Established in 2010 and the first of its kind in North America, the lab studies how social media is changing the way people and organizations communicate, share information, conduct business and form communities online, and how these changes impact society. Their researchseeks to advance the public’s understanding of the benefits and pitfalls of social media adoption.
Design: As an innovator of social media tools and research, I sought to stray away from a traditionally “academic” looking website by incorporating modern design in the UI and fun, but informative imagery. Because the lab is associated with Ryerson University, certain branding guidelines had to be met, but I used that to our advantage by selecting a playful yet complementary colour scheme. The original website was extremely text-heavy and difficult to navigate. To rectify the UX issue, I created a set of graphics that act as symbols and signifiers throughout the site, replacing and breaking up the text. The site now affords easy navigation, creating a pleasant user experience.
Research & Communications: As the lab conducts research on a variety of topics related to social media, they produce numerous academic papers related to said research and the tools they develop. My background in journalism allows me to take dense research topics and distill them into bite-sized pieces, acting as article-style abstracts to promote the lab’s research content.
I am currently also acting as the Marketing Coordinator of the lab’s annual Social Media and Society conference. I arrange marketing materials to perform cohesively in promotional campaigns leading up to the event, as well as create content for the digital campaigns.