Design System Case Study

Modular Email System

BBG: Modular Email System

The Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) is an independent U.S. Government agency that oversees five international broadcast channels including Voice of America (VOA) and distributes content to affiliates around the world.

The mission of BBG and its broadcast channels is to inform, engage, and connect people around the world in support of freedom and democracy.

Organization's Problem

VOA news center is a global producer of news content which is broadcast through VOA, other BBG channels and marketed to affiliate independent broadcast channels. The BBG wanted to increase distribution of VOA news content to their audience.

The BBG Office of Strategy and Development chose email list marketing and decided to use MailChimp for twice-daily email list marketing of content.

Non-technical marketing personnel needed to be able to independently create, edit, and publish visually appealing HTML email newsletters with little to no reliance on designers. However existing email templates were inflexible and did not include consistent branding.

  • My Task

    The BBG organizations Office of Strategy and Development decided to create an email marketing program using the MailChimp platform to market VOA News Center highlights to affiliates by supporting the delivery of news content through the new BBG Direct portal. Templates with patterns would be used to ensure that the emails met the requirements. These HTML emails needed to fulfill several requirements including:

    1. The email templates needed to be consistent with branding guidelines.
    2. They needed to incorporate responsive design for a variety of device sizes.
    3. Emails needed to properly display on a wide variety of email platforms used throughout the world.
    4. The emails needed to be easy for end users to create without having to code them.
  • BBG Mobile Email Sample
    • MailChimp Custom BBG Modular Style Guide 1
    • BBG Modular Email Guide
    • MailChimp Custome Modular BBG Template
    • MailChimp BBG Custom Templates
  • Concept

    I created a series of responsive modular email content patterns and templates along with a step-by-step guide for new users. These patterns were formed using HTML/CSS, and then each was tested in over 40+ email clients using Litmus.com to ensure they displayed properly. Users craft their emails by choosing a template and or selecting different modules from a drop-down menu of stylistic HTML elements.

    • Services

      - Research
      - Wireframes and Prototype
      - Usability Testing

    • Deliverables

      - Responsive Modules
      - HTML Email Templates
      - Style Guide
      - Transactional Email Flow


The modular email patterns and templates were adopted and are used for twice daily email and RSS feed distribution of VOA NewsCenter content to affiliates around the world. Affiliates engagement increased dramatically and resulted in a 75% increase in the distribution of news content to an estimated audience of over 236 million in 187 countries.

  • BBG Email Typography Preview
  • BBG Colors and Static Patterns Preview
  • VOA Colors and Static Patterns Preview
  • BBG Email Content Patterns preview
  • BBG Email Templates example preview
  • VOA NewsCenter Highlights Emails Preview