2022-08-16 07:31:41


Reaching Millions: Updating a Global Sustainability Non-Profit

More than fifteen years ago, we made the world-famous ecological footprint calculator for the Global Footprint Network (GFN). Since then, the non-profit organization has evolved, and so has its audience. We needed to explore ways to make the calculator even better so GFN could expand their reach, increase revenue, and leverage the calculator to create new partnerships and opportunities.


While the GFN calculator attracted an impressive 2 million users annually, the organization knew very little about them. To provide an effective solution, we needed to help GFN get a better understanding of who its users were; what they were doing with the calculator; and how the organization could deepen and sustain its relationship with them. After collecting data from numerous surveys and conducting user interviews, we began to see a way forward that was fun, playful, and solution-focused.




Equipped with a clear understanding of the calculator's users and stakeholders, we designed three playful and immersive concepts for updates to the calculator. Once the client had selected a direction, we mapped out a user experience to encourage deeper engagement and meaningful actions such as sharing and giving. All key design decisions were tethered to GFN's current and future needs.




The fully developed concept, designs, and wireframes began to take shape, delivering an updated, highly immersive user experience. We also built GFN a fully responsive web-based app, ensuring performance and scalability from the get-go.




The new calculator, grounded in a beautiful, future-forward design, brought a dramatic increase in user engagement. In the first seven days after launch, GFN grew their email list by over 100,000 contacts. From August through December 2017, they saw another 700,000+ signups, with a clear path forward for sustaining engagement.

While GFN was ecstatic with the successful launch, our work wasn’t quite done. Our recommended agile approach allowed us to improve the product even further by collecting feedback and building new features accordingly. We continued to add new micro-interactions, evolve contextual solutions and CTAs, and support fledgling sponsorships that are now backing GFN’s cause.