Date

Winter 2020

My Role

I was brought in to work with the OBERLAND Agency to figure out a strategy for the Information Architecture of the website for the Women’s Zionist Organization of America, Hadassah.org. The project is an ongoing redesign and is expected to finish in late 2020.

Tools Used

Figma for low-fidelity wireframes, Site-mapping tools, Google Analytics

Overview

Hadassah.org is the non-profit website for the Women’s Zionist Organization of America. Due to the organization’s involvement with very many opportunities, their website has grown substantially in the past several years, causing it to be hard to navigate, even for returning visitors.Hadassah’s main way of interaction with members is through its donations. Unfortunately, the current setup for how donations are processed is segmented into too many smaller sections.

Challenge

How can Hadassah’s webpage restructure itself so that all of the relevant information is still retained, but in a way that’s easier for new or returning visitors to figure out where they would like to go?

The Process

In order to design the next iteration of Hadassah's site, I followed the design thinking process.

The process of empathizing starts with research. What does their website look like? Who are their most frequent users? How long are they viewing the website? Are they coming back? All of these questions and more could be analyzed through stats from user interviews and Google Analytics.

Through a series of interviewing, the most obvious issue with Hadassah's website was its cluttered setup. It's impossible to find anything. After being on the site for some time, I still struggled to remember how to get to particular sections. The issue stems from its navigation menu.

Hadassah's navbar has four main sections - Explore Hadassah, Take Action, Health & Medicine, and Building Community. When hovering over any of these, you notice even more options to consider, bringing about a paradox of choice. Newcomers to the site tend never to come back due to this poorly setup navigation.

Just as telling, the amount of time being spent on the site by the majority of visitors was 10 seconds or fewer.

The navbar also did its part in taking attention away from the Donation button at the top of Hadassah's screen. Being a non-profit, Donations are where Hadassah wants its attention - the more choices available, the less likely this Donations button is to be addressed.

A New Site Map

A number of steps were taken to create a better navigation. From Google Analytics, I was able to understand where people were most interested in going. People were using the search bar to search for particular topics like Hadassah's podcast or Travel program. There was still the issue of finding this material. Instead of having the initial four topics from Hadassah's current navbar, a brand new series of four topics were devised:

  • Get Involved - this was a common theme when checking other non-profit websites. This section would be for any in-person events taking place, speaker events, and Hadassah's popular travel program.
  • Discover - this section would house Hadassah's important Health section, which, before the restructure, had its place in the main navbar. Google Analytics showed that this was not frequently visited, since it didn't belong on the same level as more generic stuff the navbar should have.
  • News - this section would be used to better convey Hadassah's blog, as well as any press reports.
  • About Us - lastly, this section would give more information about all the different types of programs Hadassah offered.

The new structure can now have no more than four sub-categories as seen from the wireframe below:

From the information provided, the following site map was constructed:

This structure was similar to what was seen in a competitive analysis against other non-profits. For example, the Get Involved section was seen in some of the top non-profits like globalgenes.org and charitywater.org. The Discover section took the place of what would usually be called The Mission page, renamed since Hadassah still had quite a few missions of focus.

Fixing Donations

With navigation set to improve through a restructure, the next step in the process was to update the donation field - another issue giving the site a headache. Hovering over the clickable donation button presented a number of more options, giving the user a feeling of uncertainty - how can I donate when I don't understand where my money would be of best use?

To combat this, a uniform donation page was created instead, with a progress bar to give information about how many steps were in the process, tooltips to give much-needed information about each donation option, and a headline that let the user know exactly what type of donation was being made so that they were absolutely sure about their decision.

Outcome and Takeaway

With the redesign process ongoing even after my time working with the OBERLAND agency, official changes have yet to take place on Hadassah’s website. However, with a new structure due to the site maps and new lo-fi wireframes, the Hadassah team was very pleased with where they would like their site to go. The last step in the Design Process - Testing - is now underway.

A lot was learned from this process. For one, Hadassah's team put a huge emphasis on donations, which makes sense, as it's the nature of their non-profit. Unfortunately, due to a lack of structure, users were paralyzed upon entering the website. They saw many choices, but were not directed or eased in any direction, causing a high bounce rate and a low concentration of returning members.