NYU Social Neuroscience
The emerging field of social neuroscience is seen as being the new frontier of social psychological research within the academic community. The research integrates ideas and methods from psychology, neuroscience, and related fields to address a wide range of questions about cognition, emotion and behavior as they relate to a broad range of social processes.
At the forefront of this research is Dr. David Amodio, recently awarded the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) by President Obama. He is based at New York University, and wanted a new website to better reflect his work and his lab. The site had to appeal to both academics and non-academics alike, since, given his position as a leading expert in the field, he gets interest from students wishing to study with him, fellow professors wishing to collaborate, and media and the public wanting to learn more about the research and the field.
Dr. Amodio wanted the site to show the spirit and passion of his lab, as well as their position as the 'coolest thing in social psychology' so to speak. The online presence of similar professors and their labs tend be simple affairs, usually done by the students themselves, or else designed to convey conservatism and gravitas alone.
To show all this, I thought it would be interesting to really try to get across the work of the lab, since it is so often misunderstood. At the heart of the research lies the studies that are run there, which measure brainwave activity in response to various stimuli and questions that are shown to the participant. It is measured by fitting the participant with an EEG cap, from which electrical activity is measured and collected by a separate machine. This activity is then output in the form of EEG data (the wavy lines).
I decided to take an illustrative approach to all this, showing the relationship between the participant, the EEg cap, the wires bearing all the information, and how this then feeds back to the work of the lab itself. The natural color of the wires and caps provide an unexpected burst of color on entering the site, which follows through in the details throughout. This is all balanced then by a clean and minimal grid, clear typographic hierarchies and styles, and an easy to use user interface, which all combine to present the lab as approachable and passionate, yet still very serious about their research.
I also created an identity for the lab, in the same vein of thought, which makes the unusual word lengths combine in unexpected ways to form a coherent whole. The characters are organized on a strict grid, so that they work well together despite their seeming disunity.