Doubling conversion rates through user-centred website design

A redesigned and rebuilt website helped Unicef UK double landing page conversion rates, and saw online donations increase by 55%.

Unicef UK
Digital experience
WordPress website design and build

About the project 

Unicef works around the world to keep children safe from violence, disease, hunger and the chaos of war and disaster. Unicef UK raises funds to support this vital work and carries out programs in the UK to promote the rights of children. Their website had last been refreshed in 2010. They wanted to reassess the role that the site played in the organisation’s digital strategy, then rebuild it to improve fundraising and increase the impact of campaigns and advocacy.

Our process to execute this project

Audience-centred design and content strategy

To understand the organisation’s aims we embarked upon a thorough investigation into Unicef UK’s setup, including the different roles with a stake in the website, their ways of working, internal processes and, most importantly, their goals. We then combined this information with research including a review of organisational strategies, a range of data, web analytics, competitor analysis, recent developments in the third sector (especially around public perception of charity donations and data handling) and a review of current website content.

Our user research involved a survey with over 2,000 responses as well as face-to-face interviews with numerous supporters and potential supporters. Working closely with the Unicef UK digital team we were able to produce a number of strategic insights and recommendations.

User personas

With data from user research we were able to build upon the organisation’s existing marketing segments to produce 5 personas representing important types of user. These personas, including detailed but easy to grasp info on needs, common pain points and typical behaviours, would become an ongoing reference for improving user experiences.

User journeys

With the findings from user research and data analysis we were able to produce experience maps for some of the key supporter journeys on the website and make detailed recommendations for how these journeys could be improved.

Content strategy

Our work on personas enabled us to produce a content prism which provides guidance on developing the organisation’s core story through various content types and categories designed to meet the specific needs of users. We also identified opportunities for Unicef UK to increase engagement of supporters through more impactful follow-up communications which allow them to see and share how their money is used.

Information architecture

Open card sorts and an intensive analysis of existing website data helped us produce a new recommended IA for the website, with content grouped in a way that met the expectations of users and improved navigation through key user journeys.

Following the success of the research and strategy phase of the project, we were reengaged to implement the new strategies through designing and building the new website. During this phase we became an extension of the Unicef UK digital team, working in close collaboration to improve experiences for both users and editors.

Technology selection

We were able to advise Unicef UK on a suitable content management system for the new site, taking into account technical capabilities and the desired experience for editors. We also helped integrate legacy platforms with the new site, built with WordPress, for a secure transition with minimal disruption.

Bold typography and imagery

We used the insight provided by our strategy work to develop a visual style for the new site that would dramatically improve the impact of content and its capacity to engage users emotionally. This was achieved through the use of large, full-width images, more dramatic typography and an iconography that would help make clear the far-reaching benefits of the organisation’s work.

Immersive storytelling tools

The site provides editors with an easy-to-use page builder, created in collaboration with the Unicef UK team, which allows them to devise and publish an almost unlimited variety of different page layouts. The drag and drop interface features a wide range of modular components which helps editors tell immersive stories, call attention to important stats, embed calls to action within content, and make the most of the storytelling potential of video and images.

Original motion content

We used our digital video production capabilities to help Unicef UK produce new, original motion content for use on the website, in line with the new content strategy.

Ongoing development and support

As the charity’s appointed digital partner we’re continuing to work closely with Unicef UK as the website, built as a Minimum Viable Product, moves through various stages of testing and launch, incorporates user feedback, and grows into a full-fledged digital marketing platform. We’re providing additional enhancements to the content creation and publishing features, visual assets, help with third-party integrations and general technical support.


Award-winning improvements to fundraising and engagement

Launched in November 2016, conversion rates among website visitors more than doubled. Cash donations increased by 55% per visitor, and, in the following month, Unicef UK received more online donations in a single month than ever before, helping them protect more of the world’s children from hunger, disease and the chaos of war.

The Unicef UK website has since won several awards, including a Silver Lovie Award and People’s Lovie Award for Best Homepage, a Computing Digital Technology Leaders Award for Website Project of the Year, and a Drum Network Award for Charity Campaign/Strategy of the Year.

“We were extremely impressed with the research and strategy your team worked with us to create. Their interpretation of what this meant for our new website made them the natural choice as our digital partner. We’re looking forward to developing this relationship and seeing how much further our digital capabilities can evolve to support our work for children.” – James McDiarmid, Head of Digital Engagement at Unicef UK

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