12 sustainability footsteps

Project summary

Working together with Ricola, the world famous cough drop company originating from the Swiss mountains in 1930. We tackled a highly visionary project all about communicating with a global audience, with sustainability at the forefront.

Ricola, in a position of being a larger company with a lot of different actors. When reaching out to our team it was clear that the main challenge was to imagine a new interactive playbook. Whereby they could step into their future as a change maker and leader within sustainability efforts.

We successfully created and deployed a prototype of a reimagined sustainability user flow, now with a sense of adventure and putting exploration into the users hands.



Ricola came to us with one main wish, rethinking what a sustainability report is and how it communicates with an audience. Pave a path for the future where they can communicate confidently and humbly.


We quickly learnt that our contacts from within Ricola's "Green team" had their own pain points that had grown over time. It became clear to us that the work we had to provide needed to be exciting and forward thinking.

Internal & external

And in terms of the end users, we had to consider both the internal and external perspectives. It was important that we made the future projects and past achievements of Ricola's sustainability efforts understandable and impactful.

The solution

Being a team that wasn’t exclusivley UX Designers shaped how we mapped out our intented process before starting. We knew that there needed to be space and time for development as well as a full design process. This lead us to create a roadmap where we as product owners had to apply agile work methods.


We dove right in by first of all by exploring and expanding our understanding of how other brands communicate their sustainability stance and accomplishments. We chose these brands based on the teams own first instincts by asking ourselves "What brands/companies, scream sustainability when we think of them?". Here we needed to map out key insights in 3 categories. We chose the following;

1. Sustainability communication
2. End-user interaction
3. Ethics & company values

This research could then be quickly cross examined with what we've been presented with by Ricola, and contrasted with our own first assumptions around our client's communication.

We now knew that we had to adhere to these keywords:

We created survey that would aid us to some tangible data around peoples mindset as consumers. We had to face it, there wouldn't be much use in re-imagining this sustainability communication if it truly wasn't important or on consumers minds. And if it wasn't, what does speak to them?

We decided to go broad sending this survey out to as a wide of an audience as possible, not only Ricola's customers. Once we had the results we started organising the answers into categories such as quality, environmental and personal connection.

From our insights we could start taking the project into a new territory, personal connection and bonding. This survey helped us make the connection between digital spaces and human to human interactions. We had to find a way to bond with Ricola's consumers and employees, but this time in a digital space.


From our survey we had a wide array of people that were available for further interviews. We chose these based on their unique perspectives they could provide

Young professional, Software Developer - Past consumer of Ricola

- Aid us in analysing the digital presence Ricola already had
- Deepen our understanding of a past Ricola consumer that didn't mark special interest in sustainability

University Student, Degree of Master in Strategic Urban Planning &  in Climate Strategy

- Speak from a passionate sustainability perspective as consumer
- Critical and keen eye when digesting information regarding climate strategy

Representative from The Environmental Protection Agency & Blekinge County Politician

- Insight about the importance of company and agency transparency when communicating about sustainability
- Speak from a strict consumer perspective with special interest in regulation and reports

The main insights gathered from the Interviews was learning about how they digest information we’re given online. We saw a high degree of scepticism when observing their behaviour when interacting with companies via their online platform. Almost always feeling like something isn't being shown, or hiding behind a link embedded out of reach.


Onwards to ideation! From here we wanted to explore as many different options and opportunities as we could, in a very short amount of time. This meant exercises such as brain-writing where we could build upon each other ideas and create visions of solutions we couldn't have seen on our own. We were sure we wanted to mainly explore the digital space of Ricola, but ideas outside of this scope still gave us new perspectives that we brought with us.

By using mind-mapping I could more fluently and easily present ideas to the team. This mind-map came to be our starting point of our final design. Combined with our insights we could highlight a few more points we wanted to hit with our design.


One of our biggest decisions we had to make when combining our own ideation and what we saw Ricola currently doing, in order to truly create a re-imagining. Are we going to work linearly or more towards a "choose your won adventure" direction?

We had to consider two types of consumers of information.

1. Only interested in some parts, and will skip past anything they don't care to consume
2. Wants a full and extensive picture of the bigger scope. If possible will willingly dive deeper and deeper making connections within a large body of information

We now turn to Figma where we could more thoroughly test our idea. Using the available tools to create a type of mapping. Here we could ensure that our page covered all necessary topics surrounding Ricola's sustainability goals and "footsteps". We also could create new topics that we found missing. Such as Transport of good on a local and global level. Sourcing of their products ingredients and so on.

The main goal was to create something that could in theory be never ending. Where the user could jump from topic to topic based on their relevance to each other. Ultimately  creating a seamless loop that only ends once they've explored till their hearts content.


Putting all of knowledge to use, to create the eventual final version for the front end development team. We worked in Figma creating iterations, reworking as needed when we found insights from quick and multiple user tests. Applying an agile methodology we were able to both develop and fine tune into the final version.  And at every morning stand up within the team we would be able to give key insights to each side of the development.

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