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.
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.
“A user interface is like a joke. If you have to explain it, it’s not that good.”
Martin LeBlanc, Iconfinder
“Design is a solution to a problem. Art is a question to a problem.”
“It is not enough that we build products that function, that are understandable and usable, we also need to build products that bring joy and excitement, pleasure and fun, and, yes, beauty to people’s lives.”
Don Norman, Co-founder of Nielsen Norman Group and author of The Design of Everyday Things
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.
“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.
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.
As promised this post on Medium goes into more detail about the process of redesigning the Kiva website. I was honored to lead the project and collaborate with numerous creative individuals from the talented team at SY/P, to Marty Grasser and Marian Chiao who designed the new Kiva logo and of course the incredible team we have at Kiva.
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.