We helped Girl Effect with a cutting-edge personalisation project, using Wagtail CMS to develop tailored content for specific audience groups.

Girl Effect builds youth brands and mobile platforms to empower girls to change their lives. They believe that by personalising their global mobile platform, Springster, they can have an even bigger impact.

We focus on a girl’s whole world, along her entire journey to adulthood. And we create with her, so she can tell her story. Through our work a girl can start to express herself, value herself and build relationships. With the belief and support of those around her, she can then seek out the things she needs – from vaccination to education.

– Girl Effect was created in 2004 by the Nike Foundation, in collaboration with the United Nations Foundation and other partners.

Who did we collaborate with?

We collaborated with our partner and Wagtail core contributor, Praekelt.org. They’re an international non-profit organisation who leverage mobile tools for social good and have been working with Girl Effect since the first iteration of their mobile sites in 2013.

Praekelt.org developed the second iteration of Girl Effect mobile, Springster, which is now live in over 65 countries. They asked us to help implement Wagtail’s personalisation functionality on the platform.

What is Springster?

Girl Effect’s global mobile-first platform, Springster runs on Wagtail and was launched three years ago in partnership with Facebook Free Basics. It’s designed to celebrate the experiences of girls, through entertaining and educational content and stories written for and by girls.

Springster branding

Springster has over 6 million users in South Africa, Nigeria, Indonesia and the Phillipines

“This story has helped me a lot in terms of having low self-esteem. I do believe in myself now and have confidence. I’m indeed beautiful.”

– Quote from Springster girl, Indonesia

By doing this it can build vulnerable girls’ confidence and skills online, to help them fulfil their potential offline.

How did we personalise the Springster experience?

Wagtail’s personalisation is based on the established marketing concept of ‘the segment’ - a manual or automatic sorting of users into groups based on characteristics or rules that you define.

Here’s a simple example; Girl Effect might create a new segment to capture users who are browsing during the weekend, and who have come to the site via a Facebook link.

There are a number of rules to choose from, and this video shows examples where Girl Effect has selected specific days of the week; a referral rule to capture only those users who come via Facebook; and users who are only on mobile or tablet devices.

What would this experience feel like for a user?

Let’s imagine 1 girl's journey, she’s called Sofia.

  1. Sofia registers on the Springster platform, visits the site on her phone, logs in, and she sees there’s a new flash survey on the homepage. Do you read books?
  2. She takes the survey and indicates that she does read books, every day.
  3. She returns to the site as usual. In the backend, Girl Effect creates a new segment based on Sofia's response, ‘Everyday book readers’. Using this segment they can further refine Sofia's experience.
  4. Girl Effect now creates another survey to find out what Sofia’s favourite book is next time she visits the site.

What can personalisation give you?

Girl Effect can group people according to basic environmental criteria like where they are or what time it is, but beyond that, they can group according to common characteristics like the type of content girls access, or the number of times girls visit the same page.

Girl Effect can even pick out specific keywords girls use in comments they make whilst they’re on the Springster site. They can also create more dynamic pages which change the options available based on previously supplied data.

All of this allows them to capture detailed data which they can analyse internally to develop tailored content. They can directly influence the content delivered to specific groups of users in the future.

Here’s why Girl Effect believe that’s important:

“The Advanced Survey Tool is critically important for the monitoring and evaluation of Girl Effect's Springster site. The tool allows us to segment users according to their registration data, use of the platform and the content they have read, yielding detailed analysis about changes in girls' knowledge, attitude and self-reported behavioural change, and, importantly, deliver baseline and endline surveys to specific segments of users. This survey tool enables us to complement our other data sources, such as Google Analytics, so that we can go beyond site engagement and better understand the impact the site is having on our users.”

– Kecia Bertermann Technical Director, Girl Effect Digital Research and Learning
Springster stats D

6.4 million users will benefit from a personalised experience (figures correct as of Jan 2018)

Power to open source!

Girl Effect are happy for the entire codebase of the Springster platform to be accessible online, so it’s also possible to reuse the code. We hope this will bring the power of personalisation within the reach of many more organisations.

If you'd like to talk about how personalisation can empower your users, contact Will.