Donations on News Feed




September 2014


Product Designer, Patent Owner




This is a story of how a tiny hackathon project became the foundation for an entire product vertical at Facebook.

In September of 2014 I joined a team of 5 engineers looking for a designer to help them bring a concept to life.

At this time, Typhoon Haiyan was brutalizing the Philippines and it was downright difficult and complicated to wire money overseas. Meanwhile, across News Feed, a video meme emerged in the form of the ALS Ice Bucket challenge.

Both events provided people with an increased desire to show financial support. We hypothesized that a crowdfunding solution powered by the connections in the social graph combined with the distribution of News Feed would be massively impactful.

So in a span of 24 hours, I helped the team design the initial concept for donations on News Feed.

After my team pitched the idea to leadership, the project was granted a chance to succeed as Fundraisers became an entirely new format of its own within Facebook.

  • Donations on News Feed

I had to move quickly and use existing UI to support the engineers in this 24h event. But this glyph didn’t exist in our library so I had to quickly draw it for our prototype. I had no intentions of making this the official glyph that shipped, but like any good mark, the glyph "stuck" the launch team decided to keep it. This tiny 16x16px icon ended up accompanying every single Facebook donation post for the next 4 years.

Here's a snapshot of my original design, and the basis for the patent we eventually filed. It was built by our hackathon engineers and presented to Facebook leadership the next day.

When our project gained traction, an entire product team was dedicated to expanding on it. I was no longer involved at this point, so it was this team that brought the product experience across every device and platform that Facebook supported.