Category: Design

January 31, 2017

Lessons from Kiva’s most successful donation appeal

Each year, there’s a small window when the holiday season combines with a rush to make end-of-year tax deductions. It’s precisely this time of year that most nonprofits rely on to generate a significant portion of their annual revenue. While at Kiva we’re not as reliant on the month of December as some nonprofits, due to optional donations people make throughout the year, we still raise a significant portion of our annual operating revenue over a short one week period. This year we raised over $1 million (our goal was $800k) dollars from 43,560 individual donors making it our most successful fundraising campaign ever. The results were a whopping 36% improvement on the previous year’s results.

October 28, 2016

The value of personas

During my first two years working at Kiva we designed and built features based primarily on how our staff used (or wanted to use) the website. Because Kiva’s staff is passionate and knowledgeable on the subjects of poverty alleviation and financial inclusion, this colored many of the choices we made when designing the user experiences. At a basic level this lead us to design overly complex interfaces or even overestimate the desire for a feature based on our internal preferences.

August 2, 2016

Product Architecture

When talking about design at Kiva the first thing I show people is our product architecture, which is a high level illustration of the system. I was introduced to the concept after reading a post by Paul Adams, VP of Product at Intercom, who stresses that product design is about a mission, a vision, and an architecture.

From broad ideation to pixel level detail, designers should always be thinking about their company’s mission, vision and product architecture. Everything they do should flow through this funnel.

July 28, 2016

Found Quote: Edwin Catmull

“Negative feedback may be fun, but it is far less brave than endorsing something unproven and providing room for it to grow.”
Edwin Catmull, president of Pixar Animation Studios from his book Creativity Inc.

July 25, 2016

Redesigned from the ground up

I’m excited to announce 2 Out of Three has been redesigned and rebuilt from the ground up. Long in need of a significant update – to implement a mobile friendly design – this project quickly expanded to include a new aesthetic, overhauls to the home page, blog and portfolio pages, and an entirely new front end architecture.

June 7, 2016

Annoucing Kiva’s redesign and rebrand

At Kiva we just released the largest, most ambitious redesign and rebrand within the organization’s ten year history. It’s rare to have the opportunity to undertake a holistic redesign in conjunction with rebranding so I feel lucky to have played a major role leading the effort to design a new user experience and craft a new brand.

I’m working on a detailed write up about the design process but I’ll start by sharing the drivers for undertaking the redesign.