Gifts made to Harvard Business School (HBS) are what allow the school to function and thrive. Donations range from money and art to property and securities. Learning how to donate different asset types was a challenge for HBS alumni, and as a result of such, contributions to HBS have remained consistent, but are not growing. The goal was to identify what drives alumni to donate, to channel that drive into more engagement and ultimately into making a contribution.
HBS provided our team with website analytics and the data from their yearly alumni survey, which helped us identify some base pain points within the donation process. The team then recruited a group of alumni, gift officers and giving staff, and interviewed each of them about themselves and about their feelings about donation process, generally: why they donate and why they would choose not to.
The information gathered from the interviews was distilled into 5 different personas. My major contributions began in this phase, where I helped develop the overarching strategy. Each persona type has different interests and reasons to donate, so I developed the idea of creating one-off landing pages that each has content targeted specifically for each persona. The landing page content links to articles on the greater HBS giving site or directly drives them to donate.
The team conducted a card sorting exercise to determine the site map. We then started with whiteboard sketching to determine base content types and areas for each persona. Then, we moved into paper wires, which allowed us to stay in drawing phase and be able to quickly move components around. I then started drawing content blocks and wireframes.
The wireframes were presented to the stakeholders at HBS, and after a few rounds of revision, were developed into Axure prototypes. The next step in the process was to conduct user testing using the prototypes. We tested alumni recruits that had similar attributes and circumstances to that of our personas.
With the feedback from the user testing, I made adjustments to the wireframes and successfully vetted them with the HBS team. I then moved into the design phase, following strict adherence to HBS brand guidelines and their new pattern library. The site has yet to launch, but we are all optimistic that our efforts will drive growth to HBS donations.