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How revamp of Razoo website increased dwell time

How revamp of Razoo website increased dwell time

Background

Based in Washington DC, Razoo is a mission-driven online company which aims to revolutionise the philanthropic space.

Its website provides a new way to give and raise money online, by helping donors find inspiring giving opportunities and assisting nonprofits and volunteers in raising money. Razoo aims to provide easy-to-use fundraising pages, social media tools, and donation processing.

For a web-based company such as Razoo, seeking to establish a forward-thinking profile within its sector, a strong and individual internet presence is absolutely crucial to its success.

Challenges

In June 2009, Razoo CEO Sebastian Traeger took the decision to review the design and layout of the company’s all-important website to ensure it was meeting users’ needs effectively. After a comprehensive audit of the Razoo site, Traeger was surprised with the results.

“The site audit gave us a five out of ten, which is clearly below the levels we were aiming for. It was important for us to then understand what we needed to achieve to score at least a nine on future audits.”

Plans to launch a sister site – GiveMN.org – as part of the Razoo network, were an additional factor that drove Traeger to consider carefully the concept of usability and design. The idea behind GiveMN was to provide an online resource which would connect the people of Minnesota with charitable organisations.

As part of the Razoo network, it made sense to ensure the new site mirrored the design and layout of the main Razoo platform. Shortly after its launch on November 2, GiveMN.org was set to support the largest one day online fundraising event ever, Give to the Max Day.

It made sense for Razoo to ensure that the website revamp was scalable and transferable. With future plans to develop further localised giving resources like GiveMN, Razoo needed a portable design that would work across numerous regions.

Solution

Clearleft was initially commissioned to focus on redesigning the look and feel of the Razoo homepage, as well as the site header and footer. Two Clearleft consultants, Paul Annett and Richard Rutter, spent a week working in-house at the Razoo office in Washington DC to get a good feel for the company.

Production director Rutter explains: “It was invaluable spending this time working closely with the Razoo team to help us get our heads into the design work and offer up daily progress. This set the scene for a really good relationship.”

Receiving excellent feedback from users on the homepage redesign, Razoo commissioned Clearleft to complete the remodelling work on the rest of the site, in addition to preparing the GiveMN.org sister platform for launch.

Benefits

Extensive usability testing before the site’s official relaunch proved that the homepage was now communicating the right message to its audience. “In addition to our site testing, I particularly remember one of the Razoo staff telling me that their mum had taken a look at the new homepage and commented, ‘oh so that’s what you do!’. Passing the ‘mum’ test is always important.”

By virtue of creating a professional looking design, the Razoo website was imbued with increased trustworthiness. The concept of ‘social proof’ (the idea that people will do things that they see other people are doing) was incorporated by including elements such as the number of members and charities registered on the site and the total amount raised.

Razoo has since experienced a 30 per cent increase in the length of time users spend on the website. However, the most measurable success of the Clearleft redesign was evident in the GiveMN.org launch on November 2. 

Two weeks later, GiveMN held its Give to the Max Day – one day of campaigning designed to rally Minnesota into giving, with a promise from local companies to match donations of £500,000.

Traffic was busy throughout the day and the result was a resounding success. “We took $14 million worth of donations from 38,000 donors through GiveMN.org in 24 hours,” reports Traeger. “It was an unprecedented online charitable event made possible by the functionality of the well-organised, easy to use and logical website designed by Clearleft.”

Future plans

Clearleft is redesigning the remaining pages of the website with the aim of completion within the next few months. Part of this will involve developing profile and story pages, where individuals can post more information about themselves and their fundraising ideas, and charities can detail individual stories and highlight particular needs.

“We’re very much committed to ongoing improvement and development of the site, so we’ll continue talking to Clearleft to get their advice on possible future projects,” explains Traeger. “We have enjoyed an excellent working relationship with the team, so it’s natural that we will want to call on their expertise again when we need support.”

AJR
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