Making it Millennial

A case study on the Ouelessebougou Alliance

Simplified Quelessebougou Logo

The Client

The Ouelessebougou Alliance is a non-profit based in Utah and Mali, Africa that helps change lives. They work in partnership with local villagers to transform the quality of life in the area by giving them sustainable programs in both health and education. To find out more about what they do or to donate directly click here

Video from Ouelessebougou Alliance

Donations matter

The executive director Judy Hut came to us with a problem - The Alliance’s current donations come from a small but wealthy donor base. They have loved the help from these large donors, but if one decides to stop donating it can devastate the organization. Ouelessebougou needs to increase and diversify the current donor base, as well as improve their visibility in Utah as a non-profit. After hearing Judy’s thoughts and concerns our team decided to focus on a millennial audience to meet the needs of the organization.

Slow it down

Using a whiteboard we took turns of what we assumed about our audience

Before jumping into research it was important to our team to go through our assumptions about millennials relating to donations. This process made our team realize what we thought we knew about our user could be totally wrong. We spent the next several weeks gathering both qualitative and quantitative data.

Our Results

We created a survey to gather information about how our user was using other donations websites, what motivated them to donate to a charity, and other questions related to donating to a cause. From our survey results and interviews we found several prominent patterns.

  1. Millennials like to donate to local organizations
  2. Prefer to donate to places where they have a personal connection with
  3. Enjoy donating in micro-donations

The Audience

From these results we created various profile personas in order to understand our audience better and help us with our redesign. Above is one of our personas Tegan a school teacher who lives in Holladay, Utah.


My markup of the website

The next part of our research included scenario mapping and heuristic markup of the website. Personally through the design process this is one of my favorite parts. Being able to understand step by step how the user will think through the website I think is more valuable than the persona itself. In combination our heuristic markup and scenario map showed how many errors and problems that were currently on the website.

Here are a few of our key findings:

  • Visibility ~A problem on all of our markups. No matter what the screen size the logo and donation button were too small.
  • Minimalism ~We found the website to have way too much information that was lost in nested menus.
  • Flexibility ~Similar to minimalism — we had problems getting around and through the website. We needed to find a way to make the website more fluid and efficient.

Condense the information

Focusing on some of our key findings and also using design principles to roadmap our redesign we started to take a content inventory of the website to find ways we could condense the information but still keep everything the client needed to communicate to her audience.

Laying out the foundation

We sketched out our ideas and then moved on to working on individual wireframes. This was important for us to lay out our main concepts from sketches and to see how our individual taste reflected how we would lay out the information.

Wireframe Design based on our Team Sketches

Surface Comps

From our wireframes we worked together implementing pieces of our design into surface comps. One of the requirements from our client was to not change the current branding or color scheme. We pulled the colors and type style of the current website so that the transition to the new website wouldn’t be as difficult. Voting on our individual surface comps we came to the conclusion that we wanted to use the one below for our final.

Surface Comp Design

Once we had finished our surface comps we worked to create a prototype that would be functional for testing users in our target audience.

Testing our Design

We tested six different subjects in the millennial age group through our prototype. We had each test subject complete two different tasks while we recorded there reactions of the website, how long it took them to navigate to a specific area on the site, and making sure they understood the content flow.

First Scenario

You heard about Ouelessebougou on social media and you are interested in donating to their organization. You have $35 to donate to mosquito netting and need to finish the donation process.

During our testing we found that many people had a difficult time finding the donate button on the menu because it was orange. In my testing interview the subject assumed it was apart of the footer since the other buttons all looked the same. This was problematic but also very valuable in helping us design our next prototype.

Second Scenario

Ouelessebougou builds schools to improve education. You are interested in finding out more about their work in education. Find the location that the school was built in and the year it was built in.

In this test we found that most users found it easy to find this information in a speedy time, but most users in our recorded interviews continually said the word condense. Even though we thought we had condensed information, we realized we hadn’t done it enough. These results helped us immensely on our final prototype.

Final Mobile Surface Comps

You can navigate through our final prototype here:

Final Thoughts

This was a really fun collaborative project. Working in a group helped me grow as a designer by getting new insight and feedback on my work. There definitely were some pieces that we wish we could have spent more time on, but overall I think we delivered what the client asked for through our research and redesign.


For more of my design projects follow along here @bousehaus or visit my website here