RESULTS is an anti-poverty advocacy organization based in Washington, DC doing important work: fighting for legislation that affects people’s everyday lives for the better. They rely on donors and volunteers for their successful operation. RESULTS had an outdated, non-mobile-friendly website (results.org) that had been mostly static for many years. They had about 120,000 new home page visitors a year, but very few of those were joining the organization as volunteers or donors. Something had to be done to dam the flood of people leaving the site without being inspired to get involved. I initiated and directed the entire redesign process from start to finish.
I had been working on reorganizing and freshening up the site off and on for about 2 years. My full-time work on the site began in late September of 2018. The new site launched in mid-December of 2018.
Creative Vision & Strategy, Project Management, Competitive Analysis, User Interviews, Early Design Iterations: Deborah Lash
Late Design Iterations, Website Development: William Offutt from Web Adaptive
Copywriting: Rachel Irwin
Out with the old
We heard feedback frequently from our users that the old site was confusing, difficult to navigate and unfriendly to mobile and tablet users. There was no clear path for new people who wanted to get involved, nor was there a central repository of resources for our long-time volunteers and donors. Plus, the site was not up to accessibility standards.
I got to work pulling together buy-in from staff, volunteers, and board members across the organization. A big upgrade was needed.
The design process began with competitive analysis of other organizations’ websites. What were they doing? What was working, and what wasn’t? From there, I went Agile. I made lots and lots of rough sketches of modules and navigation outlines that I liked from other sites, and played around with them.
BRING IT ON HOME
I created higher fidelity site maps and wireframes, organizing modules on the home page to better show off the organization’s accomplishments and lead people through the process of getting involved.
I ran these wireframes by strategic representatives throughout the organization, doing extensive user interviews. Once all the mockups were approved by the various stakeholders, we were able to move forward.
IN WITH THE NEW
Our developer sent back higher fidelity wireframes that refined the concepts. We continued to iterate, and when it was finalized, I handed the project back over to them – it was time to actually develop the site. It was delivered in great shape.
THE FINAL COUNTDOWN
As with all site redesigns, many small details still needed to be put in place…tiny edits, bugs to be fixed, typos corrected. We wrapped those up, and then I moved on to the final phase: showing our staff and volunteers around the site and explaining the different features. The response from new users was positive, and our most frequent users liked the simplicity of having their own resource section, as seen below.
It’s important to listen to people. Everyone can contribute something.
Too many cooks in the kitchen can be a real issue. Choose representatives of the main stakeholders to work with on the details, instead of trying to solve problems with everyone at once.
Choose two: fast, cheap, good. This was an example of the project that was all three. Rare, but it’s possible.
Dream big. Sometimes big things actually happen.