English
English

Venequeteca

THE CHALLENGE

Finding a viable way to preserve historically erased Venezuelan queer history.

THE CHALLENGE

Finding a viable way to preserve historically erased Venezuelan queer history.

THE CHALLENGE

Finding a viable way to preserve historically erased Venezuelan queer history.

THE CHALLENGE

Finding a viable way to preserve historically erased Venezuelan queer history.

Product Design Solution

Creating a digital oral history archive that collects and preserves Venezuelan queer testimonies, putting narrators at the center of how they want to be represented. 

Product Design Solution

Creating a digital oral history archive that collects and preserves Venezuelan queer testimonies, putting narrators at the center of how they want to be represented. 

Product Design Solution

Creating a digital oral history archive that collects and preserves Venezuelan queer testimonies, putting narrators at the center of how they want to be represented. 

Product Design Solution

Creating a digital oral history archive that collects and preserves Venezuelan queer testimonies, putting narrators at the center of how they want to be represented. 

My role

Product Designer

Project Manager

My role

Product Designer

Project Manager

My role

Product Designer

Project Manager

My role

Product Designer

Project Manager

CLIENT

A self-initiated project funded by the generous grant of Davis Projects for Peace, which aims to support young leaders to realize social impact ideas in their communities.

CLIENT

A self-initiated project funded by the generous grant of Davis Projects for Peace, which aims to support young leaders to realize social impact ideas in their communities.

CLIENT

A self-initiated project funded by the generous grant of Davis Projects for Peace, which aims to support young leaders to realize social impact ideas in their communities.

CLIENT

A self-initiated project funded by the generous grant of Davis Projects for Peace, which aims to support young leaders to realize social impact ideas in their communities.

Research Methods & Findings

MATRIX CSD

To understand the current landscape and product hypothesis, we wrote down a list of certainties, suppositions, and doubts about the project.

Desk Research

Bowsed the web to find secondary data and confirmed key suppositions and certainties from the Matrix CSD:


  • Data from Pais Plural, Venezuelan ONG, affirms that queer rights in Venezuela are precarious: queer people don't have access to legal marriage or civic unions, name and gender changes on IDs, and anti-discrimination protections. Mainly, they lack platforms to communicate and document these issues, their stories, and pressing needs (Pais Plural, 2023)


  • According to a survey by UX Sensata, answered by 7000+, messages about LGBTQ+ rights that are told in a story format tend to create greater empathy and less polarization among Venezuelan audiences. (UX Sensata, 2023). This finding validated our hypothesis of testimonial storytelling having a potentially positive impact on our targeted audience.

Expert-in-the-field Focus Groups

Facilitated meetings with Venezuelan journalists and writers specialized in gender diversity and queer representation in media. Identified the ethical requirements of the product:


  1. Highlight the role of intersectionality and different structures of oppression.

  2. Prioritize the sub-represented through a system open to everyone.

  3. Create ways for narrators who don't want to share their identity for safety reasons.

  4. Allow a collaborative process (where narrators can write their testimony or facilitate their writing through interviews with journalists). 

Qualitative questionnaire and visual research

Asked queer-identifying Venezuelans what they considered queer iconography to understand the already-recognizable visual identity and inform esthetic design choices. Found that queer Venezuelan aesthetic is associated with irreverence, street culture, fonts that push legibility, and pastel colors.

Prototype

Based on the findings, I determined that the best direction was to create an oral history digital archive where Venezuelan queer people could feel at the center of how they want to represent their own stories by either enabling them to submit their testimonies online or matching them with journalists/writers who could write the story collaboratively. The platform would prioritize the sub-represented through a system open to everyone via online form submissions. It would also safeguard anonymity if needed by allowing testimonies to be signed with pseudonyms, facilitate community funding through a donation section, and preserve an ever-growing repository of queer Venezuelan history.

Style Guide

Color: heavy use of pastel colors, usually encountered in traditional Venezuelan queer references. Black and Gray are added to provide a contrast that facilitates web user-friendliness and accessibility.


Type: Molenilo is an expressive font with a wavy outline that conveys a sense of flexibility and freedom, concepts associated with queer liberation. We use Molenilo for headlines and CTAs on body copy, balanced by a simpler San Serif Creator Display. 


Illustrations: each testimony will be illustrated by a Venezuelan artist. This way, there will be a balance between engaging visuals and protecting privacy and personal identity (masked by illustrations).

Color: heavy use of pastel colors, usually encountered in traditional Venezuelan queer references. Black and Gray are added to provide a contrast that facilitates web user-friendliness and accessibility.


Type: Molenilo is an expressive font with a wavy outline that conveys a sense of flexibility and freedom, concepts associated with queer liberation. We use Molenilo for headlines and CTAs on body copy, balanced by a simpler San Serif Creator Display. 


Illustrations: each testimony will be illustrated by a Venezuelan artist. This way, there will be a balance between engaging visuals and protecting privacy and personal identity (masked by illustrations).

Information Arquitecture & Wireframes
High-Fidelity prototype

Validation

  • The concept proposal for Venequeteca.org secured a 10K grant from the Davis Peace Projects Foundation. 

  • Venequeteca.org was launched in October of 2023. It received around 1,000 visitors on its first week out. The average time spent on the platform was 5 minutes.

  • Further usability testing is meant to be conducted to strategize a second iteration of the product. product iteration

Credits

Gabriela Mesones Rojo
Facilitator, editor, and translator.


Isadoro Saturno
Facilitator, editor and translator.

Andrea Paola Hernández
Facilitator, editor, and translator.

Mafer Bencomo
Product Designer and founder

Let's get to know each other.

maferbencomo1@gmail.com

maferbencomo1@gmail.com

© Mafer Bencomo 2024