Need a fresh boost of creative boost? Checking out world-class design work is a great way to get new ideas and inspiration. This is why we’re big fans of The Indigo Design Award, a global contest that rewards exceptional talent across disciplines including design, illustration and branding.

In a special series of articles, we’re taking a behind-the-scenes look at some of the best work from this year’s 2021 winners. Today, we’ll explore the development of Trip, an app crafted by the mental wellness company Field Trip and the digital product studio Z1.

Field Trip is leading the medical and scientific re-emergence of legal psychedelic-enhanced therapies. They have comfortable, spa-like clinics in different locations around Canada and the United States.

The company came to Z1 with the idea of creating Trip, a supportive tool for those who are seeking altered states of consciousness for personal growth, who may not have access to one of their clinic-based therapy programs.

Who are Z1?

Z1 is a lean, nimble product studio of more than 70 digital experts specialised in creating and launching disruptive products. Its team of designers, engineers, product managers and communication professionals has shipped over 60 products in the past six years, mostly designed and built from the ground up.

“We work mainly with North American startups, helping founders drive the road from the draft of an idea to a marketable and scalable product,” says Z1’s Clarisa Guerra. “We are based in Seville, Spain, where we were born as a studio in 2015, but since 2018 we’ve been part of Tiny, a Canadian investment fund behind industry giants such as Dribbble and Metalab.”

Z1’s approach is about more than just pixels and lines of code, she stresses. “We are specialised in creating memorable designs, always taking care about real outcomes and meaningful experiences. We’ve created what we called a ‘Zero to One’ process, which works to deliver products to specific markets, striking the ideal balance between investment and impact. We build scalable architectures and deliver future-proof code for an easy transition to the next phases of the digital products.”

Developing Trip

Although Z1 is an international studio, its HQ is located in Spain, a country where the kind of treatment that Field Trip Health works on is conspicuous by its absence. “However, we did what we always do,” says Clarisa. “Put our five senses to understand our partners. And we quickly discovered Trip was not only an exciting project but also a much-needed one. After the first conversations with Kori Harrison, Field Trip’s head of product, and Amardeep Manhas, their CTO, our team was immediately hooked.”

Trip needed to be designed mindfully and was based on extensive research while keeping it simple and beautiful. “We worked on prototyping this concept with the Field Trip team with the vision to create an end-to-end supportive tool that brought all the key phases of the Field Trip method together in one place: preparation, exploration, reflection, and integration.”

Underlying concept

The underlying concept was to make the Trip experience feel like a soothing journey, from the moment you open the app, through your trip, and after. “Design and engineering worked side-by-side, bringing to life the art the illustrator thoughtfully worked on, until achieving a seamless deployment,” says Clarisa. “The result is a useful and dreamy tool for people looking to practise consciousness-expansion with or without psychedelic substances.

“Regarding the design, we wanted to achieve certain ease, lightness, and a pleasant visual language from the onboarding to the end. So we created a coldish colour palette and incorporated temperatures, lights, and environments. The whole theme revolves around a landscape on which the users glide towards the horizon with a sense of advance.”

Being able to set an intention before the journey, listen to AI-generated music, access a voice recorder while tripping, show analytics that displays progress over time, and read educational content based on scientific research and shamanic wisdom are some of the features Trip’s thousands of beta users are enjoying. “The proof is in their feedback, which is all about appreciation and gratitude,” says Clarisa, “something that will make this Trip go further and further.”

A shot of joy

Z1 is continuing to working together with Field Trip Health to evolve the app and designing new features, experiences and scenarios for trips. And they’re overjoyed to have won an Indigo Award for their work on the app.

“An award is always a confirmation that we are on the right track, an external validation of a creative process that we start from scratch based on our intuition and experience,” says Clarisa. “It is also a shot of joy for the team, who see how top-level designers recognise their work.”

Enter the Indigo Design Award 2022!

Fancy entering for next year? Then you’ll be pleased to know the Indigo Award 2022 is now open for submission. You need to enter your work by 30 September 2021 and can find all the details you need at indigoawards.com.

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