Defying Gravity

The Ask


When Get Schooled, a national nonprofit born from Viacom and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, received a Google Global Impact Award, they challenged HYFN to build a sticky educational platform for teens while nailing an extensive list of business objectives. Focused on delivering a signature mix of “sizzle and substance” content to low/moderate income students, Get Schooled needed a site that was engaging in UX, design, and strategy while servicing educators, parents, and funders through separate experiences, integration, and reporting.

Too Cool For School

Strategic Approach


How do you get teenagers to dive into college prep materials? Make it as engaging and thumb-scrolling as Twitter and the likes.

HYFN conducted a dive into the minds of students, parents, and educators and found that each target group consumes content differently. To that end, we set out to build a living, breathing site populated by a recommendation engine that would change and grow with the users.

We are on our fourth web firm in as many years and couldn’t be happier. HYFN has the perfect mix of fantastic design and great tech/dev abilities—and the teams work well together. I love that.

Carol Rava Treat, Get Schooled Director of Strategy and Technology

All Work And More Play

Design and Development


The HYFN technology team geeked out on building the Get Schooled recommendation engine on a combination of open source code plus insights from academic experts and the Department of Education. Working hand in hand with creative, nothing less than an immersive learning experience replete with custom content, games, educational resources, and prizing would do. So we built a rich interactive front-end layer with graphics-heavy motion to keep users engaged while maintaining a minimalistic vibe and serving up that signature mix of “sizzle and substance” content.

Additionally, Get Schooled admins now had an extensive backend to control the platform, and educators could easily promote ongoing events and giveaways unique to their schools.

We Go Together

The Results


Get Schooled and HYFN have partnered to build one of the most engaging, interactive sites for teens in the digital space today, designed to motivate positive behavior, drive return visits, and deliver measurable value to students. Fast Company says the platform “is like a guidance counselor on steroids”, and we don’t disagree. The extremely ambitious site build combined research, user data, and relevant info to affect real-world outcomes and help Get Schooled reach over 2,000 schools and over 250k registered teens.

Let's Do Something Great

Smart thinking, compelling design, and a process that flourishes with your contributions.

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(310) 937-1400

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