Anew Mission Project Case Study
Case Study: Anew Mission
An innovation platform for non-profits
Date & Duration: 2 weeks, April 2017
My role: competitive analysis, user research, design studio, storyboarding, copywriting, prototyping & testing, presentation
Anew Mission is a new low-profit business providing opportunities for people to find innovative solutions to problems presented by charities.
Charities find it difficult to understand the concept of Anew Mission's and how they can benefit from setting up a Mission (project). Additionally, the set up process is off-putting.
So we designed a new way for charities to research and setup projects on the website, involving a redesign of the homepage and an engaging step-by-step data inputting process.
The redesigned homepage better communicates the purpose of the Anew Mission platform and how it works, increasing confidence, trust and take-up of the service. Our new project set-up flow is designed to guide and inspire users, encouraging completion and improving the quality of projects. The better quality of the project, the greater success a charity will have in solving its proposed problem.
Anew Mission tasked us with increasing the chances of Mission success by creating a simple on-boarding process for charities’ new Missions. They asked us to consider:
1) what information would be required to provide a ‘clear and inspirational’ Mission
2) the steps/process that the user would go through to set up a Mission
Ready, set… wait!
At first, the concept behind Anew Mission was a little hard to grasp. It spanned both desktop and mobile — each serving a different purpose and different users — it used confusing terminology, and we were provided with a lot of information about its aims and ambitions but not a lot about how it worked.
Anew Mission - how does it work?
Things became clearer following a stakeholder interview with CEO founder Jeremy Agnew. We established that the end-to-end use of the product would look like this:
- The non-profit user identifies a problem they want to address
- They set up a ‘Mission’, (a project) on the Anew Mission website
- This Mission launches on the Anew Mission mobile app, used by ‘Citizens’ (individuals and businesses)
- Citizens generate ideas within a game on the app to solve the problem, the ideas are then voted through to the next round
- After several rounds of ideating and voting, the non-profit chooses a final solution and implements it with the support and expertise promised by the Citizens.
So, what’s the problem?
Jeremy and the Anew Mission team understood that the existing on-boarding process to set up a Mission was not user friendly: it was an unwieldy single screen of form fields with inadequate instructional text and confusing terminology. The likely effect on users would be high drop-off numbers resulting in uncompleted Missions.
But instead of showing users the existing form, we wanted to hear about their experiences setting up projects in the past — good and bad. What made some processes easier for them, how were they made clear, and what exasperated them about others and made them give up?
Following a screener survey to identify target users, we conducted interviews with four potential users of the Anew Mission platform. These ranged from CEOs and founders of small charities, a Program Manager at Save the Children, and a part time charity supporter.
We identified these key takeaways from the interviews:
Raising awareness for causes can be difficult
Creating a compelling story can be hard
Some sites made the setting up process easier by having clear instructions, useful examples, and a spacious layout.
Users need to understand the benefits of creating a Mission
Redesigning a form — the only task?
The final interview finding was important — if Anew Mission were to succeed in providing a useful platform for non-profits to raise awareness and find solutions, users would have to be clear about the potential benefits and better understand how it works. Our interviews revealed that users a) struggled to grasp the concept, and b) perceived potential problems in getting buy-in from other stakeholders connected to the charity.
We felt this was fundamental to address. If users weren’t onboard with Anew Mission’s service, then they wouldn’t even get to the Mission set up process.
With the insights from the target users, we were now in a much better position to understand the opportunity and formulate the solution.
Getting to know the user - creating personas
It was time to pool the information we had collected and establish who our key users were. We created two proto-personas — Anna, a small charity CEO, and Liam, a Program Manager at a larger charity — to help address their needs going forward.
In order to design for maximum impact, we decided to choose Anna, who represented the CEO of a small, less established charity. Operating alone, she would be more likely to find the Mission set up process challenging and stood to benefit most from a successful Mission. If we could address her needs, it is likely others would benefit too.
I created a storyboard to communicate the challenges and frustrations Anna faces in an existing unsuccessful scenario.
Designing for Anna
We wanted to make sure that she could trust the Mission creation process, that it was clear in its purpose, that it encouraged her through the steps, and that it was engaging for her.
We took these principles into the design studio to help us find a solution that satisfied Anna’s needs. We devised two challenges to try to overcome.
Key ideas that emerged were:
addressing fears and concerns
providing inspiring guidance in the form of copy, images and video
highlighting positive impact and outcomes
- showing examples of other charities’ Missions
Ideas generated for this revealed how multi-faceted the Mission creation process could be.
how the data would be inputted
how it would be made accessible for all users
the importance of progress and how it would be shown
and growing the support network of the charity through sharing
Following the design studio we refined the standout ideas with further sketches.
To communicate the benefits of creating a Mission to Anna, we decided to place our solutions on the Anew Mission homepage, where the information would be prominent and accessible.
A Linear Data Inputting Process?
At this stage we were still unclear as to how the Mission creation process would work and even what form it would take. Would Anna build her Mission in parts by dragging in, like you would in Trello, or would she move through a more conventional, linear process?
Referring back to our design principles ‘clear’ and ‘encouraging’ — and also considering Morville’s facets of ‘usability’ and ‘accessibility’ we decided that a segmented, linear design for inputting the necessary data would be most appropriate. Screen readers would read it more easily and we wanted users like Anna to concentrate on what they are inputting rather than how to input it.
Paper Prototype Testing
After the first round of user testing with the paper prototype we realised how important copy was going to be in our design. To achieve our design principles and make Anna’s journey successful, there needed to be
- words of encouragement
So we conducted a copywriting design studio to generate as much of this material as possible. The copy then underwent several iterations of refinement as it made its way into the design, each time being reduced as much as possible while still communicating the core purpose.
Form-field best practice
We knew we could increase the value and usability of the Mission creation process by following form-field best practices. Using a range of sources, including Designing UX Forms by Jessica Enders, we implemented the following:
designing for the information needed now
showing question-level help text, not hiding it
an economical use of colour because more colour on the screen means less emphasis
- breaking the process into parts but avoiding having more than seven screens
Testing, iterating, and refining
Following further user testing and iteration of low and mid-fidelity wireframes, we made the progress bar more engaging, the call to action buttons more prominent, and added more question-level help text to guide the user at every stage.
Removing the Budget screen
After testing with target users working in the charity sector, we learned that the budget section was felt to be inappropriate, as many charities would be unlikely to have capital resources at the time of creating a mission. Its presence may discourage users from charities both big and small from completing the process, so we decided to remove it.
Adding the Gateway Screen
Some users commented that after they had clicked to create a mission on the homepage, they felt the process began too abruptly.
So we designed a gateway screen which performs several roles: it welcomes the user to the process, offers words of encouragement, sets expectations and asks the user to sign into or create an account.
A user-centred design which clearly presented the benefits of creating a Mission, guided the user through the process with appropriate copy and best practice form-field design. Anew Mission and its associates were extremely pleased with the design and are looking to implement elements of it into the desktop website.
View our clickable prototype below.
Given this was just a two-week sprint, the design could not be fully realised and implemented. Therefore we advised the client to follow these next steps:
Carry the design principles through to the Mission management phase
Make the design responsive
- Make suggested adjustments to the citizen’s mobile app to align with the design for desktop
Get in touch
I'm always happy to discuss projects, past and future.
Feel free to use the form below, or drop me an email at email@example.com