Request for Proposals to Redesign the GGSC Web Presence

February 16, 2016

The Greater Good Science Center (GGSC) at UC Berkeley and our developer, Hop Studios, invite you to submit a proposal to redesign our online magazine and to design a new website that showcases the work of the entire organization. There are four needs this initiative will try to meet:

  • It’s time to update our look and increase the readability of editorial content.
  • As our readership grows and we publish more content, we need to improve navigation and increase the editorial bandwidth of our online magazine.
  • As non-editorial programs grow, they need stronger online platforms for publicizing events and delivering program-specific resources to users.
  • We urgently need a mobile-optimized design and responsive site, which will in turn help our search rank.

Organizational Background

The Greater Good Science Center, based at the University of California, Berkeley, is unique in our commitment to both science and practice: Not only do we sponsor groundbreaking scientific research into social and emotional well‐being, we help people apply this research to their personal and professional lives. Since 2001, we have been at the forefront of a new scientific movement to explore the roots of happy and compassionate individuals, strong social bonds, and altruistic behavior—the science of a meaningful life.

Project Background

During the past 15 years, we’ve grown from a university center that published a single print magazine and provided student fellowships to a complex organization that underwrites research, runs multiple web products, reaches almost seven million readers a year, and brings tens of thousands of educators, therapists, and many others together to learn about new scientific breakthroughs in understanding human well-being.

As we have grown and diversified, so has the Internet, with more and more of our users coming to our web products from mobile devices, often through Google or social media.

We are seeking designers and design consultants to re-conceptualize our web presence, specifically redesigning our online magazine and designing a new website to showcase the work of the entire organization. While we’re splitting our current site into two—one for the magazine and one for the organization—the “Greater Good magazine” and “GGSC organization” pages will share a similar look and navigational sensibility. For both, mobile optimization is of paramount importance: Today, 45 percent of users come from phones and tablets but the portion of those who stay on our site is unacceptably low.

In the course of and at the conclusion of the project, the Greater Good Science Center will produce brand guidelines for the organization as a whole. This will be a team effort—and the designer we pick will be a part of that team. (Brand guidelines are not a deliverable for the designer, but rather a document that the GGSC will create and revise with the input of many people.)

Some limitations: The color palette for the new pages needs to be consistent with our most recently launched web product, Greater Good in Action. We do not intend to revise the GGSC logo. Our CMS is Expression Engine. Both sites will be responsively designed—we will not create separate mobile sites.

Voice: Authoritative, thoughtful, evidence-based, warm, uplifting, sincere.

Project Goals

  • Responsively redesign the Greater Good Science Center’s online magazine, Greater Good magazine, optimizing it for mobile, search, and social media.
  • Create a new web presence for the Greater Good Science Center that showcases the work of the entire organization and gives specific kinds of users (such as researchers or teachers) ways to engage with our projects.
  • Situate these two sites in a larger online ecology that includes our other web products, which right now includes our MOOC, Greater Good in Action, and
  • Create brand guidelines for all of our products. (Again, this is not a deliverable for the designer, but rather a process in which the designer will participate).

Details for Greater Good Magazine Redesign

We are dramatically simplifying to be only a magazine. In other words, the redesigned site will no longer carry the weight of promoting all of the projects and events of the Greater Good Science Center. Instead, its focus will be on editorial content, such as essays, features, research briefs, video, podcasts, and book reviews. It will, however, need to be visually linked to the UC Berkeley Greater Good Science Center and its programs.


  • Adults, including, but not limited to: teachers, parents, HR staff, mental health professionals. Almost all of our users have bachelor’s degrees; a majority have graduate degrees.
  • People who are looking for new research and ideas about the science of a meaningful life.
  • “Searchers”: people seeking change within themselves, loved ones, and/or institutional change.


  • Report on new research into well-being and turn it into stories, tips, and tools for daily life.
  • Address the urgent social, political, and intellectual issues of the day through the lens of the science we cover.
  • Shift public discussion in a more optimistic direction and change our view of human nature.
  • Establish link to UC Berkeley and the Greater Good Science Center.

Core functionalities for

  1. Convey the mission and brand of the organization on every page of the site. Since a majority of new users are coming to individual pages from Google or Facebook, every page needs to be treated like a landing page.

  3. Publish content on a daily basis, including articles, quizzes, podcasts, and videos.

  5. Provide users with a way to easily browse and navigate content.
    • Highlighted articles (e.g., through banner on homepage and/or a “most read/commented/shared” box on every page)
    • Filter options (e.g., most recent, most popular, commented, shared)
    • Core themes (e.g., gratitude, altruism, compassion, empathy, forgiveness, happiness, 
mindfulness, and more)
    • Search
    • Find content related to that of the page they’re on
  6. Provide users with ways to interact with content
    • Sharing (email, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn)
    • Commenting
    • Printing 

    • Providing feedback on whether the article will influence their behavior
  7. Provide users with ways to engage with the content and organization
    • Following us on social media
    • Facilitating discussion about our content among friends and followers on social media
    • Signing up for our e-newsletter(s)
    • Becoming dues-paying members
    • Making a donation to support content

Pages to be designed for Greater Good magazine

Below is our working list of pages that we think will require a distinct design template; pages that will be quite similar to each other are grouped together. We have provided links to the current versions of these pages, and listed some of their basic features. The designer is simply creating page design; HTML templates are not a deliverable for the designer.

  1. Greater Good magazine homepage
    • Displays new content published to the site
    • Highlights articles
    • Feed listing articles and other editorial content (e.g., most recent, most popular, commented, shared)
  2. General pages
    • This template will likely be nearly identical to the Article page but without, for example, the headline, subhead, and byline at the top.
    • This template should establish styles for all commonly used content elements: body text, photo treatments, ordered and unordered lists, titles, subheads, blockquotes, footnotes, etc.
  3. Greater Good article page. Core features include:
    • Text of each article
    • Social media links for sharing
    • Links to related content
    • Ways to highlight content from other web products that are relevant to that article’s focus
  4. Channel pages (Family & Couples, etc.)
    • The Channel page template will likely serve as the template for the design of the Past/Recent Articles list page.

  5. Topic definition pages
  6. Topic pages (Gratitude, Empathy, Compassion, etc.)
    • These pages are currently identical to the design of the channel pages. However, we plan to change the Topic Pages template by featuring aspects of the Topic definition pages within it, further distinguishing it from the Channel page template.
  7. Quiz landing page
  8. Quiz page

  10. Author page
  11. Video/Speaker page
  12. Podcast episode page
  13. Video and podcast series landing pages
  14. Page listing all of our video & podcast series

  16. Books
  17. Resource Links/Organizations
  18. Study pages
  19. Search results page
  20. Tag results page


Details for New GGSC Website

The new website—which will likely have the URL—will take on many pages and functions currently housed on Its primary goal is to showcase the UC Berkeley Greater Good Science Center and all of its programs.


  • Adult professionals, mainly teachers, researchers, HR staff, and mental health workers—in short, people in the helping professions
  • People who want an overview of the organization as a whole, including journalists
  • People who are searching for information or resources connected to specific programs and services offered by the organization
  • Prospective individual and institutional funders


  • Showcase work of entire organization
  • Profile our mission and accomplishments
  • Publicize events, projects, web products
  • Deliver program-specific resources
  • Enlist members; raise money; establish link to Cal; provide one point of contact

Core functionalities for

  1. Convey the mission and brand of the organization on every page of the site.

  3. Describe the impact of the organization to journalists, funders, and other supporters.

  5. Provide users with a way to easily browse and navigate content.
    • Highlighted programs
    • Highlighted events
    • Clear navigation targeted at specific populations like teachers or graduate students
    • Search
  6. Promote other web products offered by the GGSC, including:
    • Greater Good magazine:
    • Greater Good in Action:
    • Science of Happiness MOOC (offered through
  7. Promote events sponsored by the GGSC, with links to registration, including:
    • Science of a Meaningful Life seminar series
    • Summer Institute for Educators
    • Conferences
    • Book events
    • Panel discussions
  8. Provide researchers, graduate students, and undergraduates with a way to access resources to support their work, such as:
    • Fellowships
    • Research grants
    • Internships
  9. Provide program-specific resources, such as:
    • Curricula
    • Key studies and books
    • Slide presentations from events
    • Organizations and partners
  10. Provide users with ways to interact with content
    • Sharing (email, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn)
    • Printing 

    • Registering for events (we don’t host event registration systems on our site; for example, the application for our Summer Institute is a Google Form embedded in the page for that event)
    • Applying for fellowships, grants, or internships
  11. Provide users with ways to engage with programs
    • Signing up for a variety of e-­newsletters
    • Become dues-paying members
    • Make a donation to support our work
    • Following us on social media

Pages to be designed for the website of the UC Berkeley Greater Good Science Center

This is our working list of pages that we think will require a distinct, responsive design template. We have provided links to the current versions of these pages, some of which will be modified in the new site. In some cases, we have indicated how we want certain pages that are currently similar to one another to be further differentiated from each other, along with some of the basic features of these pages. Pages without links will be entirely new additions to our site.

  1. GGSC Homepage
    • Should feature the main programs/activities of the GGSC, including Greater Good magazine, Greater Good in Action, our events, education program, and more.
  2. Basic website page
    • A template that has all the general elements of the GGSC page design (navigation, branding, etc.) but can be filled in with whatever content we’d like.
  3. About Us/Mission & Beliefs page
    • This page could in fact be the same as a basic website page, but we would like to entertain a creative design that highlights the elements our accomplishments and components of our beliefs.
  4. “List” pages
    • These will remain essentially the same as the template for the Tag results page, and include Announcements and Events list page.
    • The In The News list will be nearly identical to the other lists (and Tag results) pages, with just the Top Story listed at the top and the news source listed alongside the date for each item.


  5. Events calendar
  6. E-newsletter sign-up page
    • The GGSC offers a range of newsletters; this page would provide a menu of them all and a way for users to sign up.
  7. People
  8. Membership overview/login page
  9. Membership order page
  10. GGSC Talks/Speaking page
    • A list of the kinds of talks/workshops GGSC staff can deliver, along with a list of upcoming talks they will be delivering
  11. Fellowship About and Application form (when open) page
  12. Fellow profiles (pages for Current and Past fellows)
  13. Program pages. We envision a main template for these pages that can be customized for other program-specific pages, perhaps including (but not limited to):
    • Program landing page
    • Partnership page
    • Page to highlight program-specific content from other GGSC web products
    • Program-specific talks and events/workshops page
    • Online class/programs page
    • Program-specific newsletter sign-up
    • Curriculum-support page
    • Program-specific resource page
    • Program-specific contact, staff, and about page

Project Timeline

  1. Proposals due: March 15, 2016

  3. Selection announced: March 25, 2016

  5. Design iteration process: April to June, 2016
    • Work with staff and developers to map site and information architecture, and to create navigation systems and wireframes for the two sites, both desktop and mobile.
    • Work with staff to put page templates in front of target users for review, in person and online.
    • Revise templates based on feedback from users, staff, and developers.
  6. Deliver final page templates: June 24, 2016
    • Note: Pages will be ready to hand off to a development team, Hop Studios, for implementation. Afterward, the design shop should expect to provide guidance and explanations if Hop needs them.

Questions to Answer in Your Proposal

  1. What are the qualifications of individuals working on this project?
  2. What is your project management approach and process to complete the project by the delivery date?
  3. Can you accommodate our timeline? If not, please propose an alternative timeline for us to consider.
  4. How much do you anticipate this project will cost for your team to design?
  5. Can you provide three examples of similar projects on which your team has worked?
  6. Please include three references, including contact information.
  7. If selected for this project, are you able to “provide certificate of Insurance naming UC Regents 
as additional insured to protect the interest of the University”?

Proposals should be emailed to Jeremy Adam Smith:

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