A redesign of Washington DC-based online giving site Razoo by user-centred design specialists Clearleft has helped boost the average time spent on the site by 30%. It also helped maximise a sister site's one day online fundraising income of $14 million.
The redesign process was initiated in June 2009 by Razoo CEO Sebastian Traeger to ensure that it was meeting users' needs effectively. He hired usability consultant Steve Krug, author of 'Don't Make Me Think', to conduct an audit of the site, which showed up a number of weaknesses.
The redesign process and research into usability was also driven by plans to launch a sister site, GiveMN.org, which was intended to provide a localised online resource which would connect the people of Minnesota with charitable organisations. Its launch on 2 November gave the project a clear deadline, since GiveMN.org was also intended to support an attempt at "the largest one day online fundraising event ever", Give to the Max Day.
Clearleft was initially commissioned to focus on redesigning the look and feel of the Razoo homepage, as well as the site header and footer. Two Clearleft consultants, Paul Annett and production director Richard Rutter, spent a week working in-house at the Razoo office in Washington DC.
Following positive user feedback on the homepage redesign, Razoo commissioned Clearleft to complete the remodelling work on the rest of the site, in addition to preparing the GiveMN.org sister platform for launch.
Part of the redesign included the incorporation of ‘social proof’ techniques, the idea that people will do things that they see other people are doing. Elements included the number of members and charities registered on the site and the total amount raised.
Clearleft worked to increased involvement in the site by adding individual profiles of users, with the aim of "making a hero of the everyday fundraiser". Each profile enables individuals to post more information about themselves and their fundraising ideas. To help highlight organisations, it also developed a “popular causes this week” function which allows Razoo to provide a more detailed view of where people are donating their money.
Since the redesign, Razoo has experienced a 30% increase in the length of time users spend on the website.
The impact of the redesign was even more apparent on GiveMN.org. Two weeks after its launch, GiveMN held its Give to the Max Day, one day of campaigning designed to rally the state of Minnesota into giving, with a promise from local companies to match donations of $500,000.
Traeger said: "We took $14 million worth of donations from 38,000 donors through GiveMN.org in 24 hours. It was an unprecedented online charitable event made possible by the functionality of the well-organised, easy to use and logical website designed by Clearleft."
Clearleft has subsequently introduced a DonateAnywhere widget, which can be embedded onto the websites and blogs of any individual or organisation. The widget promotes giving via Razoo, and in particular promotes regular gifts.