Time sensitive buildout for a competition announced by President Obama

Little Box Challenge

When Google Creative Lab needed a website for their new social initiative, The Little Box Challenge, it tapped our development team, known for excellence.

What we did

  • Development
  • Back-end development
  • Technology assessment


  • Power & Utilities
  • Technology

Announcing the New Little Box Challenge in a Simple, Powerful Way

When Google Creative Lab needed a website for their new social initiative,The Little Box Challenge, it tapped the development team known for excellence.

Our team worked closely with Google Creative Lab on one of the most dynamic builds to date. The project was complex and needed a simple solution – a challenge our developers quickly accepted.

Announced just weeks earlier by President Obama, it prompted organizations to create a smaller, cheaper power inverter for use in solar-power systems. And the prize was big. One million dollars big.

Google’s team had designed the front-end and needed an interactive website built to introduce and accept submissions. For our developers, this meant that a lot of traffic and applicants would hitting the site’s servers. The goal? Develop a responsive, interactive website to engage visitors in a simple, yet powerful way.


Build a Website That Adheres to the Highest Level of Best Practices

Our developers knew the Little Box Challenge site had to be flawless – adhering to the highest level of best practices. Every piece of code had to be diligently created from start to launch for quality and security.

The website needed to be responsive across all devices using only Google’s infrastructure for hosting, with loading time limited to a few hundred milliseconds. It also had to follow Google’s strict privacy and security requirements, and allow participants to share creative works across social media platforms.

On the homepage, a loop of four 5-second videos used JavaScript to stream, in lieu of downloading the video at once and slowing down the site’s initial load.

Our developers also took into account caching and hosting methods that sped up view times, designing the site to be quick and responsive on every screen – from your phone to your tablet to your laptop.


Construct a Custom CMS and Back-End Administrative Tool

While our developers had built tools like this one before, The Little Box Challenge site had been one of our most dynamic builds to date.

Instead of using existing CMS, we created a platform that allowed organizations to submit applications, ask questions, and find out whether their projects had been approved or denied. We integrated this system seamlessly with Google’s App Engine and Cloud Platform.

Not only did it store each multi-field application, but it also had a backend interface where administrators could view each project simultaneously and enforce a proper multi-level approval and publish workflow.


Timely Launch That Met Google's Gold Standards

Many of these tasks needed to be done simultaneously to meet its launch date – which was 60 days away and not a day later. When the site launched it exceeded both application-submission and social-sharing expectations. Press attention – from Forbes and ZDNet to Wired and CNBC – never forced the site to shut down or challenged the dependable system our experts had created.

Every time I talked to my development team, I knew we had made the right decision on a partner. Their expertise and quality of craft made this project as smooth as it could’ve possibly gone. Also, they sent me candy afterward. I love you guys!

– Jamie Kosoy, Technical Director, Google Creative Labs