“This is what you do now to give your day topography–scan the boxes, read the news, see the chain of your friends reporting about themselves, take the 140-character expository bursts and sift through for the information you need. It’s a highly deceptive world, one that constantly asks you to comment but doesn’t really care what you have to say. The illusion of participation can sometimes lead to participation. But more often than not, it only leads to more illusion, dressed in the guise of reality.”
― David Levithan, Two Boys Kissing
Even after meeting with many different clients and working with so many different industries, there are certain clients that leave a special mark in the mind of the Solaris Technologies team members. One such client was the team of Mindful Observer. When the team approached Solaris Technologies, their ideologies instantly matched. Mindful Observers had a vision that was hard to not agree with. Their mission was enthusiastic and mindful. As soon as the team sat with Solaris Technologies, they were indulged into a unified passion to make this project happen and bring it to life!
The team consisted of a group of friends who craved a stronger connection than the social media applications were providing. They felt a void when they interacted online as none of the platforms focused on genuine human interaction and with the fast paced algorithms of social sites, it made it difficult to have deep conversations. This thought had not risen out of nowhere, this thought got built after the team went through a collective experience of feeling disconnected.
The three friends had always done all fun activities together, from prom to graduation, they had always stuck together. They had a ritual of meeting every evening and talk about their day and go over the new things they had seen, discovered, or started to work on. When they got into their professional lives they felt that they were getting too busy to complete their daily ritual. Slowly, the only interaction that they had was over social media and that is how they would stay connected. Over time they realized that the distance between them kept on growing, even though they connected over social media. They viewed what each of them did on a daily basis, knew the schedule of one another yet they knew nothing about each other.
“A fixation with connecting with ‘friends’ online comes with the risk of disconnection with friends waiting for you to be present in the offline world.”
― Craig Hodges
That is when Alex, one of the three friends, decided to plan a meet-up. It had been long enough since they had last met. They gathered on a weekend for dinner and they brought their wives along. Alex expected this to be an epic reunion as it was long due. However, it was anything but that. It was the most socially awkward gathering that one could imagine. The small talk followed by never ending moments of deafening silence that haunted the room like a dead cat. No one knew what to say and it didn’t feel like they had known each other all their lives. It was no secret that everyone could feel the air getting thicker in the room. Alex was devastated to realize what had become of their friendship and it gnawed at the back of his mind to recognize the dire reality right in front of him. In that moment he knew he couldn’t just sit back and watch his most valued childhood buddies drift away without putting in the effort that was required to mend ways.
A day passed by and Alex was contacted by his two friends. “Let’s meet up for coffee today?” one of them asked and they all agreed. After finishing up at the office, Alex headed to the decided location and found both of his buddies waiting for him there. All three of them were shocked by what had happened a day earlier. They knew that if this continued, they might not stay the best of friends and this haunted them. They realized that being connected on social media was just not enough. With social media they have filled their mind with an illusion that they are connected however, in the real world they have simply grown distant from one another.
“He believed that the more people were connected on social media, the lonelier society became. ‘That’s why everyone hates each other nowadays,’ he reckoned. ‘Because they are overloaded with non-friend friends. Ever heard about Dunbar’s number?”
― Matt Haig, The Midnight Library
Connected yet disconnected.
That is how they felt. They realized that they must not be the only ones feeling this way. They knew that others might be feeling the same way as well, where they are connected to their loved ones online, however; they grow more distant every day. So they envisioned a way in which they could cater to these issues to the best of their abilities. With a raw plan in mind they realized they needed to talk to someone who had been doing this sort of work long enough. That’s when the company contacted Solaris Technologies.
As soon as the team members of Solaris Technologies heard about the project and the ideation behind the article, they were exhilarated to be part of such an amazing initiative. Alex and his friends had a vision of a new and improved social network that was unlike any other social network out there. This social network that did not strive on likes or comments or even views. A platform where people gathered to create genuine connections and stay interconnected on a deeper level than most platforms allow. A social network that is centered around a unified and shared value of kindness, a feeling of mutual wellness and a deep focus on whole health. A social network that is one of a kind, a social network that actually, in the true essence of the word, makes you feel connected.
“Social media is not the culprit. I am not blaming social media. It is a tool. A tool in the hands of people like us. Like any tool, it can be used constructively or destructively. I am simply trying to hold up a mirror to see myself and encouraging you to do the same.”
― Bana, 99 Days
Although the idea was there already, there were a lot of details that needed to be worked on. The team of Solaris Technologies sat together with the team of clients to work on all the elements of the work and went over even the minutest detail of the work under way. Solaris Technologies wanted to create a platform that was attractive for any visitor who would stumble upon the site however, they wanted to keep the essence of the client’s vision alive and make sure that the website was a representation of the mindset that they shared for this platform.
The tricky part coming up with a reason why people would want to shift to this platform or add this platform to the list of platforms that they turn to. With so many new platforms coming out every other day, there had to be something that would allow the platform to stand out. So the team decided the exact target audience that they wanted to cater to. The team wanted to cater to people who were more conscious about how the connectivity was decreasing over time; someone who wanted to create more meaningful connections and make sure that their interactions aren’t pointless and the interactions that they have are focused towards growing as a person and not just a means of wasting time.
That is where the name “Mindful Observer” was coined. A platform for the conscious people who take their time to learn and have mind stimulating conversations. They also wanted to be a source of authentic news and reports; saying things how they are instead of bringing news with a personal bias clouding their judgment.
“I refuse to denounce social media as a terrible evil that is plaguing young people today. Maybe because I sort of grew up on it and I think the Internet has enriched my life–I’ve made friends on social media, I’ve laughed until I’ve cried at a perfectly constructed tweet and I’ve learned more about gender, race, sexuality, class, and politics online than I have anywhere else.”
― Lex Croucher, You’re Crushing It: Positivity for living your REAL life
Fonts that are used in the creation of a website or an application play a greater role than they are given credit for. They bring the entire design together and convey the tone of the creator to the users. The font helps the user read the content in the sense that it is meant to be understood. It sets the tone of the conversation and allows the user to see whether the content of a website is comical, formal, and casual or any other tone. It helps to connect with the user and converse in a more appropriate manner. We went over many fonts that might be suitable for the work. In the end we wanted a font that is easy to read and does not seem too casual nor does it seem too professional and corporate. The fonts were used that will be appropriate for the content of the website and help to bring the website together. The following fonts were used:
The entire family of both of these fonts was utilized in the creation of the website. A hierarchy was also created to make it more systematic and to make sure that any content that is added in the future follows the same pattern to make the website look more organized and clean rather than being at 6’s and 7’s every time any change is supposed to be made. These fonts worked really well with the work that was being presented and they sat well with the design of the website. The clients were pleasantly surprised to see how the entire project was coming together and gave a go on the use of these fonts without blinking their eye.
When it comes to design, there is no one element that is more important than a color palette. The colors used in the design of a website can completely change the look of the website. It is essential to pay heed to the colors being used. When working with Mindful Observer’s team, Solaris Technologies played with many different color palettes; mixing and matching many different colors and watching how they play together or if they don’t sit well together at all.
This was one of the lengthiest processes in the entire design of the website because Solaris Technologies was not willing to settle for anything mediocre or average when it came to the client’s work. It was just not something that the company was willing to take lightly as they understood the impact that well-chosen colors can have on the viewers. There was a very open range that could be played in. The colors must be a representation of the work, the idea, the image and the content of the platform. It was important for the team of Mindful Observers to play in the darker color tones without making the design too dark or gloomy. After many trials and experiments, the company finalized a color palette that would be most suitable for the clients work. The hex codes of the colors decided upon were #000000 #4fa74b #f0b317 #4aa0ff #939597 #ffffff. These colors are Black, Fruit Salad, Buttercup, Dodger Blue, Oslo Gray and White, respectively. These colors were used to design the webpage of the client. While Fruit Salad, Dodger Blue and Oslo Gray were used as the three primary colors of the company, black and white were utilized as well as they are universal colors and they help to bring the entire image together.
“Without black, no color has any depth. But if you mix black with everything, suddenly there’s shadow – no, not just shadow, but fullness. You’ve got to be willing to mix black into your palette if you want to create something that’s real.”
Solaris Technologies preferred playing with three primary colors for the client. Working with a trio is always a more reasonable route to take as it allows the company enough space to play around with different combinations without making the website look too redundant. Playing with three colors helps the company to create work that does not bore the customer and assists in keeping their eyes stimulated. These colors played that part really well and helped the client really portray an image that they wished to. Alex would comment, “I never knew how important colors could have been in getting a website up and running. Who knew that simply changing one shade in the color palette can change how you look at the entire project!” Alex was very right! The colors had to be meticulously planned out and the team members of Solaris Technologies understood that way too well. The final look was coming into place and the website was starting to take form exactly how the clients wanted.
Another really important part of the creation of the website was the logo. The company wanted to create a logo that would really portray the name of the company. They wanted to play in dark colors again and decided that the logo should not be text, rather it should be an image which should overtime become a synonym of the platform.
Initially the clients asked Solaris Technologies to create a logo with a brain in it. They wanted to integrate a brain into the logo and the Solaris Technologies team advised against it. After these many years in the industry, the team members of Solaris Technologies understood that a brain will depict a more formal or serious look and it will not sit well with a socializing platform. However, on the demand of the client, a dummy logo was created to give them an idea of how it will seem with the rest of the work being done. As soon as they saw the image placed with the rest of the work that was being prepared, they understood what the team members of Solaris Technologies had been trying to explain to them. The logo seemed inappropriate for a social platform and they feared that with the use of such a logo, it may not seem like an interactive platform. As the content of the website also has articles and books included in it, they did not wish for the platform to seem like a blog rather than a social site.
The team members of Solaris Technologies sat with the clients and asked them what they wanted their logo to mean to their users. After getting a detailed answer from the client, the team members started to work on the logo that they visualized from the description provided by the client. Alex commented, “We just want a logo that goes well with the work that we are trying to provide; something that seems to cohere to the image that we want to portray. Now it is up to you to create something that is both suitable for our line of work and appealing to us.” This allowed the team members of Solaris Technologies to play in an open field of creativity and come up with a logo that would fit the requirements. The team members were excited to have an opportunity to polish their creative side and create something completely new without any specific instructions that needed to be followed.
Solaris Technologies took their time and showed the clients the first logo that they created; an astronaut surrounded by stars. At that very moment, the client approved of the logo. The logo serves as a representation of the wanderer who unlike most people is aiming for the stars, an astronaut who is like all other human beings however, the perception that he has of the world is drastically different from how the rest of the people see the world. An astronaut has explored what most people do not explore and this allows an astronaut to always want to search more, learn more, and get more insight; opening his mind to the diversity of life. The use of the astronaut in the logo represents the user of a mindful observer: a person who wishes to learn, share and communicate in ways that are both social and knowledgeable. The clients could envision how it sits with the company name and the ideation behind it. They instantly approved of the logo and decided to go ahead with it and bring the project towards completion.
Solaris Technologies enjoyed working with the clients as they were driven by passion and their mode of working was very professional and friendly. Together, the team of Solaris Technologies with the client created a website that serves as the perfect platform that the world of internet requires. Mindful Observer is a new social network that is completely centered on shared values of kindness, wellness, and whole health. It is a community and this community serves as a highly supportive home where anyone can safely ask questions without worrying about being judged by others, share experiences while knowing that you are surrounded by supportive people who are here to listen to what you have to say and are genuinely interested in the experiences that you have been through, maintain lasting friendships that are not built on superficial standards and they are meaningful relations that are bound by genuine emotion and care, and it allows you to create book clubs, where you can gather with like-minded people and discuss your perspective of a book that you all have read and share the impact that this reading has had on your life. The project was a success and one that Solaris Technology takes great pride in. The clients were a pleasure to work with and the work was a novel idea that the team members of Solaris Technologies were glad to have been a part of.