Kickstarter is Growing Into a Way of Life
A look at the UX reveals their deeper motivations
In a world where the products you consume seem to be more important than the origin and story of those products, Kickstarter’s rebrand and new site design, focus on a lifestyle of creating, making and originating.
While we all know Kickstarter as a place where business ventures are born (or die in a fiery pit of failure), the 8 year old crowdfunding site has grown into a place of creativity and creation with the business funding being a means to an end.
Statistics tell a larger story
The editorial inspired rebrand of the homepage tells a clear story of it’s new focus on creating a supportive environment for makers. Across the header we have the mission statement, “Bringing Creative Projects to Life”, given prominence to be sure the directive is always front of mind. Along with their mission statement, their ongoing statistics on total backers, funded projects and live projects and surfaced at the top of the page.
These statistics carry a few duties. They provide a sense of safety to those cautious about supporting a campaign. They can also bolster the spirit of creatives looking to start a campaign. With more than 13 million backers, there must surely be an audience for the ultra-niche, ultra-slim, tactical grade kevlar wallets you make in your basement with your cousins Tobias and Hunter.
More importantly they speak to the impact Kickstarter has had on the creative economy. As a Public Benefit Corporation, they have a legal mandate to consider their impact on society as a whole, not just the impact on the pockets of the shareholders. They produce an in depth benefit statement every year, but at a quick glance you can see the impact right at the top of the site.
The focus on campaigns remain
The remainder of the content above the fold is reserved for the bread and butter of Kickstarter — the crowdfunding campaigns.
The cards that surface the content set a hierarchy of prioritizing the image first. The abundant white space and cleanliness of the layout bring even more emphasis to the imagery. This pulls the user into each project quickly and builds interest before you even discover what the campaign is.
Next in the hierarchy is the title. It provides a better entry point into the “what” of the campaign. Finally the card is completed with the “% funded” amount. This gives the user some social proof as to the success of the campaign.
Cultivation begins below the fold
Below the fold we’re greeted with an inspirational quote. This starts the transition into the content that’s meant to cultivate and inspire.
Curated content from around the internet helps to invigorate those who live their life in search of the latest creation to share or support. They tap sites like Dazed, The Fader and Quartz to bolster their own offers on the Kickstarter blog.
This puts their own content in the same environment as more established writings. They even make the sacrifice of sending users away from the site to other content. They’re willing to put their mission of bringing creative projects to life above the desires of keeping users on the site in the short term. In the long term, their curated content could become a constant well that users return to, to get their creative refresh.
The content runs the gamut from the intersection of art and technology, to experiences that nurture creativity, to resources that sharpen craft. Kickstarter is taking a holistic approach to growing their brand. Strengthening their creatives and makers, instilling them with the confidence to grow their ideas into real products that they can leverage on the Kickstarter platform.
A mature brand
What started as a platform for funding ideas that weren’t viable through conventional methods, has matured into a focused brand that is pruning, polishing, and preparing their users for success. A tailored user experience with a narrow focus guided by the company’s mission may prove to make Kickstarter a lasting force in turning creative dreams into reality.