Ready, Set, Launch!

by Anne Basting

Goodness, this massive web platform overhaul was a mammoth undertaking for our tiny TimeSlips team! It’s been a parade of meetings with web developers, designers, branding experts, illustrators, animators, stakeholders, instructional designers, filmmakers and evaluation consultants. But after 14 months, we are thrilled to be bring out our new look, feel and functionality.

The new look reflects our tremendous growth. TimeSlips now has 800 Certified Facilitators in 48 states and 20 countries. We used to be a handful of inspired facilitators. We now see ourselves as offering a fountain of inspiration for facilitators around the world to imagine new ways of engaging elders and weaving them into their communities. It is our hope that by inspiring, connecting, and growing our network, we can bring meaningful engagement to 1,000,000 elders by 2025. This goal fueled our redesign efforts. The new site prominently features a map of our international network, with profiles for Creative Communities of Care, organizations that have completed our training.

The new logo, by the Detroit-based creative team at Lafayette American, reflects the spark of imagination at the heart of what we do and that is carried by all our facilitators. Our new illustrations were designed by Violeta Noy, an artist in Barcelona, Spain. Violeta’s colorful, emotional, and artful style place us solidly in the world of play and imagination. Noy’s characters come to life in the animation by the Milwaukee-based team at Black Box visuals. Hadiya Nuriddin of Focus Learning Solutions wove the illustrations into our new online learning modules (pictured).

We also collaborated with an evaluation consultant to strategically plan what data to gather and how to share it to boost our impact and make the loudest argument for spreading our approach. For students, we are integrating pre and post surveys into our service learning modules to capture changes in attitude among student volunteers, increases in learning about aging and dementia; improvements in relationships with elders in their own lives, and whether they consider going into the field of aging. For organizations, we offer pre- and post-training surveys to track increases in volunteerism and connections with families and community partnerships.

We’ve dramatically expanded our Creativity Center, the heartbeat of our site, with 300+ prompts to inspire conversations, stories and projects. Now users can respond in the moment by uploading photos of their response, audio recording their answers, or writing them. Users can also download a worksheet to use in a session later on. When users press save or publish, they’ll be prompted to complete a quick evaluation. Was the session meaningful? For them? For the elders? How many participated? This way we’ll be able to track meaningful engagements across the world. We already have 17,000 stories on the site – we can’t wait to grow that exponentially!

For many years I was the face (and the front and back office) of TimeSlips. No more. Now YOU are the face of TimeSlips, and at last we have the chance to make meaningful change in the lives of elders and their families across the world. I’m overjoyed to step to the side and gather all the incredible stories of how caregivers are infusing creativity into their care relationships and changing care systems.