Mobilizing a national health movement

User research
Communication design
Interaction design


GirlTrek is a pioneer in the movement to help black women reverse the threat of preventable, obesity-related diseases that are disproportionately affecting them. The nonprofit facilitates daily walking campaigns nationwide and mobilizes black women from all backgrounds to advocate for improved health services in their communities.  

After setting an ambitious goal to grow their membership to one million women, GirlTrek reached out to Openbox. Our design collaboration helped scale GirlTrek’s program and extend their impact on the way to a million members.


Since Girltrek is fueled by both their members and volunteers, Openbox designed a online playbook that makes it easier to get involved and active at whatever level is best for each individual.


Immersing in the GirlTrek experience

To know what might be improved upon as GirlTrek invited in new members, Openbox began by understanding the perspectives of GirlTrek leadership, staff, long-time volunteers, and newer members. From this research it became clear that the volunteers, who kept the entire movement going, were often on the verge of burnout. For a health organization this realization was shocking and motivating to design a better volunteer experience.

Making volunteering a breeze, not a burden

In order to prevent volunteers from burning out, we created a GirlTrek Playbook that collected best practices into one place, making it easy for any new or existing member to get up to speed quickly. The tool also helped any GirlTrekker better understand the different roles within GirlTrek, and choose the level of involvement that would fit her pace—not burn her out.


The GirlTrek leadership team is planning to make the rollout of the new training site a central component of the organization's growth strategy for 2018. The site will be integrated into for all members to access and it will also be used for online and in-person group training sessions.