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The Value of Design During a Crisis

Designers are, by nature, creative problem solvers. Although the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world and our daily lives in a short amount of time, design has also played a role in helping to tackle these current challenges. The groundswell of collaboration, initiatives and support around the world has been inspiring.

Sophie Dennis, a consultant and designer in the UK, stated that “Keeping the user front and center has been really important (during this time) because you don’t want to put something up that doesn’t work for people.” This sentiment was echoed by Toronto-based designer Zahra Ebrahim, about the potential for design to elevate the clarity of communication and ease of use of resources and supports.

“Having something really user friendly is key at this moment. We can be there to help polish things to a place where they are legible and palatable, and beautiful in their simplicity.”

Here are just a few ways design continues to be an important asset during a crisis:

As a Communication Tool

When times are difficult and people are confused and uncertain (or even scared), it’s important that all communication is clear and easy to understand. All messaging – including design – needs to be accurate and direct. Infographics are a great way to quickly and clearly provide information.

To Help Keep Connected

It’s more important than ever that we take the time to connect and look out for each other, and we’ve seen some great examples of how design can be used to reach out to others. One example is a postcard that went viral with the #viralkindness hashtag, offering help (such as picking up shopping, a friendly phone call, etc.) for those that may be self-isolating.

To Provide a Bit of Light Relief

As many people struggle to adapt and come to terms with the current situation, designers across the globe have been using their skills to offer some humor and light relief at this time, designing items such as cheeky “Coronavirus Reward Stickers” with goals such as “didn’t touch my face” or “ didn’t hoard toilet paper.”

Sources: Adobe & Hydra Creative

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