World Community Grid

Revamping one of the world's largest volunteer computing networks.


World Community Grid (WCG) is one of the world's largest volunteer computing networks. It is a grid computing project which connects users’ devices and donates any spare computing power to create a virtual supercomputer.

This processing power is made available to scientists and researchers across the globe to work on complex problems. In its time, WCG managed to build a solid community but was in need of a redesign to increase user engagement and retention.

The All Purpose team needed to assess and improve WCG’s user experience and redesign the website and product. Essentially, we were brought on to reimagine one of IBM's most successful and long-serving corporate social responsibility initiatives. The goal? Attract new users while embracing IBM’s sleek branding.
  • Web Design
  • Branding
  • Animation
  • Corporate Social Responsibility
Connecting users’ devices and donates any spare computing power to create a virtual supercomputer.

Visualizing “amplification”

We explored ways to communicate World Community Grid’s brand promise of “amplification.” Once the visual language was defined, the All Purpose team combed through user interviews and audited the existing experience.

Creating a new mark

The concept of the logo is based on ideas of amplification, scale, and the collective effort of the global community. The cascading rings are a reference to a ripple effect, and angled upwards denoting continual progress in research.Since the initiative was supported by IBM, the logo lockup was intentionally designed to work cohesively with other IBM brand elements. Layout and alignment guidance are essential in making sure there are clear relationships and hierarchy within a composition.

Communicating at different scales.
The visual expression aims to communicate both the tangible and abstract aspects of the initiative.

Photographic and illustrative

When communicating the impact of the research at an emotive and human level, the strategy was to utilize photography of the researchers and people being affected by the research. However, when the intent is to communicate the overarching function and purpose, abstract visual motifs derived from the graphic mark are utilized.

Reimagining the digital experience
Redesigned to invite new contributors to participate and connect existing contributors to the research efforts.

Building interest and credibility

For a newcomer to the website, the goals were to showcase the research and explain how the volunteer network works. It’s about building interest in the research and gaining credibility so that users can know that the software is safe and that they are contributing to a cause they care about. The approach was to showcase the stories of the research, explain how the software works, using testimonials from individuals and organizations, and removing friction from the join process.

Making impact personal

Another goal is to help users feel that their individual contribution to the research is making a difference. This shows up primarily in the individual and project dashboards, where data about the users contribution is shown through data visualization and timely updates by the research teams. A badging system was also created to indicate the amount of computer hours contributed, adding to the sense of accomplishment especially in the community of of volunteers.

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  • 16 000+ qualified leads
  • 165 000 learners reached
  • 24% increase in completed modules