Case Study: MNO Youth Survey

The Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) was looking for an engaging and simple web app to gather data on Métis in the province between the ages of 16 and 29. The data will be used to improve current programs and create new services to improve mental health in the community.

But who wants to do a survey?


The greatest challenge for this project would be engagement. Trying to get the attention of any group of youths can be difficult, but especially when that group already has known issues with connectivity and mental health issues. In order to help the Métis youth of Ontario, we would need to create a survey tool that was easy to use and had some connection with their community and culture.

Upon speaking with the client and their advisory board, we found a few visual angles we could use to our advantage. There was a large amount of passion and enthusiasm for something they call “The Beadwork Revolution”, where Métis craftspeople make beautiful floral patterns using tiny beads. This seemed to be a great mix of non-traditional visual elements and something visually compelling.

Notes from the initial kick-off meeting with client


Using the “Beadwork Revolution” as a jumping off point, I designed a series of graphic elements that I thought would be calm, approachable, and culturally connected to the Métis youth. I wanted to make something reproducible so we could use it throughout the app and keep everything homogenous.

I eventually settled on a series of illustrated flowers inspired by actual beadwork samples given to us by the client. It was a hybrid of modern, clean iconography and classic floral imagery. I combined this with a bright, vibrant colour palette also taken directly from Métis artwork. I tried several different styles of flowers and beadwork, and even some other elements.


The next step was to create an accurate mock-up of the final product for approval. I made several test screens for both desktop and mobile views, and showed them to the client. The client was thrilled with the design and thought it was exactly what it needed. We proceeded to the final design phase with spirits high.

Initial design concepts presented to client

Final Design

The final website includes four main sections: landing page, survey, resources, and contact information. The survey was originally going to feature actual artwork from the Beadwork Revolution artists, but time and logistics led us to produce a unique illustration for each survey question. We used a simple slider bar for the answers, making it as easy as possible for someone to log their responses with a simple swipe of their fingers.

An entire series of “beadwork icons” was produced for the “Gifts of Knowledge” resource section. Their intent was to have an interactive process where the user would click on an image and receive a ‘gift’ of a link to an external resource.

The MNO could not have been happier with the process and the results from this project. They reported a very high response rate and the large volume of survey data is now being used to plan the next step to engaging the Métis youth of Ontario and improving their mental health.