Case Study: Bloody Good Period
Website design | Branding | Content Strategy | Design Lead
Bloody Good Period started in Autumn 2016 to ensure a sustainable flow of feminine sanitary products to asylum seekers, refugees and those who can't afford them.
Pads and tampons are not cheap to buy, especially for those with very limited or non-existent incomes, yet they are an essential item for many. Those who cannot afford them often have to resort to using rags or other less hygienic options since food banks and drop-in centres do not always provide them. What started as a "whip-round" on Facebook is growing into an exciting initiative which now also collects toiletries as well as period supplies.
They needed a website to help support their mission: generating more donations and improving the quality of the donations received, as well as recruiting volunteers to help distribute and organise donations.
By analysing the visitor data for their previous site I was able to identify weak areas and user flows that could be optimised. I designed a new strategy for the website that would support its primary goals (more donations) by reconfiguring the site architecture and content to support new, simpler user flows.
I worked closely with the social media manager to ensure that we were closely aligned in terms of content and messaging, to capture as many potential visitors to the site. Through testing, observation and analysis of these visitors to the live site, I made further adjustments to optimise it as much as possible towards encouraging donations through generating empathy towards our mission with a nice, strong narrative flow.
Through simplifying the user flows, simplifying and clarifying how to volunteer, and communicating BGP needs better through a stronger narrative:
donations have doubled
volunteer sign ups have tripled
the types of items received are more appropriate to the needs of the recipients
The MVP version of the site went live in June 2017, when there were just 3 donation centres, and a team of four. To date, we have raised over £50,000 in cash donations, tens of thousands of pounds worth of products, and serve 16 asylum seeker drop in centres based in London and Leeds. The team now has over 60 volunteers!
"Her design skills, UX and project management skills are excellent, as is her supportive nature and dedication to the project, pushing it far beyond my expectations and producing a beautiful, easy to use site.
In the few weeks since the upgrade by Amy, donations have doubled, volunteer sign ups have tripled and engagement is rapidly growing.
She was able to navigate my often complicated and potentially contradictory needs, producing a clean, organised site, while still retaining the original brutalist and rebellious voice of the organisation.
I would recommend Amy to anyone who requires a highly creative design, research and UX expert who truly cares about the project, down to every last detail, and wants help to exceed expectations throughout. "
Gabby Edlin, Founder of Bloody Good Period
UX and design challenges
Usability of website
The existing website was attracting a reasonably high volume of traffic, however there were concerns around usability and effectiveness.
Responsive design that works on mobile, tablet and desktop
Optimize user flows through site
User testing to ensure usability
Quantity of donations
We wanted to ensure we were converting as many visitors as possible since the level of donations had slumped slightly in recent months.
Make website more informative an engaging, showing who we are and who we help
Increase quantity of donations through providing clearer calls to action
Include a process for accepting financial donations
Quality of donations
Some items are in much higher demand than others at the drop-in centres. Particular brands such as Kotex are always requested so we wanted to encourage those donating to choose the most useful items so that we can best help the women we donate to. We also wanted to introduce a way to donate money to support the founder making this project have a wider impact.
Communicate the most preferred products to make it easier for users to donate
Offer fewer, more streamlined ways to contribute
The brand needed to form a more cohesive online presence across all social media to support the new website
Review and refine existing brand, create new bespoke logo and brand guidelines
Develop a bespoke icon set for use on website and across the web
Optimising user flows
The existing user flow was overcomplicated:to complete a simple task such as getting to the link for the Amazon wishlist took 4 clicks.
There were also multiple calls to action and it wasn't clear what the "default" or most important call to action was: Donate pads, start a collection, donate cash, volunteer, shop at amazon, shop elsewhere, shop at femininty online etc
The Volunteer sign up user flow was also problematic as it lead potential volunteers to a pdf of info with an email address (no hot link) on it, and so there was no way to encourage users to complete their sign up.
The new user flow cuts down the amount of clicks required to find out information or donate. There are just three calls to action: Donating supplies, volunteer, and donate cash and they are all found on the home page.
Volunteers are now given info on the web page and a simple form allows them to sign up there and then, capturing them while their motivation is still high.
Initial Wireframe for homepage
The previous website (below left) was brutalist in it's look and feel, and I was conscious that I did not want to “sanitise” this too much, but was also aware of a need to visually simplify the look of the site.
Using a video of blood like ink (below right) as the opening gambit with a witty pun was a nod to the taboo-crushing attitude of the founder.
I explored a few options for the logo but in the end after discussion with the client, we mutually agreed that the right decision was to retain the pad imagery as the logo, but with a few refinements to make it more versatile for use as an avatar on social media etc. I redrew the logo, iterating on the design till we found the one that worked best. I curated the other complimentary fonts for the site, and designed a set of bespoke period themed icons.
User testing and iteration
I conducted user testing to check usability of the site. On the back of the feedback I received I iterated on the design and made improvements to the copy, font sizes etc to improve usability.
The current donate page functions fine, but requires a fair bit of scrolling to see all the options. I decided to redesign this page to incorporate user feedback and will be updating the site in the near future. I've included the wireframes for the previous design (left) alongside the new design (right) below to show the development.
The proposed donate page (right hand side) will further optimise the user flow for donation by presenting highlighted items which are always in high demand, such as Kotex maxi pads. With a image of the product and a direct link to amazon for purchase, we can further encourage users to choose these items.
In addition this will include a link to the Justgiving site for financial donations. Some users reported that having separate donate pages for giving money and supplies was confusing so bringing all donations onto one page should simplify this.
The MVP version of the site went live in June 2017, when there were just 3 donation centres, and a team of 4. To date, we have raised over £50,000 in cash donations, tens of thousands of pounds worth of products and serve 16 asylum seeker drop in centres based in London and Leeds. The team is now formed of over 60 volunteers!
I am super proud to have contributed to the success of this organisation and I look forward to see how it grows even more in the future.
© Amy Shepheard 2018