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Original photography by Torunn Skrogstad


Chief Creative Officer
Research, User Experience Design, Wireframing, Branding, Photography, Videography, Front-end Development, and Testing.

Givey is a donation platform which instead of taking commission or charging charities, makes money by creating chargeable value for businesses. However, version one of Givey wasn't a good user experience. A clunky UI and a dated social network didn't offer users the experience of effortless giving. So, in December 2012, CEO Dave Erasmus asked me to come on board as CCO.

My approach
Givey personas

In the past year, I've completely redesigned Givey's platform, starting with comprehensive research including focus groups and stakeholder interviews. Based on findings, I produced personas, user flows and wireframes, that I have tested extensively with users, businesses and charities.

I've devised a content strategy that caters for mobile, tablets and desktop browsing, working closely with the marketing team on the content and messages as the project evolved.

I sketch ideas mostly on paper, sometimes on walls with post-its, and sometimes on an iPad. That way, I'm able to quickly get my ideas across to others in my team.

Givey sketch signup
Examples of user journeys made in Paper by 53.
User journeys in Omnigraffle.

I wireframe and work out information architecture in Omnigraffle, which then becomes the foundation for our development work.

I've set up my own prototyping system, so I can quickly knock out HTML pages to test on our audience. Many of these are dismissed, however some have been so close to hitting the mark, that they've only needed tweaking before being deployed.

Working side by side with Givey's development team, I've developed new skills in Git, Ruby on Rails, agile project management and working with large amounts of live data.

We've kept things lean and agile, and with a few exceptions the team deployed a working version of the product every 7 days (but never before running it by our automated and non-automated tests). A set of key users tested weekly, but for any big releases, I invited stakeholders and external users in for further testing.

Givey testing
Quick sketches during a session with a business user provided excellent findings.
Givey testing outcome
Screenshot of amended business interface based on findings.
Another example of site content that's been heavily tested, is our homepage where we've trialled a variety of messages and imagery. I'm proud that the current homepage sustains a conversion rate of 15% and has created a 4x increase in traffic.

Givey homepage variants
Homepage variants
Example of an active profile
A new journey

When I first joined Givey my primary goal was to make it as easy as humanly possible for a user to donate, and in that I believe I have succeeded. However, as the product progressed we discovered that some of our users not only wanted to donate, but they also wanted to raise money through their own fundraising campaigns.

In order to make this happen, I devised a new strategy based on 'active' and 'ambient' profiles. This means that when a user is 'actively' running a fundraising campaign, they can brand their page with a full screen picture and see their stats displayed as a progress bar. After their campaign finished, the profile returns to 'ambient', where the focus is on donating and setting up a new campaign.

example sketching
Sketching out new user journeys
London Midland Giving
Developing a business

I've played a key role in developing our business offering - Givey for Business - where businesses match their employees' fundraising activities.

The USP has resulted in 40 companies signing up, including UK Transport Company London Midland who match all donations raised and given by their 3500 members of staff.

I've designed and built a dedicated London Midland Giving site, which pulls content from our API and tells the story about the company corporate social responsibility through employees' fundraising campaigns and donations. London Midland have just done an internal launch, and the staff and management are delighted with the product.

The campaign was recently nominated for a IoIC Awards for most innovative use of media.

I blooming love it!!!

Richard Baker, London Midland

Branding and creative direction
Example of a moodboard

I started simply with a G in a speech bubble. From there I directed everything from type, colour, imagery, language and layout. I began with research, moodboards and sketches followed by designing UI elements in various graphics programmes. I built key pages as HTML, designed the grid and defined a pattern library straight in the browser. I always like to use original photography - no stock imagery here - so I organised photoshoots to take photos (and edit them) myself.

After testing and tweaking the UX and UI I worked up a style guide that can easily be picked up by other developers as they add new features. It's of course mobile first, responsive and properly tested on old and new browsers (progressive enhancement FTW!).

The end product is attractive and easy to use. It's up to date with industry standards (if not a little bit ahead) and feedback shows it's a product that is loved by the public.

Acorn Overseas' charity page
Partner campaigns

Partnering with different charities, I've delivered content strategy, creative concepts, graphics and video content for many campaigns. One of our campaigns saw the charity SolarAid winning the Google Global Challenge £500k grant. On World Aids Day, the world ate ice cream and raised money for the charity ChasingZero through our campaign FreezeAids.

Our biggest partner campaign came on the scene alongside our idea of 'consumer matching', where a company could match donations to their corporate charity, or a brand could match donations to users that did charitable activities in their field (for example Nike and London Marathon). To test how this would work, we teamed up with fashion brand OnePiece, who matched all donations to their corporate charity Acorn Overseas.

Interview with Natasha from OnePiece, directed and edited by me.

Integrating with others

I've worked closely with the team at RunKeeper to design and build 'The Burner', a web app that integrates with their API. It allows users to set a fitness goal, for example running 20 miles a week, but it also lets friends bet against that goal. If the goal is met, the money goes to the runner's charity, but if it doesn't, the money goes to the friends' charity.

To test and promote the app, I snowboarded 100 miles for charity and made a video about it.