Welcome to Overthrow Digital's blog where we share our thoughts and ramblings on anything and everything to do with the world of digital communications.
Written by:
Giorgio Criscione

Philanthropic Design - The most rewarding kind of design

I’ve been working here at Overthrow Digital for a year and a half now and I can honestly say that I have worked on some of the most interesting and intriguing projects of my career.

I’m a designer who tries to make every project look as beautiful as possible. I believe that everyone who has the chance to choose between something ugly and something beautiful will end up choosing the easy on the eye option. Apple’s introduction of their head turning iMacs 17 year’s ago, with their bold colours, is the perfect example of this. It sent shockwaves through the boring PC-based industry.

But as a human being I also feel the need to help other people. As designers we have an incredible opportunity to use our skills, expertise and experience to contribute towards helping those that need it the most.

At Overthrow Digital we’re proud of our many philanthropic design projects. It forms an important part of the company culture and ethos. As a growing design firm, Overthrow Digital feels a strong responsibility to give back to the community and takes on pro-bono charity work each year.

A recently completed project that I found extremely compelling and rewarding was for the HPV and Anal Cancer Foundation.

A few years ago a member of my family was unfortunately stricken by the most horrible diagnosis, cancer. In this sort of situation we try to get information from everywhere we possibly can and the Internet is one of the first places look to. I experienced first hand the stress of finding mainly unprofessional websites, which then in turn added to the stress of the situation as a whole.

When we designed the website for the HPV and Anal Cancer Foundation we took specific care to create an easy to navigate user journey. A website of this nature should alleviate some of the stress that the people searching it are under so we wanted to make the website as informative and clutter free as possible.

The psychology of colours was an important tool in the design process for this website. We chose colours that provide a calm and relaxing experience for visitors with the use of light blue, and to reinforce positivity with the use of orange.

Regarding the layout, we carefully considered ways to streamline the way users find the courses and modules they are looking for by adding white spaces between the modules, creating a clean look and feel. Again, like with much of the site, the affect was to make this website as easy to navigate and stress free as possible.

By looking at the analytics of the website, we can see that the desired affects mentioned were achieved. By comparing the website statistics of the month after launch to the same period the previous year we saw that the bounce rate of www.analcancerfoundation.org had dropped a massive 40%.

Page views had increased by 148.79% to 4.61 pages per session up from 1.85. The average time on the new website was also up by 114.8% from 1 minute 31 seconds to 3 minutes 15 seconds. All of these are indications that www.analcancerfoundation.org is now easier to navigate and the user journey has been simplified for visitors.

Designing for extreme crisis situations helped me to understand just how important my job could be. Helping people in the most profound way, simply by not adding to their burdens is an achievement that I will always be extremely proud of.

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