Describe your Webby-nominated project. What’s the elevator pitch?

For LGBTQ+ travellers, what's legal in one place can be punishable by prison, or worse, in the next. That's why we created Destination Pride—a data-driven search platform that reimagines the Pride flag as a bar graph of the world's LGBTQ+ laws, rights, and social sentiment.

Why this particular cause as the subject of your project/campaign? Was there a moment that inspired it?

Which country is it again that's hostile to gay people?" It's a brutal question and not really fair when you unpack it. But it's a question LGBTQ+ people ask travel agents every day. What we observed is that even the good ones were struggling to answer it. This project is an attempt to develop a global measurement system for acceptance—to provide utility, while shining a light on inequalities.

What concerns were there about pursuing this idea? How did you get past them?

Data transparency. We're talking about hundreds of thousands of data points involving laws, policies, and social media activity. How much do we show? When do we show it? And are these the right data sets? A big part of the idea's power is in its simplicity. But pretty soon, users are going to want to go deeper. We had to make sure the data was there for them when they wanted it. Our solution involved the design principle of progressive disclosure.

What was the most rewarding aspect of working on your project? What did you learn in the process that you didn't know/expect going into it?

Any time you're lucky enough to put your finger on something that's hidden in plain sight, it's rewarding. Of course LGBTQ+ laws are different in different countries. And yet somehow the topic seemed under-discussed. Key learning: When we started seeing well-known gay-friendly destinations score lower than we'd assumed. For example, we all want San Francisco and Toronto to score off the charts. Because it confirms a progress narrative. Truth is both these places have laws on the books that marginalize the LGBTQ+ community.

What real-world impact were you hoping to make with this project? Did the real-world impact meet your expectations?

We'd hoped that the world would embrace the platform, see its value, and then help us make it better. And that's been the case. The work began with PFLAG. Now we're talking to global travel brands to see how they can use Destination Pride to help their customers make better decisions. The response so far among the platform's users—the LGBTQ+ community—has been good.

Did your team have a specific “breakthrough” or “a-ha” moment while formulating or executing this project?

The moment we turned the Pride flag into a bar graph. That was a big moment. We had a bunch of the nuts and bolts of the how and why worked out—but needed a way to bring more beauty and stopping power. Plotting the data against this important symbol of LGBTQ+ rights unlocked a lot of meaning and emotion.

How will you use technology in future work to create inspiring, cutting-edge projects that also make a difference in people’s lives?

One of the big promises of data and technology is that they'll help us get better at recognizing the individual. Our hope is that the closer we get to the people we're serving, the more responsive we'll become to what they actually want and need.

Credits

  • Executive Creative Director Ian Mackenzie FCB/SIX
  • Associate Creative Director Dave Laing FCB/SIX
  • Associate Creative Director Krystle Mullin FCB/SIX
  • Copywriter James Ly FCB/SIX
  • Art Director Devon Williamson FCB/SIX
  • Experience Designer Patrick Stolk-Ramaker FCB/SIX
  • Associate Design Director Stuart Thursby FCB/SIX
  • Art Director Allan Mah FCB/SIX
  • Account Director Shalta Dicaire Fardin FCB/SIX
  • Group Account Director Andrea Barrett FCB/SIX
  • Project Manager Ashley Whitaker FCB/SIX
  • Project Manager Khizra Arshad FCB/SIX
  • VP, Head of Data and Technology Jacob Ciesielski FCB/SIX
  • Director of Technology Madara Ranawake FCB/SIX
  • Developer Dob Atlin FCB/SIX
  • QA Peter Panchine FCB/SIX
  • EVP, Strategy Anna Percy-Dove FCB/SIX
  • Strategy Director John Fung FCB/SIX
  • Strategist Zac Matheson FCB/SIX
  • Strategy Coordinator Mike Conte FCB/SIX
  • President Andrea Cook FCB/SIX
  • VP, Managing Director Elizabeth Sellors FCB/SIX
  • VP, Operations Grace McCann FCB/SIX
  • Print Production Joyce Jackson FCB/SIX
  • Print Production Chris Costa FCB/SIX
  • Producer Lindsay Hann FCB/SIX
  • Editor David Rodriguez FCB/SIX
  • User Experience Kristy Pleckaitis FCB/SIX
  • Front End Developer Heung Lee FCB/SIX
  • Front End Developer Jonathan Sanford FCB/SIX
  • Designer/Animation Director Edward Deng Alter Ego
  • Creative Director Eric Whipp Alter Ego
  • Executive Producer Cheyenne Bloomfield Alter Ego
  • Music & Voice Director Mark Domitric Grayson Matthews
  • Audio Producer Kelly McCluskey Grayson Matthews
  • Engineer Vlad Nikolic Grayson Matthews
  • Sound Design Laura Titchner Grayson Matthews
  • Sound Design Ben Swarbrick Grayson Matthews
  • President Shasta Lutz Jigsaw Casting
  • Public Relations Shannon Stephaniuk Glossy
  • President Helen Galanis Initiative Media
  • Director of Content Marketing Katherine Fera Initiative Media
  • Manager, Data Analytics Andrew Yang FCB/SIX
  • Production Coordinator Amy Nguyen FCB/SIX
  • Junior QA Analyst Labdhi Deliwala FCB/SIX
  • QA Manager, Data and Technology Lina Vaisman FCB/SIX

About the Best User Experience category

Only user experience judged. Online experiences produced on behalf of a brand that offer the best user experience through innovative design and useful functionality.