Save the Children

The use of explosive weapons in urban areas is one of the greatest tragedies of our time. The United Nations has stated that it is the largest cause of civilian deaths in today's conflict areas.

Save the Children wanted to find an innovative way to cut through the noise and connect with people on this issue. The primary challenge was that, through geographical distance and lack of personal connection with those affected, the nightmare of being in a place where bombs are actually falling from the sky is quite unimaginable.

The tool was created as a starting point, to promote awareness and stimulate discussion around what is acceptable in modern warfare, and to highlight the many dire consequences of the use of explosive weapons in urban areas - from direct fatalities, to contaminated water, to families torn apart and many more.

Save the Children tool on mobile
  • Client : Save the Children
  • Website :
  • Issues : War, Human Rights, Charity, Children
  • Services Offered : Branding, Web Design, Web Development, Video Editing

The Original Brief

Save the Children started with a bold idea to try and make the horrors of war more relatable through an interactive micro-site, tackling apathy and sparking a conversation. We gladly took on the challenge, and got to work thinking of the best way to create something that left a real impression on those who saw it, and moved them to take action.

Save the Children initial ideas on mobile

User Testing & Feedback

We developed two initial ideas, prototyping them and taking them to caf├ęs to test their effectiveness. Immediately we realised the emotive power of what we had made, with respondents being moved and shocked even from the rough prototypes that they were shown. We decided to double down on the emotive, rather than the more abstract statistical, elements of the tool - whilst it is shocking to imagine the numbers of those around you who would be affected by the kind of aerial bombing that happens in conflict zones around the world today - the numbers obscured the human story.

We decided to develop the idea of it being a personal nightmare, playing directly with how unimaginable these experiences are to people living in countries safe from aerial bombing.

iPhone 6 mockup

First Iteration

After testing the idea further, and questioning each premise at every turn, we realised that what was so powerful in this tool was the shocking contrast between seeing your own street that you walk down every day versus the truly horrifying footage of suffering experienced by those in places like Syria and Yemen. By stripping the core concept back to that stark side-by-side comparison, albeit with elements of warfare creeping into the mundane every day scene, it focussed the viewer's attention even more strongly on how unable we are to imagine such terror.

A series of different mockups for the Save the Children tool on mobile

Analytics Feedback and Second Iteration

It is always crucial to continue testing your ideas, even after they have been released to the public. We learnt from a deep dive into the data on how people were using the site, that we needed an even stronger focus on the visual elements of the tool. We further refined the video montage of clips from conflict zones, stripped back the copy to allow the footage to be front and centre, and built a new and separate fundraising route to allow the tool to be used in multiple ways.

Mockup of Apple iMac

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