Leo Love Digital

Client // Leo Burnett
Industry // Corporate Responsibility
Project // Leo Love Digital Tool Co-Creation
Role // Design Researcher & Facilitator
Time // 2-day sprint


Leo Burnett is a global advertising company based in Chicago. Leo Love is their community outreach program that partners with local non-profits to provide opportunities for employees to donate their time, talent, and resources. With the program growing, Leo Burnett sought a digital tool for Leo Love that would improve the volunteer experience, attract more employees, and better tell the story of Leo Love's impact.

As part of Experience Institute, I worked with a small cohort to build on previous learnings about the Leo Love (LL) program. We interviewed several Leo Burnett (LB) employees to gain insights into current pain points and focus the problem area. Then we lead 35 employees in a design thinking and co-creation workshop to prototype, iterate, and test digital solution ideas. 


The user interviews with Leo Burnett employees focused on the pain points and opportunities of the current digital communications environment. 

Some learnings from the interview included:

  • Leo Love organizers repeatedly reach out for data (photos) only to receive unusable photos
  • LL project timecodes are ambiguous and ill-defined, making reporting hours tricky
  • The amount of work it takes to do timesheets hinders the reporting of volunteer hours
  • People who are passionate about LL do not have any outlets for sharing their stories

Rapid download and synthesis of the interviews

Interview & synthesis team

Interview & synthesis team

From the interviews, our team of four came up with the following problem statements: 

  1. Currently, alignment between the mission and vision of LeoLove (LL) and LeoBurnett (LB) is not strong for employees because information about LL is not communicated clearly.
  2. Currently, there is a gap between knowing and doing for employees because they do not see strong motivations/mutual benefit for participating in LL.
  3. Currently, LL hours are not being tracked well for the compliance department/LL because there is a culture of distain for reporting hours.
  4. Currently, documentation of volunteer experiences and data is not being sufficiently captured because there is no automatic or efficient system for depositing information. 

I chose to work on the last problem statement as the focus of the co-creation workshop. 


In the workshop, LB employees were given an introduction to the design thinking processes and key findings from the user interviews were shared. We split into four groups to work on various problem statements. I co-lead a group of LB employees who were interested in better documenting volunteer experiences and data. As a group, we went through this process:

  • Brainstorm of solutions, given the insights and selected problem statement
  • Prioritization of ideas to be prototyped by voting for two in each category (most likely to succeed, most likely to delight, biggest breakthrough if...)
  • Rapid low-fidelity prototyping of the most promising idea
  • Speed dating user testing with the other groups
  • Iteration and presentation of the solution to the full group via a 90-seconds pitch
Sharing and voting on ideas

Sharing and voting on ideas

User testing using low fidelity prototypes

User testing using low fidelity prototypes

Synthesizing feedback and iterating on the prototype

Synthesizing feedback and iterating on the prototype

90-seconds pitch to tell the story of the user and the proposed solution

90-seconds pitch to tell the story of the user and the proposed solution


Our proposed solution to the problem statement was a dedicated Leo Love website and communication protocol that would make it easy to find LL events, sign up, and report back about their experience. Utilizing LB's Lion Log-in, which pulls in employee info, the sign up process would provide LL organizers with participant information on the front end. 

Key features of the website include giving volunteers the option to receive communications by text rather than email. Volunteers can also opt into being a Team Leader. As Team Leader, they would get a text and/or email that directs them to a webpage that allows them to check-in all volunteers. Participants would receive a follow-up text and/or email that provides a timecode and link to log in their hours. It would also ask them to submit any reflections or photos. These reflections and photos would get fed back into the Leo Love website in the “Stories” section.

As an easy point of access for sign up, LeoLove.com would serve as a central hub for obtaining information on Leo Love's mission, impact, and volunteer opportunities. Here are very rough wireframes of the site, completed in minutes:

Key feedback from user testing was that the communication language is important. An employee felt that getting personal recognition and positive feedback in the follow-up email would encourage further engagement. Also, when asking about the text vs email options in the sign-up form, the system needs to clarify what is going to be communicated because that would influence people’s decisions. We heard that we should provide some additional incentive for people to log their timesheet hours in Altair, as there is still a culture of viewing logging hours as unimportant.

It was crucial that this rapid ideation and prototyping was done in co-creation with Leo Burnett employees because they had specific insight into the company's digital infrastructure (such as Lion Log-in, Burnettwork, and Altair) that the research team did not know we didn't know until it came to prototyping out a solution. This allowed the group to quickly sketch wireframes that received better buy-in from other employees because it had the right context. 

In this fast-paced high-intensity sprint, we not only completed a cycle of the design thinking process and came out with a promising solution to improve the Leo Love program experience, but we also introduced that process to a group of users and empowered them to co-create with us.