Angie Fu
The Good Pin Club
Project Background
Something I constantly struggle with is not knowing how to effectively support causes that I care about and consequently feeling less empowered to take action than I should. Sometimes it feels like the only way to really have an impact is to be a teacher, doctor, or philanthropist—but with any sort of clarity I know that this is ridiculous. We all have the power to contribute towards the greater good! In late 2015 I started thinking more about how to solve this problem and empower myself to take a more proactive role—and in January of 2016, launched my ongoing personal project, The Good Pin Club.
Brand and identity
UX design
UI design
Front-end development
See the website
The Good Pin Club
Design challenge
I knew there was a way to use my background in design as a platform for social impact, and the more I talked to my peers in the creative community, it became clear that this desire for impact was pervasive. I started to envision tools to better empower not only myself, but my friends and peers and start a larger involvement in the non-profit space by asking:
How could I utilize and amplify my own craft as a designer to empower others to support meaningful social impact causes?
I brainstormed ideas among friends trying to understand what would compel them to learn more and potentially contribute to a non-profit organization. Hosting events and craft nights sounded exciting but unsustainable on top of my full-time job, and prints or digital artwork in exchange for a donation didn’t seem compelling enough.
I wanted to give people something in exchange that they would want to keep, and might even itself act as a badge representing their support. Conversely, I wanted to make sure that my ask to my creative peers was low lift, high impact, and afforded them as much creative agency as possible. What seemed to best satisfy both interests was designing and producing enamel pins that would help fundraise for different non-profits.
Design process
After researching more about the process of manufacturing enamel pins and having the confidence that I could manage the process of operating such a side project, I started tackling the content and design of the website. Above all else, I wanted The Good Pin Club to be as transparent as possible, providing users with full visibility into where their money was going and why. An example of where this manifests itself in the website is next to the payment total, where a user can toggle an info icon that reveals the production costs, credit card fees, and total that the nonprofit receives of their purchase.
I created my first prototype using sketch, HTML + CSS and gathered peer feedback to make design improvements. The benefit of this being my own side project is that there were few design constraints, and I could make bold design decisions in places that I normally couldn’t—for example, the animating polka dots in the background, the rotating logo as you scroll.
Looking ahead
As the name suggests, I’ve always wanted The Good Pin Club to be an actual club—a monthly or bi-monthly subscription that sends you the next illustrator’s pin. On top of that, I’d prefer a sliding donation scale where you can donate a variable amount on top of your pin purchase. Because this is something I operate on the side, it’s very difficult to make time or budget for these bigger implementation pushes. However, I do plan on continuing to apply for grants to make this, and other exciting ideas, possible.
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