All Work

Girl Scouts

From 2012 through 2015 I worked closely with the The Girl Scouts of the USA on various digital programs and activations. I spearhead the creative efforts behind the majority 
of these projects, which was a truly rewarding and entertaining experience. Below are a few of the key programs that were conceptualized.

Be The Video Game Developer

In 2013 the Girl Scouts developed an initiative focused on getting girls to feel empowered to break into the tech world and specifically into game design. A new Video Gamer badge was released and Dell, as part of a corporate responsibility initiative, was looking to invest in a campaign designed to promote STEM outcomes for girls in the U.S. The result was an immersive choose-your-own-adventure web and mobile gaming experience that Sanborn helped conceptualize and create. It walked the girls through the various stages involved in real world video game development, allowing them to experience all the various careers involved in that process.

The effort involved in having this all come together pulled in resources from three areas of the agency–design, development, and video production. The core concept was that we would shoot a first person POV video of a young girl touring a real game studio where professionals in all the different departments would explain their roles, as they pertain to game development, and at the same time guide the girl through customizing various aspects of a game that she herself is creating. At the conclusion of the walkthrough the output is a sharable custom game of their own creation, based on the selections and parameters that they set.

The games that the users create all live on individual URLs and can be accessed from your desktop, tablet and mobile device.

Game Interfaces

While there were so many unique and enjoyable aspects of this project, one of the most intriguing for me was designing the user interfaces catering to these young girls. I did a lot of research on comparable experiences and game interfaces, and structured the flow in a way that made the most sense based on the interfaces the kids had encountered to date. I wanted each step in the process to really feel clearly like a different stage, while maintaining the same overall playful / chunky look. The experience was also pretty guided, so the interface needed to appear as if it was fully interactive, but in reality be limited to the path that we needed the girls to take.

Game Mechanics

As for the actual game that the girls were to be creating–we landed on a Legend of Zelda type, top-down collection & avoidance style game. This type of game allowed us the most flexibility for customization and made for a very mobile friendly output.

Young girls would go into the experience with built-in knowledge of the mechanics of the game, therefore allowing for the most amount of creativity to be inserted into the experience.

Game Illustrations

We hired Wendy Paipilla to do illustrations for the different game environments for users to choose from: Urban, Forest and Theme Park. There are three versions of each course to explore as you progress through the game levels and additional filters that can be applied to each map for further customization. Wendy also designed some super cute characters for the girls to chose from, and make walk cycles for each so that they can freely move around and react to their environment.

The Video Shoot

For the actual video shoot we rented a co-working space and revamped it to look like a game studio. Actors were hired to play the roles of the game professionals and we spent the weekend shooting a ton of footage. The video team used a chest mount stabilization system (Steadicam Zephyr) in place of what otherwise would be a large dolly, creating shots that appear to be gliding through space.

We transitioned from the Steadicam to a stationary lock up of the displays loaded up with tracking screens for each stage of the experience. In post production, those track screens were replaced with the UIs we designed.

Game Studio Logo

In order to make the space feel even more so like a real game studio I created a faux mini branding for the company. We landed on the mark being purely visual, something that would appeal to young girls and screamed ‘video games’. I illustrated the logo and we used it on the entrance of the studio and also did a chalk rendition of it on the back wall of the studio.

Video Snippet

Here is a snippet from the actual video walkthrough. We used quick transition cuts to go from one section of the video to the next, which presented us with the opportunity to provide a bit more context for each step of the experience. Here you can also see that transition between the Steadicam shot and the still frame where the interactive UI is displayed for the girls to make their selections.

Game Testing

By far the most enjoyable and fascinating ‘user testing’ experience I’ve had to date has been testing the Be The Video Game Developer experience on young girls. We brought in girls from the demographic very early on in the process to validate some assumptions, and then close to the completion of the project we shopped the experience around for feedback. Watching girls build their own games, play them and take pride in them was an incredibly rewarding experience.

Links

My Role

Oversaw the creative for the entirety of the experience, guiding the illustrations for the output game, lead the space design for the video shoot & illustrated the game mark. Collaborated with Girl Scouts digital team to shape the core of the experience and the user flow, designed the user interfaces for the experience. Conducted user testing and iterated our UX strategy based on the feedback received.

Additional Credits

Illustration: Wendy Paipilla
Video Production: Marshall McDonald & Matthew Fels

Other Girl Scout Programs

Kindness Travels

2012

Everyone needs a little support sometimes. In 2012 the Girl Scouts were combating bullying head on and approached us to help ideate a hub that they could leverage for girls to spread kind words to one another in a safe and supportive way. We wanted to showcase that a lil bit of kindness can go a long way and that there was support to be found all around the world. As with all of the Girl Scouts programs we had to make sure it was COPPA compliant. The program is still running and to date 95 million kindness miles were travelled!

Visit Site

For Girls: Redesign

2013

Though no longer really active, the Girl Scouts used to have a pretty robust section of their site that was exclusively for girls (as opposed to adults) which housed a lot of content and interactive games. It was appropriately named “For Girls” and all of the programs we have created with them lived in this hub. In 2013 when it contained a lot of varied content we redesigned it to help girls get to the information that they want quickly by self identifying out of the gate. The site was broken up into age groups (Daisies, Brownies, etc) and once they narrowed down their interests we would serve them the most appropriate content. It was a fairly self-evident approach but for the time and as it applied to that age group it was pretty novel.

Photo Wall

2013

Social media was (and is) pretty dicey when it comes to the younger age groups that the majority of the Girl Scouts girls falls under. We wanted to create a safe space for them (and their parents) to share photos from their various GS activities. You would manually upload your photos and identify them with one of the program hashtags. Each month a new hashtag would be featured for girls to participate in. Simple, safe, fun, mobile friendly.

Wildlife National Parks Map

2012

We were challenged to take an existing section of one of the Girl Scout books that was all about National Parks and translate it into a digital, interactive experience. I recreate the artwork and formatted it in a way that allowed us to have individual park badges click through to a detail page where we featured all the information pertaining to that park, with some fun facts. The girls were encouraged to take action by advocating for the protection of wildlife and animals, at the same time earning Girl Scout badges.

Credits

Sanborn Agency

2012 - 2015

Video Assets Courtesy Of: Sanborn Agency