Freelance Portfolio

Product & Web DevelopmentUX DesignComputational Social ScienceGIS/MappingData & Information VisualizationData ManagementInformation SecurityTech StrategyConsulting

My Mission


Ilja Sperling | @fubits

I'm passionate about helping non-profits build digital products and design solutions tailored towards their mission.

I rely on the JAMstack (Svelte|Kit, Eleventy, Hugo), pragmatic Design & Sprint thinking, and years of processing and managing data with R.

I graduated in Social Sciences, completed classes in HCI, Geocomputation, Design Thinking, and Natural Language Processing, and eventually worked as a Tech Lead in the Digital Rights / NGO sector.

My Philosophy


Action needs data – not spreadsheets.

Jailbreak Excel and focus on your goals. With functional data management, pipeline automation & reproducibility.


While growing as a Technologist I finished degrees in Politics, Communication, and Computational Social Science.
I've worked in research, PR, and policy. I'm home in many domains.


What if social research had the appeal and UX of Data-Driven Journalism?

Apply functional Product Design methods, mix it with a modern & sustainable stack and focus on what's relevant.

My Portfolio


Der Spiegel: Stock Game

[Svelte] ...


Svelte: Network Analysis App

[Svelte] Svelte feature integrated into a legacy application.


Map for FES Afghanistan

[Leaflet] ...


Der Spiegel: Bar Chart Race

[Svelte] ...


Afrozensus Website

Design and development of the official website of the Afrozensus project and the 2020 Report. The report is presented with a 2-part scrollytelling feature. SSR, built with SvelteKit & Svelte Scroller.


Berlin-O-Mat: Berlin 2021 Elections

Joint web project with Tagesspiegel and Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin for the 2021 State-level (Berlin) and local-level (boroughs) election. Hybrid voting advice application with a two-layered data model. Stack: Vue, Vuex, R (for data preprocessing).


Follow The Money - Web Feature

Compagnon web feature for a research report. Scrollytelling + animated SVGs to narrate the executive summary.


Follow the Money - Crisis Spending Report

6 double-paged infographics withs 78 chart elements; 12 standalone charts of various types; produced with R & Affinity Designer


Chemical Weapons Munition Typology

SPA-like interactive web feature. Each munition type has a full-screen munition card with an integrated map and a carousel for imagery.


Chemical Weapons - Web Project

My first full-stack product design journey. Feature-rich static website for a multi-chapter essay & an interactive data portal. Months of intense design and development work. Features: map-based scrollytelling, case study components, timeline, audio snippets.


Data Engineering & CI/CD - Workshop

Introduction to data-centric DevOps & CI/CD. Hands-on workshop on implementing a ETL data pipeline with R & GitLab CI/CD.


Information Security 101 - Talk/Workshop

360° introduction to individual and organizational risks and mitigation strategies for not-for-profit organisations.


Chemical Weapons - Data Portal

Interactive map & data table view with dynamic filtering, incident clustering, and incident cards. Made with leaflet, crossfilter, dataTables, and a bit of D3. The data is auto-fed via a CI/CD-based end-to-end data pipeline.


Militias in Afghanistan - Case Study Illustrations

Code-generated multi-layered case study maps based on UN HDX geodata and DIY hillshaded elevation data (rayshader & NASA SRTM). A single parameterized R template that was rendered for 5 case study maps.


Krieg vor der Haustür

Colored regional map for the book's front matter, picking up the hue from the book's cover theme. Three tile-sized maps for the back matter, zooming in on single states and subregions.


Design Thinking & Product Vision Sprints

I have successfully facilitated Design Thinking and Product Vision workshops with participants from academia, NGOs and policy. Together, we were able to make the abstract become manifest and actionable.


Urban Spaces Project

Conception, technical project coordination, and content implementation of an online-first research paper design, complemented by a regular print product. This pilot involved a team of 30 people, and took more than one year from the first workshop to launch.


Nowhere to Hide

Three case study maps, highlighting changes in territorial control during selected campaigns of chemical attacks. Two styleguide-compliant bicolor schemes represent gains/losses by rebels and state/regime actors. A full-page illustration outlines the deadly path of a helicopter regiment.

My Stack

Product Design

Data Processing

Web Development

GIS & Mapping

Design Thinking

Data Visualization

Smart Strategies for Non-Profit Challenges

Reach out