We were approached by the young homelessness charity, Step by Step, following a significant rebrand that established their direction. The purpose of the website was to make it as easy as possible for young people to access the vital help they needed and for supporters to get involved. Sadly, the charity was facing business-critical issues including a high drop-off rate from donors being directed to third-party platforms and difficulties with supporters being able to register and pay for events. In addition to these basic functions not fulfilling their purpose, Step by Step had identified additional needs to reach people who could volunteer their time and reach people willing to let their spare room out to young lodgers.
In order to help them, we needed to redesign and rebuild the website from the ground up, ensuring first-class UX was at the forefront of everything we created.
The site needed to be as easy for young people in crisis to use and potential supporters to offer help.
Taking a storytelling approach with the use of emotive photography, we created a vibrant and engaging website that strikes the right balance between showcasing the great work the charity does, and signposting how people can help. We chose to feature stories that were as relatable for young people as they were for the people wanting to support the charity. We removed barriers of engagement from the outset by dividing the website into different pathways people could follow to reach their goals.
To help multiple stakeholders to maintain a focus on the site’s users, we identified four audience personas which allowed us to define what information each would need and the goals each would be aiming to achieve. We then created a user experience map to plan out each user journeys, ensuring we were able to create specific areas of the site for specific users. The homepage allows users to identify themselves as either needing help, offering help or wanting to donate, nudging them into the relevant part of the website following their selection.
To maximise donations, we developed a bespoke donation platform that integrated with Stripe, PayPal, and Go Cardless to manage Direct Debit donations. We also introduced a slider to the donation page detailing the genuine impact each size of donation would make. Event participants can now register and pay for events within the site, increasing the overall level of participation. Supporters can easily get in touch to volunteer their time and we introduced strong calls to action promote the opportunity to let a spare room to a young person. All data capture touchpoints in the site are GDPR compliant and integrate with Mailchimp.
Since the launch of the website, we’ve been working closely with Step by Step to measure the ongoing performance of the site and run multi-variant testing to optimise conversion rates. We’ve also developed content and supporting materials for their events and fundraising.
From our very first meeting with Studio Republic, their vision and creativity bowled us over. Thanks to their clear, strong design and highly user-friendly conversion mechanisms, our website now functions as a core arm of our charity. In the first month from Go Live, we had double the number of online donations compared to the same period in the previous year. We have never before had so many enquiries from individuals looking to support our work or volunteer with us.