The brief was to redesign the website, but the question we asked ourselves was, how can we encourage more user interaction with the charity?
Small charities such as The Migraine Trust are facing extremely difficult times. Survival is all about gaining new supporters and creating engaging content that puts the charity, and it’s message, in front of people on a regular basis.
The Migraine Trust came to fuse8 with a set budget which they had raised through a medical grant. We also added to the budget in the form of a charitable donation, cos we’re nice like that. Still, the aim of the project was to redesign a flawed website.
Now, a website providing information about migraines is only going to be able to go so far in persuading visitors to return time and time again, I should know (I’ve been suffering with migraines for over 8 years), so we started to think of ways to increase engagement and spread the word.
A two-pronged solution
We broke this down into two completely separate proposals, which sat alongside the redesign of the website. As an integrated agency fuse8 are always looking to generate ideas that are delivered through different mediums, and as the creative lead on the project I identified the importance early on to create both a tactile ‘offline’ experience and an online tool that would create a lasting experience for those involved.
The tool was an online Migraine Diary (diary.migrainetrust.org). The first thing I was ever told by a doctor when I started to get migraines was to keep a diary, to list symptoms and habits that might help identify a trigger. Me and Martin (@mspownall), our Information Architect, worked closely to research existing tools, of which there was only really 1…and a bad one at that! We then went onto work together on the IA, creating something that was enjoyable to use, as well as medically valid. The end goal was for the user to have all the information they needed to take to the doctor (as a print out) and get relevant advice based on their data.
The diary has been a huge success for the client. Signs up have exceeded all their expectations, and more importantly have ensured that sufferers are coming back to The Migraine Trust time and time again to use a valuable tool.
Let’s get physical
The second proposal was to create something physical, that would help sufferers share their experience with others.
Some people struggle to explain how migraines affect their life, and often these people don’t have supportive partners or family members to open up to. This got me thinking, and I proposed to the client the idea of creating a ‘travelling diary’ campaign, during which they would send out physical diaries to people interested in taking part. These people would write a 1-2 page diary entry explaining their situation and send it back to The Migraine Trust. The website launch acted as an initial driver to gain interest, collating the data of people willing to participate, and the client actually had to employ someone on a part-time volunteer basis to manage the day to day management of sending out diaries.
Once the diary entries have been sent back, the volunteer scans them in and uploads them to the client’s Flickr account, with the images then being shared via facebook and twitter. One of the benefits of the campaign is the ability for the client to send out additional information with the diary, encouraging people taking part to donate or become a regular supporter.
However, the end goal was to create something that people could invest their time in, knowing that ultimately they are helping others feel like they are not alone in their suffering.
A job well done…
The aspect of the project I am most proud of was our determination to do something that really made a difference. It would have been easy for the agency to simply redo the website, but I like to think we made the most of their budget, creating something that has brought the charity closer to it’s supporters and helped spread their message to a wider audience.