The Humane Society of the United States

A Digital Brochure in Honor of the 60th Anniversary of the Humane Society.

The Humane Society of the United States works within the U.S. and internationally to advocate for the better treatment of all animals.

View The Site

The Humane Society of the United States champions animal rights, responsible pet ownership, and ending the exploitation of wild animals in captivity. The work that they do influences everything from how local county shelters operate to national legislature. They needed to launch an online brochure in time for their 60th anniversary, which was only weeks away from the start of our engagement.

In seven weeks, we launched The Change for Animals campaign site.

Image: HSUS Change for Animals Intro


The Humane Society needed a site that would support a major donor fundraising campaign around their 60th anniversary. They were in the process of creating a print brochure, setting up events all across the country, and Humane Society’s executive director, Wayne Pacelle, was about to publish a new book, all of which they hoped to promote in this online brochure.

This site had to match their branding while being gorgeous enough to appeal to major donors. The Humane Society also wanted a quick turnaround: two months from start to finish. Finally, the site also had to be something their in-house technical staff could update themselves going forward.

Image: Woman holding small dog The HSUS microsite features beautiful photography

Design Direction

Unlike websites that can rely on multiple pages of content, a microsite must elegantly tell a story and create a strong emotional call-to-action within the constraints of one page.

Our directive from the Humane Society was to design and develop a website heavily inspired by an existing print brochure. The challenge became blending the print and digital world; both platforms have similar requirements, but express content completely differently.

We spent a majority of the time during the UX phase carefully crafting a story that would appeal quickly to a user and ultimately encourage them to donate or get involved in the Humane Society’s programs.

Image: HSUS Mobile HSUS Change for Animals on Mobile

Styling a Static Site

Jekyll seemed like a perfect fit, especially given how successful we’ve been with Jekyll on previous projects with similar constraints. The site needed five campaign pages, celebrity testimonials with featured videos, and a promotional section for their events.

We considered building out the site in Drupal, but we simply didn’t need its features or its bulk to meet the HSUS’s needs. Static sites are very performant, and we wanted this high-traffic, image-rich design to load quickly and reliably.

Jekyll also allowed us to build modularly. Although we used a static site generator, we were able to give the Humane Society team the flexibility to include or exclude certain content.

When changes are checked into Github, the site is automatically deployed with Travis CI. The repo for this project is actually public on GitHub, so anyone can go see for themselves what makes this site tick.

Image: HSUS Home


We launched the Transformational Change for Animals microsite in April of 2016 and are currently measuring the analytics around the site’s performance. We hope to share our findings with you in the near future!

Launch Site

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