WWF Together



Production / Professional


Brendan DiBona, Michael Powell, Elizabeth Bieber, Jefferson Liu, Jonathan Lee, Andy Haynes, Yi-An Chien, Scott Cullum, Sarah Cheffy, Erin Chandler, Morten Koldby, Copilot Sound + Music


For 50 years, World Wildlife Fund has been protecting the future of nature, establishing a base of 1.2M members in the United States. Although those members are passionate about the cause, research has revealed an opportunity to strengthen the relationship members have with WWF itself. As a result, the objective of the app was two-fold: 1) establish a deeper level of engagement with existing members, and 2) create awareness for a new generation of supporters.

To create a deeper level of engagement between supporters and World Wildlife Fund, AKQA created an experience in which consumers can emotionally connect with WWF’s content and brand. By sharing the lives and stories of the world’s most amazing animals in a way supporters have never seen before, we enabled the WWF community to get closer to the organization’s work and the animals they are helping to protect.

Without a media budget allocated towards building awareness for the app, reaching a new generation of supporters initially posed itself as a challenge. Our approach was to develop the app in a way that maximized peer-to-peer sharing. By completing the individual animal stories, Facebook, Twitter and email sharing is unlocked within the app as animated origami.


We were looking at a 25% tablet penetration rate for US adults and saw an opportunity to shape a new narrative around some of the biggest challenges on the planet through a tablet-based experience. Considering the lean-back behaviors associated with our audience’s tablet media consumption, we wanted to push the possibilities of nontraditional storytelling and present some of the most captivating facts about these species in an exploratory, playful way. WWF Together is designed to be an individual or “co-surf” experience for children and adults alike, featuring in-depth animal portrait stories which are presented through an aesthetic metaphor of origami, each with their own unique interactive experience. The interactive elements leverage the unique hardware and gestural features of the iPad – swipe sea ice to reveal polar bear facts, chop the panda’s bamboo, and access the device’s camera to simulate tiger vision. Understanding our audience’s expectation for a highly personalized and contextually relevant experience, the iPad’s location-based services give users the chance to spin an interactive, 3D globe and discover how far away they are from 60 different species around the world, while social integration enables the animal stories to be shared as animated origami across Facebook, Twitter and email.


With the objective of increasing engagement and awareness between WWF and supporters, WWF Together greatly exceeded all client goals. To date, the app has experienced 850K+ downloads in 150+ countries, with consumers having spent an equivalent of over 27 years of total time within the app, and completing 1M+ species stories. WWF Together was the winner of a 2013 Apple Design Award, three 2013 Cannes Lions, named Best of Show at the DC ADDY Awards and Creativity International Awards, and featured in Apple’s “10 of Apps that Wow” and “Great Free Apps” list.

The app has also received wide-reaching praise from publications including The Guardian, Wired, Creativity Online, Fast Company, and Gizmodo, in addition to being named Mobile of the Month by FWA.


As a nonprofit dedicated to preserving the future of nature, WWF has a wealth of information related to the serious, and sometimes grave circumstances they are working to improve. As a result, we wanted to ensure that the aesthetic used for the app was both relevant and ownable for WWF.

We landed on an aesthetic metaphor of origami: the fragility and beauty of the ancient art form lends itself well to the subject matter of endangered animals, while the tactile quality of origami was perfect for the gesture-based iPad. It set the right balance of being playful and lighthearted, but still allowed for a serious undertone.

For the specific interactions, we collected species facts that we thought were extraordinary or bizarre. We wanted to make the information memorable through a playful reveal and discovery, while dividing content into a grid allowed for exploration of pockets of information at a time. The layout is designed to allow users to choose their own adventure, while navigational cues provide wayfinding indicators along the way. Ambient sound design is used to provide an immersive, responsive experience. The end result is a premium-feeling digital experience that delivers a dynamic syllabus through careful craftsmanship.


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