Empowerment & Opportunity

An immersive storytelling experience for the Gates Foundation’s new philanthropy fund


Lead Designer
UX, Visual, Motion

Project Type



Gates Foundation
Philanthropy Partners
via Pilot Lab

In previous years, the Gates Foundation had released a simple letter, outlining their annual accomplishments. For 2017, we were tasked with creating a website to showcase their achievements from the last twelve months.

The client wanted us to create an interactive site where users could get a high-level glimpse, as well as deeper dive. After exploring various models, this main goal informed our decision to use the fanning blade UX model.

View the website

Hearing someone's voice tends to evoke more empathy and connection

Press play to watch a video of the experience, or click here to go to the site.


We worked closely with GPP team to determine how best to shape the content and tell the story. The announcement of the fund was coinciding with the release of Melinda's new book about women's empowerment, so we included subtle ties to the book within the content and a nod to it at the beginning of the page.

The audio experience is broken-down into the five main pillars of the fund: Family Planning, Unpaid Work, Women in Leadership, Self-Help Groups, and Financial Services. We went to the Gates Foundation to meet with the various program leaders and recorded their candid responses as they spoke about the importance of their respective programs. Because these people had hands-on experience and intimate knowledge about the path toward empowerment, we thought their voices we be the perfect ones to guide the experience. Audio felt like the right medium, not only for its immersive qualities, but because hearing someone's voice tends to evoke more empathy and connection than simply reading words on a page.

After the auditory portion of the site, the site then leads to data-based education section, in order to appeal to both the "heart" and the "head". And finally a clear call-to-action for donating to the Empowerment & Opportunity fund.

I collaborated with our developer to implement the experience. I created prototypes and motion studies to outline all the behavior of the various elements: how to enter the experience, how to transition between stories, how the illustrations move, how the UI behaves, etc. Additionally, I outlined the responsive designs so the site could be seamlessly experienced across devices.

The client was absolutely ecstatic with the final design.