Freelance Portfolio

Product & Web DevelopmentUX DesignComputational Social ScienceGIS/MappingDataVizData & Information ManagementNGO Tech StrategyInteractive StorytellingConsulting

My Motivation


Ilja Sperling | @fubits

I'm passionate about helping non-profits and startups envision and develop products tailored towards their mission.

I rely on the JAMstack (Svelte|Kit, Astro, Eleventy), pragmatic Design & Sprint thinking, and years of working with data.

I graduated in Social Sciences, completed classes in HCI, Geocomputation, Design Thinking, and Natural Language Processing, and eventually worked as a Tech Lead and Technical Project Manager 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


Telegram: Chronology of a Radicalization

Concept, UX design, and implementation of a multi-chapter interactive storytelling report. Built with Svelte, Astro and Notion API (CMS). Visual design by


Democratic Innovations to Youth Work

Multi-language website built with Svelte, Astro and Notion API (CMS).


Academic Freedom Index

Concept, design, and implementation of a semi-static, self-updating website with Astro, Svelte, and D3. The Hero is an interactive D3-based globe that displays the current Index results in a tooltip. A modal renders time-series data (1900-2022) for 6 metrics. Data is fetched on-demand. Charts can be exported as hi-res screenshots.


Afrozensus Data Explorer

Concept, design, and implementation of a feature-rich full-stack Web App for the Afrozensus survey. Users can explore survey results and group/facet single survey items with socio-demographic variables. Built with SvelteKit, Supabase and a D3 flavour. Data is queried from a Postgres DB. Data engineering by Lisa Reiber.


Der Spiegel: DAX Stock Game

Implementation of a Svelte-based interactive feature to explore historical DAX stock market data.


Svelte: Network Analysis App

Design and development of an interactive Svelte-based standalone module, integrated into a legacy (non-JS) application. Dynamically renders 500+ nodes and 1K+ edges. Receives and sends events to interact with the parent application.


Map for FES Afghanistan

Leaflet map which displays region-specific sections of a written report in a multi-tab pop-up.


Der Spiegel: Bar Chart Race

Implementation of a Svelte-based feature which combines scrollytelling with a bar chart race (bars grow and shrink based on scroll progress and swap positions depending on their rank).


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 with 78 chart elements in total; 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 end-to-end product journey (concept, design, implementation, data pre-processing). 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 Report

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 Management

Web Development

GIS & Mapping

Design Thinking

Data Visualization

Smart Engineering & Design Solutions for NGOs & Startups

Reach out