OpenIDEO is an open innovation platform. Join our global community to solve big challenges for social good. Sign Up / Login or Learn more

Where my folks at?

Bridging gaps, removing stigmas, increasing acceptance through a landing page that finds people matching your heritage.

Photo of Sandeep Pal
27 38

Written by

Upload the Design Brief Deliverables

How do you bridge the social gap created due to various social categories? Conversations seem to be a starting point. Let's "engage" in a conversation, get "excited" about connecting to the entire world and then "activate" ourselves by eradicating this social evil.

Please share a link to your portfolio My Best projects are: "Airomatic", "Thread Art Synthesizer" and "Elements"

Why do you want to be OpenIDEO's Visual and User Experience Designer?

1. Love for solving world problems with design solutions 2. To be able to create an impact on the society through my work 3. I feed off the curiosity towards people's behavior. 4. OpenIdeo provides the necessary platform to showcase my passion.

How many years of experience do you have?

  • Less than 3 years of experience

How did you hear about this challenge?

I actively participate in social causes on social media and help support petitions on for social good. So, I keep exploring articles and I have read some OpenIdeo articles before. I was going through the OpenIdeo website when I chanced upon this opportunity.

What did you learn when developing the deliverables in response to the design brief?

It was an amazing experience to reapply the IDEO Business design process to this problem and see solutions appearing clearly. While doing the research, I came across themes which I would have never expected before such as unclear laws, that cause discrimination to increase.



The task at hand was to "engage", "excite" and "activate" people to participate in the fictional inclusion challenge.

You can engage by getting involved in a conversation.

You can get excited with a surprise element or something that interests you

You get activated when you are motivated and encouraged to get activated

When the task was clear to me, I decided to proceed with persona generation.


Although the scope of the task is very broad and covers the entire world, selecting personas for my design becomes difficult. I then have to prioritize and select a few personas who I am going to concentrate on.

The Activist
I chose this persona because they are the people who will actively participate in in the event and basically need exposure to a challenge like this

The Extremist
I chose this persona because they are the people who do not take a moment to think before discriminating among people. It was difficult to find people of this persona for interviews but I had to scout online forums and had a brief conversation with them on chat. People need to be educated about the differences and how to accept them. Emotional way could be a way to connect to them.

The Software Engineer
I chose this persona because Software engineers are known to create great tools that help bridge social gaps. They just need motivation and encouragement to participate.


The user interviews revealed the following themes:

Social Stigma
People tend to interact less with a diverse range of people due to social stigma associated with certain cultures, races, or genders.

Education Need
A lot of people aren't aware that gender is a spectrum rather than two or three values. People need to be educated and made aware. People aren't aware that a most of the genes in the body are racially independent.

This is especially for the software engineer persona: one of them said some motivation or encouragement would really make him participate in the cause. Social Hackathons are a great way he said.

People tend to be reluctant towards initiating a conversation with someone from a different race or gender despite no conscious discrimination because they are unaware of the culture of the other person.

Unclear Laws
With respect to gender discrimination, there is a lot of confusion among people. 4 out of 6 people had no idea about any community-specific laws that exist or associations that exist.

In order to proceed towards framing a concrete question, I decided to move forward with four out of 5 themes for my solution: Social Stigma, Education Need, Encouragement, and Reluctance.


The following image shows the final question that my solution shall answer.

“How might we educate and then encourage people to overcome social stigma and reluctance and  treat everyone as citizens of the world”?

“How might we educate and then encourage peopleto overcome social stigma and reluctance and treat everyone as citizens of the world”?

Now that we have a final concrete question to answer, let me show you some of the solutions I thought of.


I was really inspired by a Coca Cola Ad in Canada which showed a coke can kiosk that could only dispense the can if people spoke a nice message in six different languages. This made people reach out to others standing nearby to find people who speak other languages and everybody had a good time with that experience. I thought something that would be able to connect people would be really nice. I wanted to focus on the web platform because of ease of information dissemination and the ease of access.

DNA Matching to find people like you to connect with
The engagement and excitement aspect would be great here as the results would be better but this is not feasible to do as it would mean that the user would need to send DNA samples, which would destroy the experience that I am trying to create, for a landing page.

Finding People of similar Heritage
This would be fairly simple to implement as one would need to enter just profile information in order to find other people. A possible solution

Amazing Posters
Posters are cheap to develop than websites and also would have a good impact if designed well. I really didn't want to proceed with posters because I wanted to communicate with the user and not make it a monologue. Moreover, I felt my design skills suit more to a web/app interface than posters.

I decided to proceed with my second option because that seemed feasible to implement using third party Ancestry APIs and the user database of OpenIdeo.


This is my final solution:



This starts the conversation with you if you are already logged in. This "engages" people. You have an option of not taking part in this if you are not comfortable knowing this information, in which case, you can help us spread the message for us to those who would be willing to participate. This has been given a card-like look in order for it to look humanly when animating.

This creates the "excitement". You see other people related to you who are unknown and you have a chance to know them!

This tells you the country this person belongs to and their gender and a message that we are trying to convey. This also provides you with "activation". with the engagement and the excitement you get to act by either participating which takes you to the inclusion challenge website or spreading the word through the standard sharing options provided by OpenIdeo.

Color Palette

I preferred this color palette:

This palette had the most diverse set of colors, which was appropriate for the challenge. All the text has been colored #8D8984 and all actionables #79CCC9 which are the primary colors. Important message has been highlighted using the purple color since the background was heavy in yellows and reds. The background uses the full color palette apart from the greys and uses certain more extreme colors to signify global acceptance. The background was generated using trianglify.

Mobile Web Screens

The designs are such that they are fully responsive.


Font Sizes have been varyingly used due to the scope of the application. Font hierarchy has been maintained and emphasis has been given to text that needs to be conveyed more importantly. 

I did not have access to sentinel or knockout fonts and I did not want to step out of the guidelines hence the emphasis text has been emphasized using other means (color).

The only font used is Gotham (Book and Light).

Thank you for your time and patience :)


Evaluation results

35 evaluations so far

1. Does the designer appeal to a global audience?

The designer speaks to diverse audiences - 76.5%

It's hard to tell - 14.7%

The design doesn't appeal to a global audience - 8.8%

2. After viewing this designer’s deliverables and portfolio you would:

I love it. I’ll share it with my social networks - 52.9%

It’s ok. I’ll give it a like - 26.5%

I don’t like it. I’ll close the tab - 20.6%


Join the conversation:

Photo of Ankita Dave

The article you have shared here extraordinary. I really like and esteemed your work. I read significantly your article, the centers you have referenced in this article are important.

Photo of Luisa Fernanda

Congratulations on making it to the Honorable Mention List! Check out the full list here:

Photo of Bodo Hoenen

This is great work!

Photo of Sandeep Pal

Thank you Bodo !

Photo of Sandeep Pal

I have started incorporating some of the feedback I received in the comments section. Since I cannot update the project above directly, you can find the updated screens here:

Photo of Nicholas Persa

Interesting indeed. So you would be connected to other IDEO users? Or would there be a larger database?

Photo of Sandeep Pal

Thanks for the comment Nicholas!
What my thought was that initially, this would start among members of the OpenIdeo community and the community members would then be motivated to spread the word and bring in more people to the community to participate. So, as more and more people join, they would be able to see more matches around the world who would be more similar to them.

Photo of Yifei Liu

Nice concept and beautiful mockup!

Photo of Sandeep Pal

Thanks Yifei !

Photo of Manoj Manduva

It is indeed an interesting concept, however once I tap on a card and the message is revealed, it is very unlikely the user taps on another card. As the user wouldn't expect any different message.
It would be great if you really can match and bring some relation among the diverse community.

Photo of Sandeep Pal

Thanks for the comment Manoj ! Would you expect to see more profile related information along with maybe a custom message put up by the user when they click participate ?

Photo of Manoj Manduva

Maybe before signing up, we can ask some general questions related to interests, hobbies, skills and political ideologies. We can match the answers with people from various backgrounds and project them. This brings some sense of commonness. Custom message is also a unique way of interaction.

Photo of Sandeep Pal

What should motivate people to answer all those questions ? It is definitely engaging but trying to do all that would require motivation up-front which is difficult via my design model.
However, all that data can be pulled from Facebook but Open IDEO currently uses only the email addresses and names of users.

Photo of Sayan Sanyal

Interesting concept, and beautiful visuals!

Photo of Sandeep Pal

Thanks Sayan !

Photo of Kelsey Kamm

Great use of the color palate beautiful design.

Photo of Sandeep Pal

Thanks Kelsey :)

Photo of Navdeep Bagga

Really liked the concept. You are addressing a very sensitive issue and did it pretty well. The design is also very awesome.

Photo of Sandeep Pal

Thanks Navdeep !

Photo of Tanvi Singh

Love the concept. I like the subtle, and I think quite novel take on a rather complex problem. Would love to see this become a reality. It looks really good too, beautiful fun color pallet.

Photo of Sandeep Pal

Thank you Tanvi !

Photo of John Rim

Fascinating concept and I dig the prism pattern. Can you provide a little clarification in regards to how the matching algorithm would determine who shares your "heritage"? My gut reaction is that this matching system would expose people to others that are already similar, but your copy ("human bond") suggests an inclusive intent.

Photo of Sandeep Pal

Thanks for the comment John. What I had thought of was to use family lineage and the various locations those lineages go back to and fuzzily match that with lineages of other people to generate a similarity score and show users about 10 with the highest similarity score. That way people always have someone else to reach out to. Let me know if you have any further questions ! Thanks !

Photo of Abhinit Modi

Cool stuff Sandeep!

Photo of Sandeep Pal

Thanks Abhinit!

Photo of abhishek

Great work Sandeep! The screen designs are really good and the design process looks well thought out.

Photo of Sandeep Pal

Thanks Abhishek !