1% for the Planet represents a global network of businesses, individuals and nonprofit organizations tackling our planet’s most pressing environmental issues. They pair businesses and individuals with approved environmental nonprofits, creating high-impact partnerships that amplify the impact of their members’ giving.

Project Background

1% for the Planet approached us because their member’s portal and directory needed a major overhaul. Their ability to keep adding new business members and nonprofits, while delivering great customer service, hinged on improved technology. They were looking to automate many areas in order to meet their goal of becoming the most recognized environmental community in the world. That meant enabling thousands of businesses to submit documentation needed for certification via the portal, and ideally to also deliver an engaging and inspiring UX for the entire certification process.

At the same time, they were looking to create a better, more searchable directory. They wanted to make their member’s directory fun and engaging.

They provide creative solutions that address both technical hurdles and UX challenges... [+]
Liz Whiteley
Director of Business Systems & Innovation, 1% for the Planet

Key Challenges

Cumbersome UX/UI

The large majority of members were not using the portal for certification because it was confusing. Adding donations was cumbersome and not exciting. Rather than using the portal members were emailing their account managers. This put an unsustainable burden on 1% For the Planet staff.

Security & Privacy

The members’ portal shows different sensitive financial and giving information. As more data is exposed from Salesforce, 1% wanted to be confident the right security and privacy protocols were in place. When we reviewed the portal, we noticed it had numerous security issues that exposed data.

Salesforce Integration

All the portal and directories data resides in Salesforce. It was unclear how it all worked, what triggered updates and why some things weren’t working correctly.


The directory search didn’t work properly and was confusing to use. Because most profiles were empty and how the directory was designed, the directory looked outdated. A lot of profiles were incomplete and because of the layout the ones that were complete were hard read. Other features didn’t work or lacked the necessary system feedback making the app hard to use and trust.

Project Goals

  • Increase portal and directory activity
  • Reduce back & forth emails and portal support (# of support requests)
  • Increase the number of certifications processed through portal
  • Portal delivers an amazing UX, great and consistent brand feel
  • Robust foundation for stability and rapid release cycles


The new members’ portal delivers a clean and simple experience that has a consistent brand feel. It allows members to track their progress towards their yearly goal and see their entire giving history. The directory offers the community and the public an easy way to search within the stakeholder communities. With a powerful full-text search and filters it allows users to quickly find a nonprofit or business member. And although the app pulls its data from Salesforce, it’s snappy and a pleasant experience for users.

Track donation progress

One of the key goals of the project was to improve the certification process and have a slick way to show an organization’s current progress. Before we could design a solution, we went through a journey mapping exercise where we identified what happens for both members and staff from the start of their membership and throughout the year. This exercise cleared up a lot of questions but also raised new ones and exposed little details within the process. With all this information we went ahead and created wireframes then mockups that we used to get feedback from both 1% for the Planet’s staff and their members.

Mobile donation dashboard

UX/UI Improvements

Our goal was to reduce frustration and improve ease of use so members would use the portal. We improved the UX/UI by conducting user interviews and user testing. We redesigned the information architecture (IA) for intuitive navigation. This means organizing content in a way that makes sense to people and allows them to easily navigate the app. We also followed industry best practices for designing a clean and simple UI like not overloading user with information or too many options, good spacing/​alignment, putting controls where the user expects it and using familiar patterns from other sites

We’re still doing continuous improvement as we get more feedback from users and tweaking details to improve the app’s usability.

Solid foundation

One of the areas the current app was lacking was a good system to handle and log errors. This was important because we wanted to provide useful feedback to users when things didn’t work as expected. Apart from displaying these errors nicely to users, we wanted to ensure we monitored and logged them so we could solve these issues quickly and proactively. Lastly, we set up our deployment process so that we could deliver code updates fast and automatically recover if anything went wrong.


When we first engaged with 1% for the Planet they had about 3,000 business members and 4,000 nonprofit partners. Many of these stakeholders had not logged in to the portal. Over the last 6 months: 

  • We’ve had over 4,030 unique users login to the system.
  • A total of 1,556 certifications were submitted, 77% of users who start certification complete it. That’s 5,958 donations added through the portal!
  • 2,393 completed their profiles which if we assume each unique user belongs to one org (which they don’t) then that’s about 59% of organizations have completed their profile. Room for improvement, 38% of organizations complete their profile within 30 days.