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SawDust Occupational Therapy

Designing and re-branding for occupational therapy.


The challenge was to re-brand and re-design the website, so the therapists can inform the community of how they can help their target audience. 

Problem statement

Caretakers of aged-out mentally challenged individuals are looking for a place to bring their charges, where they can learn a new skill and how to live in a working environment.

How can Sawdust OT’s website convey their mission statement clearly and help caretakers understand their services?



Users and Audience

The user/target audience are caretakers of mentally challenged individuals, who want to help their charges learn and grow.


Roles and Responsibilities

I was the sole researcher, designer, and web-builder on this project.


Scope and Constraints

The time limit was three weeks, and due to COVID and the limited audience, it was difficult to find user’s to interview.


Tools Used

Adobe XD, Wix, Miro, G-Suite


To begin the project, I conducted an analysis of the current website and a competitor analysis to determine what a website for occupational therapy should consist of. I wanted to understand what people who search for occupational therapy services are used to seeing and what they expect to see.

Screen shots of the original website.

 Afterwards, I sat down with the stakeholder to determine their goals for the website; 


“It was to inform people of the services they offer, and give the user a feel for SawDust OT’s values. From there, user’s could contact the therapists and ask their specific questions.”


Anything beyond that could be addressed at a later date, such as referrals, upcoming events and newsletters, which were all popular features of competitors. They wanted to start small, and build their own community, so that when they were ready to go bigger, they would have the experience and support to do so.

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Competitor Analysis of local non-profits.

Once I had the stakeholders goals and a user persona based on their ideal audience, I conducted user interviews and some testing on the current website.

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Annotated stakeholder and user interview notes.


Based on the data from user interviews and testing, I determined the main problems with the current site, so as to fix them with the new site.

 • The first issue was the general appearance, which users stated was hard to read, wordy, and a little clumsy.


 • User's wanted to see more personal pictures, less obvious stock photos. 

 • However, after that the main issue became clear: User’s didn't know what SawDust OT did. The mission statement was too long, several people didn't understand what “OT” or occupational therapy was,  and they didn't know whom the website was for.

Problem Statement: 

Caretakers of aged-out mentally challenged individuals are looking for a place to bring their charges, where they can learn a new skill and how to live in a working environment.

How can Sawdust OT’s website convey their mission statement clearly and help caretakers understand their services?


I addressed the main issue with the stakeholders first:

User’s generally enjoyed their motto; 


" Learn. Build. Prosper. Skills learned for enrichment of oneself and one another."


But once the users read further, their mission statement was too long, and didnt accurately convey what they were doing (One user simply stated “ There are way, WAY too many adjectives.).

Original Mission Statement


 "SawDustOT’s mission is to facilitate an open and inclusive environment for creative expression where we collaborate with parents, caregivers and the community to provide lasting opportunities for their young adults and children of all ages through the use of construction/woodworking as a medium for life skills and as a means for potential employment opportunities."



 “Our mission is to teach life skills and work habits to young adults and children with special needs through the use of construction, woodworking and craft thereby assisting with future employment opportunities.”

The stakeholders didn't seem to want to change it, but after showing them the interview notes and reactions to the statement, they agreed to work with it. I myself like the new one much better!

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Style tile with branding components.

Once the mission statement was iterated and approved, the stakeholders were extremely happy to get to the re-branding and appearance for the new site. Whereas the initial design was warm and depicted a ‘woodsy’ vibe, they decided to go with a clean, professional  appearance, with the purple color to represent the mentally challenged. ​


We also decided that a ‘light mode’ appearance would represent their new space very well. The therapists built it themselves, which is a great indication of what kind of skills the kids will learn. Despite my suggestion to advertise that, the therapists declined to highlight that achievement, but I can do it in my case study!

Prototyping (Lo - Hi)

While the mission statement and re-branding were in progress, I started in on the wireframing, with the deadline of opening day looming ahead. I began with a simple sitemap, as it was a simple website and they wanted to keep it as such. There were also several wireframe sketches to try and determine layout and placement before the prototyping.

Site map sketch and witreframe sketches.

Lo-fi  wireframes.

Once here, the issue of images came up. The users had mentioned wanting to see more personalized images, unique to the brand itself, and less stock images. They also really enjoyed the images of the projects already completed. So the stakeholders and myself began collecting and editing a ton of new photos from the new space and the new projects.

Hi -fi  wireframes.

With the opening only a week away, the stakeholders and I decided to delve into development, and schedule a testing date in the new year, using their new reviews and goals to continue with.


While I have basic HTML/CSS/JS , I was pleased to use Wix to build the SawDustOT website. It was my first time using it, and the easy customization was very easy for me to use.


(The automatic responsive design and ability to edit mobile version has also made me consider moving my own work over to Wix.)

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Responsive mock-ups.

While building the site, I was also tasked with organizing the therapists emails, and building a shared inbox for the general site.

The process was definitely a learning one, and I’m pleased to say I gained some experience working with Googles new professional G-Suite, but this is a case study and not a review, so onward!

Diagrams for the clients, so they understood their new email situation a little better.

The Delivered Product

A fully functional, gorgeous, and informative website for an amazing non-profit.
A strong brand.
A clear mission statement.


Delivering the final website and email suites was a wonderful feeling, and SawDust OT will do wonderful work. The stakeholders, their new clients, and myself enjoy the site and agree it fulfills the original goals laid forth.


And yet, I am excited to revisit it in the future and expand the experience that SawDust OT offers. I hope to have a variety of classes to add, and help them dedicate more time to their blog, especially since their students seem to enjoy the new, useful skills they’re learning. Future goals for the non-profit include:

• Referrals from local professionals.

• An events calendar

• More diverse class options with different levels and times.

As the brand grows and reaches more people who need their specialized services, more research can be conducted and the site can more tailored for their audience. But until then, people know where to SawDust and what their mission is!

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