Protect the Children Inc. is a non-profit organization that offers support, aid, and safety for children hurt by all forms of abuse. They also host child abuse awareness workshops, volunteer events and provide therapy sessions for the victims.
The website has not been updated since 2018. For the purpose of this project, I am focusing on improving the information architecture and creating two MVPs for the landing page.
Before & After
After exploring the website with an eye for business goals, it appears the organization goals are to:
Promote child abuse awareness
Receive donations from potential donors
Get visitors to sign up for newsletters
How might we urge users to learn more about child abuse?
How might we motivate users to take action to support abused children?
How might we encourage users to sign up for our organization’s news?
Hypothesis & Solution Statement
I recruited people who recently donated to non-profit organizations as my research participants.
The research involved a mix of in-person (pre-covid!) and remote card sorting and usability testing sessions.
I used card sorting to observe how participants group information to evaluate the navigation and information architecture of the Protect the Children website. Through usability testing, I asked participants to complete specific tasks on the website to verify my hypotheses and identify insights.
Card Sort Sessions
I ran the activity with 3 people: one open card sort and two hybrid card sorts. It was challenging to analyze the data because of the small sample size and the large (!) variability in responses.
All users grouped the cards (global navigation and page names) depending on its part of speech, e.g. ‘donate’ is an action and it was grouped with other actions. In contrast, one participant had a different mental model and separated all items into two big groups: goals and information, and declined to break up the large groups.
Without the ability to recruit other suitable research participants, I did secondary research to learn how other charities organize their content. The IA recommendations are a combination of findings from my research and competitive research.
Many of my hypotheses were proven correct by observing participants navigate the site and complete tasks. All of the participants had trouble finding information due to disorganized global navigation and poor readability of the content. The original website failed to establish an intuitive user path due to no content strategy. The dark background and the color palette failed to meet the web content accessibility guideline and didn’t set the right tone for a children’s charity.
Armed with research insights, I could now suggest a new MVP landing page. It improved the experience through:
Update information architecture
Establish intuitive user flow in content layout
Email sign up options
Changes in Global Navigation
I renamed the navigation and page titles with precise descriptions. Once I have got the labels right, I grouped the contents:
Get Involved groups in all the actions: donate, volunteer, become a partner, etc.
Our Mission is about internal information: what we believe, about us.
Learn More is about external resources: child abuse and online sources.
These changes provide clarity and an intuitive hierarchy in the information architecture.
I created two versions of the landing page design:
1. A more traditional or conservative design
2. An ambitious design that pushed the boundaries
High Fidelity Prototype V.1
CTA moved to higher conversion placement.
Update hero image with a positive message
Chunking information into digestible paragraph pieces.
Highlight hotline number with detailed information
Using the founder’s name to establish a personal level connection.
Additional CTA is placed at the bottom of the page to engage users to take action once they finish exploring the website.
Footer Redesign: Newsletter sign up・organization info・partner’s logo to establish credibility
Updated color palette
High Fidelity Prototype V.2
CTA moved to higher conversion placement.
Update hero image with a positive message. Using cartoon-style illustrations to establish a friendlier tone and reduce negative emotions.
Set up an intuitive reading flow; the content is easy to scan through.
Use the right information to urge users to tap on CTAs
Additional CTA is placed at the bottom of the page to engage users before exiting the site.
Footer redesign: Newsletter sign-up option & essential organization information.
Updated color palette to align with brand image.
What I Learned
As a student, during this project I have faced the following challenges:
Card sort results analyses
One of the participants had a very different way of sorting information than the other 2 participants, I was struggling to come up with a navigation system that helps achieve the organization’s goal. Fortunately, I was able to arrange the cards that fit in their category. And if I run into the same situation next time, I would ask her to try a few more times to break down the large group of items.
Protect children’s inc. have so much information they would like to share with their users, it was challenging to make it scannable and only showing relevant information when users need it. Thus, I added questions to make the landing page more engaging rather than just showing lots of text.