Webby for Good is a collaborative program formed by The Webby Awards and WP Engine to showcase Webby-recognized projects built to change the world.

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

War is back in cities—and civilians are in the middle of it. This immersive site aims to bring the viewer to these urban front lines, to see the impact in a new and visceral way.

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

In June of last year, the ICRC released a special report that estimated 50 million people are currently bearing the brunt of war in cities around the world. Our goal was to complement that report with an innovative digital campaign that showcased some of the powerful stories behind that staggering figure.

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

As with any project on such a difficult subject, we want to ensure we built a product that honored our subjects' experiences and avoided feeling exploitative. Our colleagues in Iraq, Yemen, and Syria are deeply embedded with the communities—it's that trust that allows ICRC to carry out its life-saving humanitarian work. We were fortunate to get the support of these colleagues in securing the moving testimonials and user-generated video content featured on the site. We also worked with the incredible design and dev team, Primer Stories, who brought a keen and sensitive eye to the material.

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?

Seeing a project become more than the sum of its parts is always really exciting. There's also a really cool global thing that happened here: Our team (based in Geneva) had these testimonials from Yemen, Iraq, and Syria. We had user-generated content from both our team and the company, Storyful, in New York. And we were working with Primer Stories in Seattle and San Francisco to try and find a way to bring it all together. There were so many moving pieces going into it, that I never could've expected by the end, we'd have such a rich and cohesive final product.

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

I work in the digital unit in the ICRC's communications team where we're always looking at how new platforms and emerging technologies can be used to tell a good story. I think immersive sites like "I saw my city die," and some new projects we're working on that seek to take leaps in what AR and VR can do in terms of storytelling, are especially exciting. The goal for us here is always the same: to try and bring people who might not normally see these types of stories along with us.

HOMES DESTROYED. LIVES SHATTERED. STOP. International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)

Credits

  • Photos and Videos Andre Liohn
  • Photos and Videos Storyful
  • Interactive Design, Development, and Direction Primer&Co.

About the Best Practices category

Best practices sites serve as an industry benchmark for the most current, innovative, and advanced practices in web development. Sites demonstrating unparalleled excellence across the Academy's six criteria: content, structure, navigation, visual design, interactivity, functionality, and overall experience.