Case Studies

Homebrew'd Projects


Branding & Web Design


We helped a growing non-profit stand up to their competitors to a brand realignment and website restructuring and design overhaul.

The Challenge


Samasource is a non-profit provides high quality Microwork, or small, human-powered tasks, to companies like Google and Intuit, while empowering employees and work centers in developing countries with skills and income. Despite the fact that they coined and trademarked the term Microwork, their own process was mimicked by for-profit companies and put their business under threat. Akko undertook a complete branding, messaging and design overhaul to more accurately message why they were better - and more ethical - than their competition.

Above: Samasource gives work to independently-ownered work centers in developing countries

The Approach


When we first engaged with Samasoure, they had two websites - a .COM and a .ORG. The former was meant to cater to Silicon Valley companies that were potential partners and clients, the latter a call-to-action for donors to communicate their non-profit mission. The problem: the .ORG messaging made them seem less professional than their competitors, and the .COM messaging made them see like a for-profit company to potential donors. Through iterative design and workshopping, we set out to combine the two sites into a holistic message that supported the idea that a non-profit can have a non-profit mission (building individual-owned service centers) while offering a high-quality service to clients.

Above: Pre-Akko, the Samasource.ORG and .COM sites

Above: Samasource’s growing client base

          Workshopping &



Non-profits are notorious for passionate, intelligent people with strong opinions. We gathered stakeholders from the CEO to the sales team to brainstorm features and ideas to help better communicate what Samasource does best.

Competitive & Comparative


We had an honest conversation about whether Samasource excelled against their competitors and where they felt short, to truly celebrate their strengths and address their shortcomings. We also reviewed their entire sales to fulfillment process to better understand what they do vs. what they said they did.

     Heuristic Evaluation


We did a deep dive on the two sites to look for inefficiencies, as well as opportunities to combine navigation and simplify the architecture.

Above: Stakeholder interview (Board of Advisors)

Competitive matrix

Process Lifecycle

          Content Strategy


Side by side, we tackled the messaging and how it might manifest itself in rough wireframes to find the right balance of copy and image. We looked for opportunities for bold, simple statements that clearly conveyed what they do, with prominent call to actions to maximize leads.

          Iterative Architecture


We worked with the time to trim (and trim again) so we had a site architecture that was fewer pages, meaning less likelihood to get lost in the message.

Visual Design


While the old site design was dark and overly corporate, we moved towards a friendlier brand and messaging that celebrated that Samasource, unlike its anonymous competitors, was a group of real people, highly educated, competent.

Above: Moodboards to convey visual tone, typography

Visual design elements: personable, human, positive.

The Outcome

“After the re-brand and redesign, we saw our lead generation double.”


We worked with Samasource on realigning their brand and having a more holistic approach to being a non-profit that's *also* good for business. We also managed the development process to ensure that the final output was pixel-perfect. Since then, they've gone on to see massive growth, from team size to client size. They continue to evolve their site as their business grows using our style guide for messaging, tone and visual design and adding services and content as their organization grows.


Studio Akko LLC

150 W 25th Street 3rd Fl.

New York, NY 10001


(646) 504-0551

© 2013 Studio Akko LLC