As part of a Ryan White Part D supplemental grant, the Bijou Project is an online educational tool designed to assist HIV-positive young men of color (LGBTQ+, age 16 – 24) in their long-term health and HIV management, with the goal of sustained viral suppression. Bijou was designed as a collaboration between researchers at University of North Carolina and Impact Marketing + Communications.
Concept + Brand Metaphor
“Bijou” is a french word that means jewel. It is precious and valuable and worth the work to maintain its beauty, as is the health of the person coming to Bijou with the intent to learn to manage the disease. Your health is precious, and so are you.
Brand Book Sample
Brand + Product Design
Bijou has 6 health and wellness-related sessions that the user completes to advance to the next stage. Each of these sessions is represented by a jewel tone and a session designator, and it helps the user know where they are in the program and how far they need to go to complete the program.
Each Session includes several Medium-type conversational articles about the session topic (written by participating UNC medical staff), in addition to a variety of short “Ask Dr. Lisa” videos. In these clips, Dr. Lisa B. Hightow-Weidman, MD answers common questions — FAQs and user-submitted — addressing everything from diagnosis to nutrition to sex in a candid, conversational way.
After each Session, the user engages with the content in a variety of ways (simple quiz, journal entry, word matching, etc) to earn a completion score and progress to the next Session. When they progress, their chosen avatar changes slowly from a simple line shape to one of more depth and detail. At the end of the program they receive a Certificate of Completion signed by Dr. Lisa and her supporting staff.
From the name to the tone to the aesthetic, Bijou doesn’t appear to be HIV related at all. This is to reflect a holistic approach to wellness and the current progression that’s been made to keep HIV a manageable condition. The appearance of this space veers from the traditional; there’s no doom and gloom and no red ribbons. Living with the diagnosis can be scary, and we address that. But you can live a long and healthy life with HIV if you are empowered to take control of your health, and we want to show that too.
Gamification + Community Building
UNC and Impact collaborated to introduce interactive and game elements into the system to entice users to finish the program. In addition to chat rooms, forums, and video Q&As, another way we accomplished this was through an avatar progression system. As the user progresses through the system and earns points, their chosen avatar changes from a simple geometric gem shape to one of greater depth and color. As users interact with each other, they can see how far along they are in the program by their avatar, and provide encouragement to each other to keep going.
I spoke about this project at the 2016 Ryan White Conference on HIV Care and Treatment. Some of the topics I covered included reflecting commercial-sector trends to create familiarity in the public-sector space, using game design to encourage engagement, product branding that reaches people where they are, plus practical issues like how to find stock photography that is genuine when photoshoots aren’t an option (due to privacy and other concerns).
Name creation and branding, logo and avatar design, website design, creative direction and prototyping, user experience design. 2016-2017.