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Aperian Global

We worked with Aperian to optimize a web application for global impact.


Aperian Global offers online learning and resources to empower teams working across global boundaries.


Sparkbox works with Aperian on proprietary digital tools collectively called GlobeSmart, optimizing design, functionality, and user experience. We've also helped hire and mentor their internal development team to support an iterative approach to development.


  • Web application optimization and improvement
  • UX design for a survey app and Culture Guides
  • Usability testing and heuristic evaluation


  • Drupal
  • React w/ Serverside Rendering
  • NodeJS
  • ExpressJS
  • SailsJS
  • Amazon AWS EC2, S3, RDS, Cloudfront
  • Auth0
  • Ansible
  • CircleCI
  • Code Climate
  • Rollbar
  • New Relic
  • Multi-product Design System

Aperian Global Case Study

We've worked with Aperian Global, a provider of diversity, inclusion, and cultural competence solutions, to help them reimagine their GlobeSmart product. As part of a long-term partnership, we rebuilt and redesigned Aperian's core products: the Work Styles assessment and profile and the Culture Guides learning library. Working closely with the internal team, we improved the user experience and design, and modernized front- and backend code while implementing a headless Drupal content management system (CMS).

Experience Design

GlobeSmart's previous design was not mobile-friendly, so we began UX by thinking mobile-first to ensure that both the Work Styles product and Culture Guides library would be easy to use on any device. Direct feedback from users and Aperian's customer support team helped us to uncover inefficiencies and find ways to improve the interface.

We also introduced a new visual design that modernized the user interface, unified the product's offerings, and focused on increasing engagement, readability, and understanding. Incorporating moderated usability testing and heuristic reviews allowed us to validate our approach and ensure efficacy for key audiences.

Desktop and mobile view of the Work Style profile.
After you complete a survey, your work style is plotted alongside that of other people on your team or that of other cultures.
Culture Guide homepages (shown here for France) serve as two-minute overviews for countries or locations. A homepage usually includes a photo from the country, a map, the flag, a currency converter, the weather, and the time and date.
Country summary pages highlight core values, demographics, and government structures. Summary pages are intended to serve as individual five-minute cultural overviews for a number of primary topics.
Topic pages allow users to access deeper knowledge on a specific topic, such as core values, communication, and managing meetings, among others.


We worked with Aperian's technical team to modernize the GlobeSmart application. We took the lead on developing a React app that rendered the Work Style survey and resulting profile, including the country, individual, and team comparisons. We focused on maintainability and performance, delivering a best-in-class experience for users. As internal momentum grew for the project, Aperian was able to grow their team by adding two developers.

Together, we implemented a headless Drupal CMS to manage the content in the Culture Guides as well as some of the content on the dashboard and React app. Giving Aperian one source for managing content was a big win for their team, allowing them more flexibility and giving them the ability to add and adjust content without having to engage the technical team.

We also transformed the new look and feel into a design system that could be used to build out future features and support the developers working on both the React app and the Drupal-powered Culture Guides.

During our engagement, Aperian was adjusting their payment model, and we were able to support their business changes by integrating Stripe to manage subscriptions and payments.

On our recommendation, Aperian also selected Auth0 for user management. Sparkbox architected and implemented this integration to make single sign-on and SAML connections seamless for their customers.


The improvements we made to the GlobeSmart product enabled Aperian to attract new customers while improving the stability and maintainability of their platform. And, in the process, we were able to help Aperian grow an internal team and take full ownership of the new GlobeSmart platform and its dev strategy.

Want to talk about how we can work together?

Katie can help

A portrait of Vice President of Business Development, Katie Jennings.

Katie Jennings

Vice President of Business Development