Inward is a traveling mindfulness retreat for creatives, taking place over 7 days along the Blue Ridge Parkway through North Carolina and Virginia. With a mobile app designed to use in conjunction with the retreat, users are prompted daily with mindfulness challenges and itinerary guidance as they complete their journey along the Parkway, helping to refocus and take a break from daily professional life.
Instructor, Graduate Seminar
Tyler School of Art & Architecture
The Mood Board
The World Traveler
Lives in Philadelphia, PA. Works as junior art director for a mid-size digital firm. Helps to support his family with his salary, loves traveling but hasn’t had time to do any recently.
The Hiking Enthusiast
Lives in Los Angeles, CA. Works as an in-house junior designer for a large department store. Lives with her sister to afford rent. Works 80+ hours a week and misses exploring the world and having time to herself.
Lives in St. Petersburg, FL. Works as a senior designer at a small branding agency. Freelances on the side and loves trying new outdoor adventures. She’s currently on a mental health kick and loving it.
Working creatives know that burnout is a real thing, and is something that can have long-term and career-derailing effects. While we each likely have our own routines and mindfulness tools we use for general upkeep of our mental health, it can be difficult to implement these tools as habits and oftentimes we end up sporadically practicing things like meditation and yoga instead of building them into our daily lives.
Inward addresses these issues head-on, and with user experience in mind. By providing creatives with an environment they can tailor to their level of social comfort, practice mindfulness tools daily for an extended period of time, and travel along one of America’s most beautiful highways, Inward makes it easy to carry these tools home, helping to prevent future burnout and keep the creative workforce happy and healthy.
In order to design a streamlined experience, I approached Inward with a strategic approach, using a combination of competitive research and in-depth experience design, knowing that the design system I would create needed to function properly across both screen and print platforms, while carrying the brand’s look and feel consistently.
Initial sketches for the project focused both on visuals and back-end functionality, considering how these elements would work together as a successful brand language and system, effectively communicating both on-screen and via print. The visuals eventually moved in a rustic mid-century and Bauhaus-inspired direction, driven by both the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Bauhaus and the serendipitous location of Black Mountain College in Asheville, North Carolina. The overall goal for Inward’s brand was for it to feel like your favorite flannel shirt — I couldn’t imagine anything better for gettin’ my self-care groove on in the woods.
The Inward mobile app was designed to be used as in conjunction with the user’s retreat. Functioning as an itinerary planner and navigation guide, a journal, and a meditation tool, it archives all of the user’s entries and activities so that they have the opportunity to look back at the tools they developed. The app also has certain safety features like shortcuts to AAA and 911, as well as hard fall technology.
With lodging provided at Inward tiny house campgrounds, each day of the retreat the user is prompted to choose 3 itinerary options within the categories of Food and Drink, Hiking, and Things to Do. The user is then guided along that day’s journey to the next campground. At each stop, the user is prompted to choose a mindfulness challenge—simple tasks that have proven mental health benefits, like talk to a stranger, try a new food, or sketch a nature scene.
Additionally, every night the app prompts the user to enter their daily entry into the Journal section of the app. Choosing from a set of prompts, the user is also able to upload photographs from that day’s journey. Lastly, the Meditation section of the app logs two daily guided meditations.
The Inward App was designed with the user’s daily experience in mind; I took care to pay attention to detail and actively sought user feedback.
A desktop site was designed in order to give the project a place to live as well as emphasize the user experience of Inward. The site serves as the place for users to book their retreat, customize their mindfulness toolkit, and see what Inward is all about.
Taking an illustrative approach, the design reflects components of both the print and app design.