Bringing tech to Washington and moving the US forward
FWD.us is a political organization focused on building advocacy for immigration and education reform through the use of tech. We used gamification techniques to make advocacy and political action more fun, awarding points to people who reached their reps. As their Creative Director, I led a comprehensive rebrand project, built advocacy applications, managed resources, and mentored at hackathons.
To help reach a younger demographic, I created a tool that makes sending letters to your Rep as easy as taking a selfie, eventually getting picked up by celebrities like Tony Hawk, Ashton Kutcher, and Zynga co-founder Mark Pincus.
As the Creative Director, I worked across teams to redesign the FWD.us brand. I developed design guidelines, marketing collateral, and a voice/tone copywriting guide. I worked with the engineering team to deliver several apps from concept to launch, mentored at hackathons, and managed work from our 30+ person codesquad team.
Redesigning for progress
From inconsistent typography and colors to stock icons and poor site architecture, the FWD.us brand was pieced together like a collage by dozens of designers and volunteers.
My goal was to unify the FWD.us brand across all our products and marketing material. The totality of the logo, visuals, and words we would use to describe FWD.us would enable us to establish and maintain a clear, unified brand identity, both within our organization and beyond.
I used data when possible, driving design decisions by what worked for existing users, and split testing new ideas to find what would work with new users.
A vector is worth 1000 words
FWD.us originally used icons from the Noun Project to convey complex ideas like immigration reform or amnesty. While helpful, the icons didn't translate well when blown up to illustration sizes. We needed more detailed and consistent graphics.
I created an illustration guide and a collection of icons building-blocks that our design team could use to construct graphics as needed. To keep the icons interesting, I wrote a simple script that animates them as they enter the viewport.
The face of FWD.us
The FWD.us website was a platform for advocacy and a educational tool for people unfamiliar with immigration reform. The original website design was difficult to navigate, inconsistently designed, and put too much focus on the wrong things.
As part of the rebrand, I redesign and re-architected the website. Updating the navigation to be more advocacy oriented and integrating the FWD.us apps to make a more fluid advocacy experience. These changes resulted in +105% increase in conversion to membership in the first month of launch.
The website is designed to be responsive, shuffling the layout for mobile, tablet, and desktop resolutions. These are some of my favorite layouts:
Taking Advocacy Offline
While FWD.us' online advocacy tools helped drive direct advocacy, we needed a way to create a grassroots experience offline. As part of the redesign, I helped design and launch The Chapter Program; bring together passionate, talented people, and offer opportunities to engage in innovative advocacy that educates elected decision makers and changes the terms of public debate.
From San Francisco to New York, each chapter features a community calendar of monthly events and member projects to join. Members are added to a drip campaign to encourage them to participate in local events or the projects they sign up for.
Advocacy in your pocket
The first app built using the FWD.us API, the Find Your Rep tool helped people find their rep using their location or Zip Code.
Designed to be responsive, the app is mobile and tablet friendly. Animation is used to make the app more engaging and fun, panning the map background as the user types their Zip Code.
Advocacy in your pocket
Legislators receive 500 emails to every 1 physical letter, so the transitive property says that 1 letter == 500 emails in power. But, writing letters is hard. By making it as easy as taking a selfie, more people can get in touch with their reps and encourage positive political change.
I created an app that lets users take a selfie and send it as a physical postcard to their region's rep. The app was responsive, adjusting to mobile, tablet, and desktop resolutions, and if the user didn't have a webcam would let them upload a Facebook photo instead.
Within the first week of launch, the app went viral, getting shared by celebrities like Ashton Kutcher, Adrian Grenier, Chris Tucker, and Jared Leto, as well as a segment on NOTICIAS MUNDO FOX and a write-up in The Guardian.
November 21st, 2014
On this date, President Obama unveiled his plans for executive action on immigration reform. Executive action means:
This moment would not have been possible without the tireless work of FWD.us. Over 350,000+ contacts to members of Congress and the President thanks to our innovative advocacy tools that help engage supporters.