A partnership with the EMPOWER Lab out of the University of Georgia, the Racial Trauma CARE package incorporates EMPOWER's trauma-focused cognitive based therapy (TF-CBT) frameworks for Black youth into an all-in-one online research hub.
Plot Twisters connected with the EMPOWER Lab through a member of the studio out of a desire to support Black-led research initiatives for Black youth in America, and learn how to meaningfully design our product around coping and healing from trauma. The Lab, led by Dr. Isha Metzger, had just released a new framework that they wanted to release on the internet to make it accessible to as many people as possible.
In exchange for designing the site, EMPOWER granted us access to dozens of hours of videos and dozens of academic papers on trauma-focused cognitive based therapy and racial socialisation -- or, concisely, socialising with friends and family of your race to get support for race-based trauma. We went through all of this, as well as learned some case studies from the EMPOWER lab, before we started thinking about how to design the site.
Skills: Secondary research.
At Plot Twisters, we were playing with the idea of hosting our online storybook in a fictional world similar to Earth, and having finished research around the cognitive associations we make between locations and feelings. Because a big part of EMPOWER's framework is where you can find resources in your community, we thought that world-building could translate here -- set these videos in generic locations similar to where Black youth would socialise in Atlanta, Georgia, USA.
Skills: Site mapping, design strategy.
03 Building (still under construction)
Since all of the EMPOWER Lab's graduate researchers are Black and from Atlanta, we based our neighbourhood off of their experiences. Through interviews with the lab's graduate students, we collaboratively configured a map with locations for each step of the TF-CBT framework -- both as a compelling visual element and to demonstrate where users could (or already experience) joy, socialisation, and relaxation. I'm currently mocking up and building out the site on Webflow.