The Wellness Collective

Spring 2023

The Wellness Collective works to support their local community by providing basic necessities through Mutual Aid. Previously, there was no standardized way to introduce the organization to potential members. 

This made it difficult to build trust and convey TWC’s impact. Additionally, messaging around the organization needed to be mindful of their audience, because many people in the community are affected by scarcity mindset.

Project Lead
Julianna Bolivar (pictured in middle)

Team Members
Stanley Ip, Anna Mathews, Emily Yu, Sophia Hao (from left to right)

Community Partner
The Wellness Collective

Fall 2022 - Spring 2023, Ongoing


Working with The Wellness Collective, a community-based aid organization


Problem Space

Our goal was to design recruitment materials that are both persuasive and human-centered to be mindful for the audience, many of whom have been through poverty/traumatic experiences.

Project Overview

We aimed to create a cohesive narrative of a community where you can ask for help as well as support those around you. We wanted to remove the stigma and shame of seeking aid, and use language that focused on unity and interdependence.


Understanding social services and the experience of community members


Synthesizing stakeholder needs based on our research

Key Insights

These were the main insights we gained from our research methods.

Flow Model

Scoping the Problem


Shifting our mindset 

Reflecting on our research and collaboration

As we entered the Reframe stage of the human-centered process, we reflected on how the collaboration with The Wellness Collective had been going so far. We had gained such valuable knowledge and were looking forward to ideation for our project, but we needed to consider TWC's schedule. Besides The Community Bank, they have several other programs running like Mental Health Speed Dating and Hire MOMs. Our project needed to be feasible not just for us to work on, but also for TWC to execute without placing burden on them. 


Rapid ideation exercises based off of our research

Crazy 8's and Feasibility x Impact Chart

After coming up with a range of ideas through Crazy 8's and our Feasibility x Impact chart, we found that we were most drawn to the less feasible ideas. We needed to narrow down to a set of ideas that didn't require so much investment for our Community Partner. We continued our discussions with Shanon and began to think more about TWC's messaging; how can we help to build trust with the community in a way that is sensitive to their needs?


Getting feedback on our ideas and beginning our iterations

We presented The Wellness Collective's problem space and our ideas to members of Design for America. From this, we got over 40 responses of feedback about our ideas. We also presented our ideas to Professor Poepping, a highly respected faculty member at CMU who is involved with community work. 

From the feedback, we learned that The Wellness Collective's process and member requirements were unclear. We needed to communicate these aspects clearly and to provide friendly visuals and language. Our peers were concerned about the language leaning towards a "marketing" tone rather than "sharing" this useful information amongst neighbors. 


Won't you be my neighbor?

We created recruiting materials for The Wellness Collective based on our research and collaboration. Previously, they had no standardized way to present their organization to members of the community. Our goal was to convey a sense of friendliness, trustworthiness, and support. 

Next Steps


Due to several constraints, we had not yet been able to directly communicate with our target audience. It would be incredibly useful to conduct research to evaluate how users feel about the branding and how effective the messaging is. 

Cohesion and Content

In the future, it would be a great opportunity to revise the website to make the language and visual systems consistent. Additionally, we would have liked more content like photography and statistics in our final products. 



Since we knew that The Wellness Collective already has several initiatives, we didn’t want to burden them. We originally wanted to do a bigger project about scarcity mindset, but instead pivoted to a project that would be more helpful to their organization right now.

Independence and Being Self-Driven

Since we were working with an small organization with a lot on their plate, we needed to do more work ourselves and not depend on our community partner for feedback. To make up for this, we needed as much communication as possible between ourselves and our community partner, and we received feedback often from our own organization.