And how do you design the voice of charity: water?
charity: water is a knowledgeable and trustworthy friend. We aim to be helpful and above board in every interaction, and we demonstrate our expertise where appropriate. In practical terms, we value simplicity and clarity within our UI toolkit and strive for design discipline when it comes to interface patterns. We’re more or less a single web app, so we don’t lean on our pattern library to reduce engineering effort (though it does); we lean into patterns for what excellent consistency communicates to our donors: reliability.
How do you research, prototype, and test the UX?
Understanding our donors has been foundational to charity: water since the beginning, and it shows in the way we invest our resources. We have a data scientist on the team and had a great researcher onboard who gave definition to the next generation of charity: water donors. Additionally, we use a host of tools to implement everything from basic A/B tests to remote usability. Many of our donors are not only passionate about ending the water crisis, but also true friends of the organization, which helps with recruiting for user interviews and donation usability tests. We’ve had participants share how blown away they are to get to volunteer in such a unique way, and they don’t hold back with their feedback.
The reality for us as a non-profit is that even with these tools, we aren’t able to learn as fast as we’d like to. We supplement our owned learnings with those from other organizations and products. Our industry is great because our competitors aren’t really competitors at all. We’re all looking to maximize generosity and design a better world, so we’re happy to share what we have and learn from others who are doing it differently and doing it well. That and some good ol’ fashioned intuition help us fill in the gaps, so we can keep moving forward.
What’s next for the charity: water’s UX?
When we talk about reinventing charity today, we’re eager to take the monthly giving subscription to the next level. Recurring giving has been around for a long time, typically existing as a checkbox on a donate form. But today’s subscription landscape has provided an opportunity to develop a meaningful giving experience that challenges monthly consumption, which we are working on doing with our program, The Spring.
This is the most product-centric UX evolution since we launched our fundraising platform, and it’s full of new “How Might We’s.” We’re figuring out how to communicate meaningful and measurable impact inside a monthly cadence and testing new methods of recognizing and re-inspiring donors. We’re really just getting started, but in a world of subscription boxes, services, and content, we hope to make subscription giving the best transaction among a person’s monthly expenses.