Silence Speaks is an insight-driven awareness campaign that aimed to bridge the gap between young-adult facing brands and Gen Z consumers.
Role:
UX Researcher
& UI Designer
Duration:
3 Months
Context
In this campaign, I teamed up with eight interns at VSA Partners and led UX research workshops to establish campaign narrative, supported creative lead on creative direction and developed a fully responsive website with social media campaign.
UX Research:
conducted persona workshop, competitive audit,  journey map workshop
user interface design:
wireframing, prototyping, design ideation
Creative direction:
design system, social media campaign



Challenge
What are the new expectation of brands among Gen Z consumerS?
Direction
For months, COVID-19 has ravaged the U.S. and the world.  After the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, thousands across the world are fed up with racism’s persistent hold on everyday American life. Though wildly different, COVID-19 and BLM's resurgence have brought the same conclusion: something needs to change. Therefore, we decided to take on the focus of social injustice to reflect consumer's expectation in the newly formed normal.
Objective
We want to convince brands that Gen Z’s expectations are forever changed, inform them on these new expectations, and motivate them to change how they listen, speak, and act.

After conducting qualitative interviews and summarized our research into a findings report, we identified the following key problems to tackle.
Business problem
The young adult consumer landscape is permanently changing, and brands are feeling the pressure. Amidst these social movements, brands' positions as influencers and innovators are being put to the test. It's do or die.

As these young consumers come into their spending power, brands that cannot engage them risk serious losses.
Human problem
Brand values must shine through in all macro and micro decisions, not just in external messaging.

Gen Z wants brands to recognize their roles in the communities they serve and to hold themselves accountable for being good community members.

As a generation of digital native, Gen Z keeps tabs on what their favorite brands are doing, whether brands publicize it or not.
Insight
Gen Z demands transparency, authenticity and empathy from brands, and they won’t hesitate to use their spending power to advocate for it.

Gen Z wants to know that brands are not only listening, but actively deconstructing the norms that have created this moment, even if it’s uncomfortable. They reject going back to “business as usual.”

Gen Z is critical because they care. They see brands as influencers who can facilitate lasting change. For brands struggling to gain Gen Z’s approval, there’s a simple solution: ask them for input.
personas
To have a better understanding of our targeted audience, we conducted a persona workshop and brainstormed two personas based on a collection of industry professionals who work for a young-adult-facing corporate that addresses social issue.
Behavior change
After an in-depth research phase, we came up with three actions for brands to make their promise tangible.
Action 1:
unlearn to relearn
Listen to the people on the ground. Learn their stories and truths. Amplify their voices.
action 2:
speak up with purpose
Find comfort in vulnerability and be capable of empathy

action 3:
Take a Stand
Brands should use their platform for meaningful action. To put their money where their mouth is. To elevate voices within the community — not speak over them. To be clear — avoiding buzz words and generic language. To provide resources and change the world.
Social Media Campaign

Gen Z spends an average of 2-3 hours on social media daily, so we lean on to social media to amplify their voices.
Campaign Assets
We designed campaign assets focusing on getting the message out to not only brands, but also the general public. Strategic wild postings and OOH placements will do the heavy lifting in guiding viewers to our website.
Wall Street Journal & Newspaper
We targeted brand decision maker's online and physical habitat — business journal site and their doorsteps to ensure that brand leaders hear the message.
Website
We drove individuals and brands to a website including actions for brands, a pledge to sign and a promotional video.
Homepage in action
Action items hover animation creates dramatic contrast to catch attention
Action page in action
takeaway
Working with a team of eight interns throughout the country remotely indeed increased the difficulty for us to be in sync. I learned to communicate with my teammates throughout the project in the most efficient way possible to optimize the creative process in this high-intensity project. Within the tight deadlines, we pushed through and scheduled rapid critiques and daily check-ins to ensure that we have the best iteration.

Silence speaks was a speculative project, so some of the deliverables weren't fully functional within the given time. If we were to continue building this project in the future, it would be insightful to include user testing and Google Analytics to track the conversion rates and overall product satisfaction.

To sum up, it was a rewarding experience as I was learning user research methodology while applying them into real life.


This project would not have been possible if it were not for the effort, support and encouragement from my teammates:

Tracee Hartley / Joseph Han / Gillian Cole / Ryan King / Cara Jones / Jack Brosnan / Morgan O'Connor / Amber Little