Billions in Change

Designing for the billions

Gyan Lakhwani
Nov 5, 2017 · 5 min read

In 2016, I worked on designing an online platform for Billions in Change along with Raghav Sarin, my friend and fellow designer. We worked on the Android and iOS apps, as well as a redesign of the existing website. Our work was covered by an NDA till the launch in November 2017.

About Billions in Change

Billions in Change is an organisation that that solves problems faced by people in developing countries with technology, enabling them to obtain basic needs like electricity, clean water, nutritious food, and effective healthcare. It was founded by Manoj Bhargava, the founder of 5-hour Energy, with the ultimate goal of eliminating world poverty.

Projects funded by Billions in Change include the HANS Free Electric bike, which combined with the HANS PowerPack can generate and store enough electricity to power an average rural household for a day with one hour of pedalling.

The Project

Billions in Change needed a volunteer platform it could use to get in touch with people interested in volunteering for their causes. At this point they had a basic website, but wanted to add interactive functionality and the ability to target volunteers for events near them. They also wanted Android and iOS apps they could use to send notifications to users when events were happening around them.


Billions in Change had existing branding guidelines that had been partially formalised and used on the website. ~79% of mobile phones in India run Android, and so we designed for Android first. We combined the existing branding with the material design guidelines to come up with a coherent look and feel for the apps.


The onboarding informs users about the 3 areas BIC is focusing it’s efforts in — Water, Energy and Health.

The onboarding uses bright illustratrations that catch the user’s attention.


User login is optional, and the app does not ask the volunteer to provide any details unless they want to leave comments or bookmark articles. However, when the user does try to sign up we wanted to make it as simple as possible to sign in or sign up. The app supports OTP login, Email login, and social logins with Facebook and Google.

Sign up & Mobile OTP login

Home Screen

The app is currently primarily an information dissemination app that BIC followers can use to stay informed about updates in the campaigns. The Home Screen tries to be a portal into the 3 basic types of content on the platform.

Updates, Discussions and Meetups


Articles about BIC and it’s projects shared on their website as well as content from other new and media websites.

Updates can include content from other websites which opens in the in-app browser.


User-generated forum discussions about topics started by volunte as well as BIC moderators.

Discussion Creation


Meetups are events hosted by BIC that can be attended by volunteers. Volunteers can also create their own meetups using the platform, and will be supported by the BIC team in organising the event.

Meetup creation

Volunteers are encouraged to provide feedback about events which can be used to improve future meetups.

Meetup feedback

Profile, FAQs & Solutions

The user’s profile has all of their created and bookmarked content. The FAQs and Solutions sections show content from the BIC website.

Empty/Error States

Illustrations for screens when the content either doesn’t exist or doesn’t load.

Hi, my name is Gyan and I solve problems with design and technology. If you’d like to get in touch, send me an email at or tweet to me @gyanl.

Gyan Lakhwani

Written by

Freelance designer, part-time ninja. Previously at Microsoft, Zomato

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