Connecting those who can help with those who need help is easier said than done. That’s why E-Solidário (E-Solidarity) was founded in 2010 in Brazil. The website facilitates the process of NGOs finding help and volunteers when they need them, and allows volunteers and donors to discover causes to participate in. Huge’s team in Rio de Janeiro saw an opportunity to use design to help make E-Solidário even more effective.
In 2014, Huge’s Rio de Janeiro team kicked off a program to apply the creative skills of its interns toward social causes. They were challenged to work with a nonprofit of their choice on a pro-bono basis to elevate its cause—and chose E-Solidário. Founded by Gustavo Dutra and Karina Ribeiro, E-Solidário is dedicated to helping local organizations such as Semente do Amanhã (Seed of Tomorrow), which offers sports, cultural and educational activities to poor teenagers in an effort to keep them away from crime. The founders felt that their organization could reach more people, but was being held back by the capabilities of its existing website.
Understanding the pain points inside and out.
Our goal was clear: to help transform E-Solidário into one of the best examples of a digital platform based on solidarity in Brazil. Our team worked closely with the site's founders to understand what their main challenges were and what could be improved most. We also conducted interviews with people who have used the site to make donations, and representatives of the institutions that use it as a way to request help to get a better comprehension of the site’s usability problems.
Through these conversations, we learned that users had a hard time finding the information they were looking for on the website, and many potential donors felt insecure about the initiative’s credibility because of that. As for the institutions using the site, some were finding the process of accepting a donation through the platform too difficult and slow.
A strategy to serve all kinds of users.
With these insights, we started to develop a new strategy and information architecture for E-Solidário. We created specific areas for donors and NGOs that are easily accessible through the homepage. We recommended that the platform accept financial donations for the website’s partners directly through the website, and we implemented geo-localization in order to search for those closest to the donor in a map. Also, we redesigned the entire experience to be responsive, so users could easily access it from mobile devices.
Once the new E-Solidário launched in June 2015, the results were quickly noted: the average time that users take to make a donation fell from 15 minutes to 2 minutes, and NGOs that work with the platform have praised its new and easy-to-use process for receiving donations. Through this relaunch, E-Solidário stands to serve more organizations and people looking to make positive change going forward.