The Urban Institute

Impactful Design


The Urban Institute conducts research to understand and solve real-world challenges from health and tax policy to the well-being of families and neighborhoods. They serve as a source of knowledge and data for Pay For Success (PFS) projects nationwide.

PFS is an innovative financing mechanism that shifts financial risk from the government to a new investor to cover the up-front costs of scaling an evidence-based social programs that serve people in need. PFS needed a website that presented this information in a bold and understandable way to support this impactful work.

Key Services

  • Brand & Identity
  • Creative Design
  • User Experience
  • Content Management
  • Community & Collaboration

Creating a Community of Practice for PFS Stakeholders

Urban wanted to build the PFS web portal, which would be a community portal for people and organizations developing, implementing, or evaluating PFS projects. The portal includes the Support Center, a library of tools, and the PFS Perspectives blog. Community members - including governments, investors, service providers, and more - now have a digital home for sharing best practices and promoting new ideas.
A few of our clients
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Design that is at once elegant, bold, and striking adds an element of polish suited to an organization dedicated to success. The Pay For Success portal pulls together expert insight and analysis, helping make PFS projects work better for the people they serve, and the layout ensures that knowledge is accessible.

Designing with Atrium

Atrium, Phase2’s Drupal distribution for collaboration, served as a starting framework for their digital platform, helping Urban Institute save time and money. The PFS portal is an example of the beautiful front-end design now possible in Atrium 2.60.