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Highlighting immigration detention through American symbolism


Lead Designer and Developer 

  • Illustration

  • Animation

  • Front-end Development

  • Content Strategy

  • Project Management


Detention Watch Network

(Story Reviewer and FAQ Writer)

Wavering Stripes is an interactive website that spreads awareness on and ignites action toward ending immigration detention in the United States.

I worked as the sole designer and developer on this project while collaborating with Detention Watch Network, a national coalition dedicated to ending immigration detention in the United States.   


Wavering Stripes earned an Honorable Mention and received a Mobile Excellence Badge from Awwwards, a distinguished competition celebrating the best web design and development in the world.


Wavering Stripes was featured in Editor X's Web Design 2021, a report highlighting the year's most creative web design.


Between 2016 - 2020, Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) had seen a budget increase of 40%, and an influx of immigration detention centers have followed. Immigrants are forced to endure inhumane conditions in these facilities, resulting in lifelong trauma and death. 

How could I spread awareness on the issue of immigration detention while also encouraging viewers to take action?

Make the Project Memorable and Accessible

I used American imagery to make a bold, memorable statement about immigration detention in the "land of the free."

For the greatest social impact, the project needed to be accessible, so I made an interactive web app to reach audiences both near and far.


Initial concept illustration for Wavering Stripes


Emphasize Storytelling 

I developed a storyboard for the website that included several user interactions leading up to the point of the flag reveal.


After conversations with community members and other designers, I realized these prior interactions were in conflict with the main section of the website.


The most important aspect of the website was where visitors could read stories of those who have died in immigration detention centers. However, my storyboard was focused on preliminary actions. Considering this, I eliminated these prior scenes and focused on ways to enhance the storytelling component of the website.



Captivate Visitors Through Powerful Imagery 

Using a rich and relevant color palette, I created an initial style frame that set color and typography guidelines for all website illustrations and animation.


Consult with Experts

After developing the concept, storyboard, and style frames, I reached out to Detention Watch Network to consider alternative perspectives on the project.

Their insight was not only helpful in perfecting the conceptual structure of the site, but obtaining detainee stories and providing accurate information on immigration detention. Moreover, this collaboration helped establish a clear action item for visitors: make a donation toward Detention Watch Network, an organization with a mission of ending immigration detention in the United States.

Engage with Diverse Audiences

I showed the first draft of the website to over 30 people in my network.


Their racial, ethnic, gender and professional backgrounds were diverse. Professors, artists, psychologists, educators, engineers, organizers ― each person brought insight that led to several revisions including but not limited to: an FAQ page, an Instagram share option, and content warnings.


Carly Perez Fernandez

Communications Director, Detention Watch Network

"Naily is a thoughtful collaborator.

She is clear in her creative vision while also remaining adaptable to the issue-area expert. Naily is innovative, a proactive communicator, and a strong project manager which made our work together seamless. We are grateful to have had the opportunity to work with this talented artist and hope to work with her in the future."

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