The BARK About Healthcare (now BARK About the Community) blog was created for “the new poor”, or people experiencing financial problems or who were recently laid off in the recession. It is meant to help them learn about government assistance and other health and financial resources that are available to them that they may not already know about. BARK was piloted in Missouri, then expanded into two regions of California.
Molina Healthcare, Inc. is a member of the consortium so I designed and developed the blog in WordPress during my time there. We wanted the BARK branding to reference the Great Depression era, but in a somewhat light-hearted manner. The name itself refers to news barkers, which conjure up a lot of 1930s imagery. I hand-drew the illustrations and worked with royalty-free dingbat fonts for the icons. I made sure to place attention to detail– the general site icons, as well as the user avatars, all have a vintage feel. Visitors who scroll down all the way to the footer are rewarded with an animated dog, tail wagging. The typefaces used are Goudy Stout for the logo and the fun, novelty Marcelle Script.
I coded the website and designed the graphics in such a way that allowed for new state/region blogs to be added on easily. Any future designer/developer could easily step in and make the minor edits as necessary. When the blog shifted toward a focus not just on health programs, but on community programs as well, I tweaked the graphics to change the title to “BARK About the Community”.
I also provided a brand standards and training manual to the site administrators, as well as a training manual for contributors, which included community outreach representatives from a number of nonprofit and for-profit institutions. I designed a handout in both business card- and postcard-size to help spread the word quickly and easily.