bold, slightly rounded typography for clarity, with a DNA strand between SMA and CARE to signify how SMA is a genetic disease. 

SMA Care Pitch Pages
Figure 1: Sample logo design options for SMA Care.
typography

SMA Care has a primary and secondary font of Open Sans and Lexend. 

These two typefaces were chosen because of their excellent legibility characteristics in their letterforms and friendly appearance that helps reduce visual stress and improves reading performance. Hence, making them great for everyone including dyslexic and struggling readers.

web design

We created a welcoming look for the website by using softer yellows and blues with added illustrations to humanise the content, providing a warmer feel to the design. Even with the illustrations, the website design was kept clean with an ample amount of white space to ease readability.

Each illustration ties into SMA so that it is both pleasant-looking and relevant:

Scribble lines

SMA involves the degeneration of nerves and muscles. As such, a patient may not be able to draw lines and shapes properly. Hence, the scribbly yet soulful art expression.

Hexagons

In a DNA structure, hexagonal shapes are often depicted alongside DNA strands. 

Rounded hearts

To show love, care and support for people living with SMA.

Specific colours

We put meaning behind the colours to keep consistency for the illustrations, particularly for our target audience.

  • Red – Caregivers, friends, families
  • Blue – SMA Patients
  • Purple – Healthcare professional, medical equipment, treatments

content structure

With three main target audiences in mind, we structured content that aimed towards patients and caregivers, healthcare professionals, and the general public. In doing so, we hoped that each group will have a clearer understanding and knowledge of SMA.

To ensure a smooth user journey that leads users to their designated content, we kept the navigation and root section to 5 or below so that the website does not overwhelm users with too many options.

We kept the flow of text smooth by breaking up long blocks of content into smaller sections accompanied with Illustrations for better comprehension, and kept the copywriting clear and concise, only using necessary jargon when needed. 

Keeping in mind our target audience, we created specially designed pitch pages for the 3 respective groups and highlighted each of them by doing a rotation on the website’s hero banner. 

Additionally, we have also put together a mini-series about Living with SMA, with each of the pages providing downloadable PDFs in English and Malay for easy access and convenience.

SMA Care Pitch Pages
Figure 2: A section in Homepage  for the 3 pitch pages.
The Results

SMA Care is designed to be warm and inviting in hopes that people will be encouraged to know more about SMA and support families and individuals who are going through the hardships of living with SMA.

On the first look at the website, it instantly brings out a feeling of hope and innocence with its imagery and colours. Its unique hero banner design grabs the attention of relevant audiences, and its navigation delivers clear paths to users looking for information about living with SMA, resources or how to donate.

The vast amount of information regarding SMA is balanced with illustrations, and most pages come with related content and next steps to help with users’ next actions. Personal stories and quotes from SMA patients, caregivers, and doctors were also incorporated into the website for a more humane touch.
project achivements

Social media marketing is a strong tool to promote or bring awareness to your product/service. As such, in order to gain further reach to the public, we worked with the client to research and propose some campaign ideas so that more initiatives for SMA are funded and supported at a national level. 

XIMNET will continue to find new avenues to support the journey so that by bringing awareness towards this disease, more lives can be improved and saved.

Other works
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