Design a human-centered experience for low-income Michigan residents signing up for food stamps and health care.

Client: Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS)

Team: Cylinder Digital, Code for America, and Civilla

Involvement: Product design | Prototyping | HTML/CSS Templates

Project Timeline: 3 months

Results: See Demo Site and open source project on GitHub.

The Challenge

Between 15–40% of people who are eligible to enroll in food and health care assistance are not participating due to a long, confusing, and onerous application and enrollment process.

The typical application process for both SNAP and Medicaid is very long and often requires multiple…


Furthering Autism research through a quantitative approach to research and analysis.

Client: MIT Media Lab

Project: Spring Analysis (Autism Resource Group)

Involvement: Design Sprint Facilitator | UX | Visual Design | HTML/CSS Templates

Project Timeline: 4 weeks

Background

The SPRING research group at the MIT Media Lab is focused on furthering Autism research through a quantitative approach to research and analysis.

They developed a smart learning device/toy (SPRING) that is focused on optimizing learning and cognitive development in children with Autism.

In addition, the smart SPRING device acts as a research platform when it paired with other sensors and videos of…


As a child I loved listening to the stories of my grandma. I remember sitting at her breakfast table, the sun shining through the rainbow prism reflecting dancing flecks of light through the kitchen.

She told me stories of her childhood, the Great Depression, and the War. The tragedy of her father’s early death, and the tenacity of her single mother who baked 13 pies every morning to make ends meets. She shared the joy of meeting her life-long “sweetheart” and wept at the loss of her brother who died when she was 5.

Her stories moved me. They invited…


This post will introduce you to CSS transitions and CSS transforms: the CSS power couple. When used together, these properties allow you to create simple animations and add valuable interaction and visual feedback for your users.

Just remember when adding any kind of movement to your project to keep it simple, subtle, and consistent. The movement you create should convey meaning, always enhancing, not distracting from the interaction for your users.

So what are transforms and transitions? …


The human brain is hardwired to pay attention to moving objects. Because of this natural reflex to notice movement, adding animation to your website or app is a powerful way to draw users attention to important areas of your product and add interest to your interface.

When done well, animations can add valuable interaction and feedback, as well as enhance the emotional experience, bring delight, and add personality to your interface. In fact, to animate means to bring to life.

Emotional design’s primary goal is to facilitate human-to-human communication. If we’re doing our job well, the computer recedes into the…


Ideation, or the formation of new ideas or concepts, is essential to the creative process and the foundation of designing and building innovative products. This type of problem solving and idea generation requires the ability to think abstractly and “out-of-the-box” to come up with new and innovative solutions.

Abstract thinking is especially important during the beginning stages of the design process when we are generating lots of ideas to solve the problem at hand.

When we think abstractly, we’re able to form connections between seemingly unrelated concepts, find patterns beyond the obvious, and see the clues to solve larger problems.

Rachel Cope

Product Designer @metamask_io, previously freelance and @thoughtbot // human-centered designer, reader, and mountain-lover, with a deep curiosity about people

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