The National Drug Research Institute (NDRI) out of Curtin University came to us with a new and experimental idea to create awareness about Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD). The brief was simple; depart from static forms of communication like brochures and expensive pamphlet campaigns and instead create a prototype that is dynamic, forward thinking and enticing to a younger audience.

Their idea for an educational poster building iPad app for health professionals to use with community groups to discuss FASD was very appealing and a chance for us to showcase our design, illustration and development skills. The ethos behind the project was that people feel more engaged and retain more information when they have a hand in the teaching process; their collaborative poster building idea was born.

Building engagement with communities was high priority for NDRI so a simple to use and intuitive design was needed. NDRI wanted an iPad app after seeing how engaged younger generations are with this type of device. Through discussion we helped grow that idea to include an additional web app equivalent allowing access to a much greater audience.

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It also required original hand drawn illustration work to create some stock images users could insert into their posters. The original illustrations we created had to be considerate of the different cultures, groups and genders who would use the app.

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Digitally Painted by Julia Alison

This project gave us a chance to leverage a technology called PhoneGap (now known as Cordova) which let us build a cross-platform mobile app using HTML and JavaScript, rather than opting for a native build. This allowed us to fit the two projects within the restricted budget and it was great to see the very visual interface perform well both in a browser and moving to offline with an iPad using only slightly modified code.

An important component of the client brief was the ability to print a poster directly from the device using Airprint technology and with a bit of creative problem solving we were able to make that happen.

The end result was a fully functional iPad and web app that hopes to educate through the fun of playing with a rich user interface whilst producing community relevant posters.

You can find the app at fasdpostermaker.com.au or in iTunes