Designing A Digital Platform That Captures the Wisdom of Humanity


StoryCorps is an American non-profit organization whose mission is to record, preserve, and share the stories of Americans from all backgrounds and beliefs. When StoryCorps’ founder won the 2015 TED Prize, the organization selected our team to design a digital platform that makes the StoryCorps interview experience accessible to everyone.

The Challenge


After winning the prize, StoryCorps was expected to launch a beta version only ten weeks later for the website and application at the annual TED Conference—one of the biggest international stages, in front of an even larger online audience.


To cope with the time pressures, our team proposed a design process that allowed continual testing and real-time iterations concurrent with platform engineering, application development and digital prototyping.

The Approach

By using human-centered design  techniques, the team was able to focus, manage risk and make decisions quickly to meet the aggressive time frame.


The approach also placed the end-users at the center of the design process and by gathering insights and aligning with the many stakeholders tied to the project, the team was able to elicit ideas from a plethora of influencers, while not deviating from the purpose to design a technology platform that would preserve a personal experience without being obtrusive.

Based on an Agile way of working, the design team began prototyping application functionality while the engineering team built the infrastructure to ensure the chosen technology would support the requirements of the user. The approach helped to identify failure points early in the design process and allowed for multiple iterations to gather insight, test and refine in real-time.


As a consequence, the beta version of the StoryCorps app launched in front of an international audience at the annual TED Conference. And viewers were immediately able to download it on the App Store and Google Play.

The Impact

  • 1.

    To date, StoryCorps has recorded more than 60,000 interviews among more than 100,000 participants in all 50 states

  • 2.

    The application has 1.4k reviews at a rating of 4.7 out of 5

    Looking into the Future


    The application now guides users through the interview experience from start to finish with easy-to-use tools to help them prepare for interview questions, record high-quality conversations on mobile devices, and upload the audio to the Library of Congress and the new StoryCorps Archive platform.

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