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Transforming the online experience for a global

Helping Practical Action tackle poverty with smart
digital and solid consultancy 

Big Change
starts small.

Practical Action is an innovative international development organisation putting ingenious ideas to work so people in poverty can change their world.


As well as beneficiaries, their audiences include governments, media, donors, the private sector and a huge range of partner organisations.

Audience insight


Workshopping across three continents

Our first job was to understand the needs and motivations of this ‘target audience’ – probably the most diverse we’ve ever dealt with at Freestyle.

After workshopping with UK staff, we ran a series of video conferencing sessions with representatives from India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Peru, Bolivia, Kenya, Sudan and Zimbabwe. We even had two stakeholders calling in from the heart of the Amazon.

This insight culminated in an extensive audience segmentation report, which informed everything that followed.

The considerable work done upfront to understand our audiences, their journeys, our technical requirements and the new brand, has been so valuable in creating a superb user experience.

Oliver Arnold-Richards, Digital Manager at Practical Action

Task modelling.


Planning seamless user experiences.

We wanted to be as user-centric as possible when it came to scoping the site. Task models provided a simple way to define functionality, navigation and content, from a user-first perspective.

With a wealth of insight to draw on, we were able to plot the steps each audience needs to take to achieve their goals. This Design Thinking approach was efficient and collaborative, and gave Practical Action a visual tool to share across the organisation.


Brand new website


Impact and inspiration for a new generation of supporters

With a deep understanding of Practical Action’s many and varied audiences, we were primed to tackle the new website.

Built on WordPress, the site is a radical departure for the organisation. We massively simplified the UX and made the most of photography to create an immersive storytelling experience. Their amazing work speaks for itself.

The site is designed to appeal to a new generation of donors, who expect a slick online experience and powerful stories of innovation, compassion and change.

Custom plug-in.


Integrating the site with thousands of digital assets

From a technical perspective, we faced the challenge of integrating the site with Practical Action’s digital asset library – containing tens of thousands of images and videos. We built a custom plug-in to sync assets between their DAM system and WordPress, giving access to an enormous archive of rich content, and making us very popular with their webmasters.


Digital Manager, Practical Action

"Freestyle took us on a journey to transform our online destination. From the very initial workshops to the final go live, their expertise and support have been crucial to achieving a website that successfully showcases Practical Action and will help to achieve our digital aspirations.”



Project Manager

The landscape of this project spanned across multiple disciplines and phases: from audience research, to build and launch, Charlotte steered the project with multiple moving parts, juggling internal and external stakeholders.

Want to work with Charlotte? Drop her a line:


Client Service Director

Kay worked to evolve and define the website experience, in line with the wider digital transformation vision of Practical Action. Her deep understanding of the not-for-profit industry guided our approach to delivering a hub for global resources and a vehicle to drive donations.

Want to work with Kay? Drop her a line:


Account Manager

With a track of record of delivering projects for a range of charitable organisations, this was a dream project for Sarah to get her stuck into, ensuring the work delivered to brief and was in line with the Practical Action's values. 

Want to work with Sarah? Drop her a line: sarah.belfort@freestyle.agency


Senior Front End Developer

Will's involvement was pivotal to the success of the new site, and his early input was invaluable to guide the bespoke, technical solution. 

Want to work with Will? Drop him a line: will.carson@freestyle.agency

Related work.