How a Valentines Day digital project can fight anti-gay laws

The Developer Society
4 min readFeb 14, 2018

Let’s be honest here. Valentine’s Day is just another cliched, consumerist, Hallmark holiday designed to commercialise emotion, right?

That’s definitely what I’ve always thought (and no, I’ve not just been weaselling out of buying flowers). Really though, just how lucky are you if you can pseudo-intellectually muse on how to show love?

This Valentine’s Day the appalling reality for huge numbers of people is that there can be no debate. With repressive anti-gay laws in place in many countries, for many LGBT people love is a crime. The reason to miss a romantic brunch or skip a trip to the cinema isn’t down to your feelings on Valentine’s Day. It’s down to whether you want to break the law and often risk your safety.

All Out placards at Washington D.C. Pride 2017

Thankfully there are inspirational people like Leandro, Matias and Sarah who are fighting to change this. They are part of the team at All Out, an amazing organisation bringing people together to build a world where no person will have to sacrifice their family or freedom, safety or dignity, because of who they are or who they love.

Civil rights struggles are built on the tireless work of groups like All Out and at DEV, we’ve definitely had a campaign crush on them for a long time. Finally this year — after much team flirting on our part — they took the hint!

This was basically us…

In early January All Out got in touch to see if we could work together on a project that would help people understand the challenges of love around the world, and then help them easily become a part of the movement for equality.

The challenge for us was turning such a serious message into an engaging experience. Together we worked to find a way to combine a light, fun format with a heavy topic. When campaigning online is at its absolute best, it doesn’t rely on a sense of duty for people to get involved, but rather inspires action through enjoyment. It’s not a slog — it’s as fun as watching cat videos or killing time on a BuzzFeed quiz. So we worked closely with All Out to bring the message home while also building an experience that’s snackable, shareable, and all those good things that make digital projects pop.

Take the quiz here:

And here’s the techy part! To do all this in one easy-to-use system, we built a bespoke quiz platform to integrate with All Out’s existing campaign tools. It uses HTML5, SCSS/CSS and JavaScript with minimal external libraries to keep the quiz light and fast so it works well across all devices. And this is exactly the sort of project we believe in doing and love working on: it’s smart, fun, and all for an amazing cause. As Anna, our lead developer on the project said:

“Building this quiz was great fun for all of its animations and hearts, but also All Out have the message that whilst LGBT rights become increasingly progressive in some countries, it’s crucial that we continue fighting to achieve the same rights for LGBT people worldwide”.

…the perfect mix, how dreamy!

So by bringing together the developer expertise in our team with the knowledge and passion All Out have, we were able to quickly put together a fun and ultimately meaningful digital campaigning tool.

This Valentine’s Day, people will learn more about equality, sign up, and get involved in standing up for love around the world. But come on, you don’t just want to take our word for it, do you? Try the quiz for yourself here and see what could happen on your perfect Valentine’s day:

  • John Dunford, Campaigns Lead at The Developer Society, a not-for-profit digital agency, working with NGOs and groups with a progressive mission to help make the world we live in a better place.

If you liked this article and the amazing work All Out are doing, please add a clap and share this the piece — it means the world to us at DEV and really helps get more people involved in the fight for equality around the world.

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The Developer Society

We help non-profits change the world, crafting one digital project at a time.