I designed the User Experience pipeline for Groundswell's Residential Wind Program.

Groundswell Res Wind Pipeline


Groundswell is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that helps communities in the Mid-Atlantic Region switch their energy supplier to 100% wind. As a small nonprofit, the team has primarily used a time-bound, phone-based campaign strategy to move participants to taking action.

Role & duration

I worked with a Tech and Data Strategist Energy Program Director, and
a Marketing & Communications Team, to complete the creation of the user pipeline for this program.

Duration: 3 weeks


  • Design Strategy and Concept Design
  • Surveys + User Interviews
  • User Personas
  • Program Design
  • Digital Marketing
  • Tools: Paper + Pen, Hubspot Marketing CRM


How can we build something scalable and sustainable?

As a nonprofit that intends to scale up, their current strategy proved to no longer be sustainable. With this challenge, Groundswell sought to become a more web-based product that enrolled participants on a rolling basis. Develop a pipeline for Groundswell's wind program that would increase the organization's capacity, efficiency. and efficacy.


solution overview


the approach

Take the time to really understand what people think about wind power.

stakeholder interviews

I spoke with key stakeholders at Groundswell to determine what they believed the most important features were for this pipeline:

  1. Create a pipeline that is efficient and scalable, ensuring a high conversion rate (goal: participants sign a contract for 100% wind)
  2. Groundswell's differentiating factors in the business environment are: ease, affordability, transparency, sustainability, and the fact that it was a community advocacy nonprofit.
  3. Technology platforms to be used: email, landing pages (desktop/mobile)


persona development

We found that while most of our program's participants were older and more established, there was a fairly large range in demographics. We relied on Google Analytics data for web traffic, demographics from surveys, and city data on demographics for our core geographical markets to create the following three personas.

I created all three personas. The personas helped us to meet different types of user’s needs as we planned the pipeline. For example, although this would be a digital platform, we needed to build in points of phone-banking participants. Many of our older participants strongly preferred to enroll by phone, not by online portal.

Through additional user interviews, we found that users required:

  1. A balance between enough information and an easy sign up process.
  2. The pipeline must address the biggest barriers to entry for our participants.
  3. The product must be compelling enough to move participants to action.

Designing & Building the Pipeline

I sketched the following pipeline for users to go through, depending on what actions the participants took. It was important to balance between relationship cultivation, provision of information, compelling call to actions, and a simple pathway for participants to take to sign up for wind. I believed that this is what would most efficiently address participant concerns and move them to action.

This workflow was put together with the help of MOTO Design

Challenges & Concerns

Is the design simple and able to be integrated into our data systems?

After the initial design of the pipeline, I tested the pipeline with a handful of participants. I identified top concerns and challenges that would need to be addressed in order for a successful product launch.

Working with the Tech & Data Strategists, I created the following solutions for each challenge:

  1. The pipeline has been simplified as much as possible. Each email
    contains links where participants can find more information.
  2. We have created an integrated data capture system between the
    multiple tech platforms being used.
  3. We have created appropriate data training for all staff members
    who will be involved with outreach.

Lessons Learned

Designing an evergreen product doesn't mean you'll never touch it again.

This project is launched October 26th, 2015. After working with the Tech  & Data Strategist to build the pipeline, I coordinated with the Marketing and Communications team to write the email workflow. The pipeline is an evergreen product that will be in use by Groundswell for years to come. However, that doesn't mean that the pipeline is perfect. In fact, after each campaign, the pipeline should be revisited and improved based off of participant feedback and programmatic data.