Leading charity sought to understand why and when clients would donate through mobile channels.

My role: 
Client Manager, UX Designer

3 weeks

Charity lacked psychometric data on donors. The mobile channel is seen as key for the future of giving, but seemed to be massively underperforming.

Designed a new mobile donation process from user and data insights.


  • User Surveys
  • User Interviews
  • Google Analytical Analysis
  • Comparative research.
  • Psychology of giving research.
  • Customer journey map
  • Service blueprint
  • Feature prioritization

The research and learnings have been fed back into The Smith Family.


User Research & User Surveys

We began by producing user survey’s to find out more about e-commerce and charity giving. We wanted to find out what caused people to donate and were they shopping online or on their mobile. While there is a lot of demographic data about who is shopping online, there is less data available, at least in the Australian market about what their motivations and behavioral usage patterns are for shopping online.

Key Insights

  • The number one reason for not donating was that people did not trust the charity would spend the money wisely.
  • Of those who donated, 76 % said they don’t let others know when they donate
  • People tend to donate repeatedly if they have donated to a cause once.
  • Most common reasons to donate “I Believe in the cause”, “I trust the organisation to do a good job” and “I feel passionate for the greater good of society”

Psychology of Giving

We also dug deep on the psychology of giving for insights. What motivates people to give money to charities locally in Australia and abroad. We pondered, although the technology may change from cash donation buckets on the street to the mobile apps, the reason why donors give to charities, and more specifically, charities like The Smith Family, is likely to remain constant.

Insights into why people donate:

  • Hearts over heads
  • Influenced by others
  • Giving is contagious
  • Tax deductions
  • Family/religious values
  • Show-off to the world


Heuristic Evaluation

The evaluation identified some opportunities for improvement

  • “Sponsor a Child” and “Donate” processes are separated then combined leading to confusion.
  • The donation page is long, and it’s easy for users to miss a step in the process. 
  • Login menu option disappears on mobile. No way for existing users to log in and pre-populate fields to complete processes quickly.
  • No way to capture visitors who are not yet child sponsors or donors.

Competitor and Comparative Analysis

We drew inspiration from other charity websites and mobile apps. We cast the net wide looking at Uber, political sites and other e-commerce apps to understand  how they are redefining the payment of services.

Industry Insights

Google Analytics

The Smith Family was able to provide us some of their Google Analytics data. The data provided a snapshot of how their existing desktop and mobile users were using their website. It provided a window into how users were coming to The Smith Family (for instance, from emails, google searches, or third party websites), and what how they were navigating once they arrived.

Contextual Inquiry

I became a The Smith Family donor, donating money through the mobile version of the website. Experiencing the vast pain that donors do every day, and seeing the emails and letters that arrived days later, thanking me for my donation.

Customer Journey Map




“My heart bleeds for the children”

Pain Points

Wants to donate to children’s charity, but dislikes complicated forms and lack of support.


Support worthy local charities doing good in Australia.

Give a secure safe donation to the latest charity based on greatest needs.



“So, what can I do today?”

Pain Points

Dislikes slow and redundant processes.


To get more involved in children’s causes.

To maintain a long-term association with the cause she is supporting.



“It makes sense to gives 5% of my income to good charities”

Pain Points

Lacks patience for complicated systems.


To make a quick donation without lengthy forms to an effective charity.

To give 5% of income to charities every year.

Feature Prioritisation

We took all these insights into account and designed a responsible version of the website design for mobile screens. We looked at the features most required and prioritized those. We choose to replicate the Charity Water mobile experience to minimize the required number of fields, and break the process into a number of steps.



We sketched the initial  designed, they mocked up in sketch, and then a prototype tested in Invision. From the early on paper iterations, every design was tested with users for feedback. Some ideas fared the test of scrutiny well, others not so much.

Redesign of the Home Screen

Change of Story Section on Home Page

New sponsor a child section on home page.

Sponsor a Child Page

Mobile Donation Process