Little Village is a pioneering player in an industry that most of us wish didn’t have to exist – baby banks.
Baby banks are a service where families with babies and young children can attend a pre-organised visit, referred by a professional such as a midwife or social worker, to receive essential clothes and equipment that keep that little human safe.
Our engagement with Little Village was not a professional one; it started with our Founder, Jilly, volunteering at the Camden branch. As a welcome mental health break from two kids under three and running a business, she spent four hours a month folding and sorting clothes and meeting families who needed help.
After a year of getting to know what they do, Team Bravand answered a public call for help with the charity’s UX. They needed a whole new site, but reshaping the current one was the only opportunity on offer at the time.
After many attempts to make it work, the project team had to admit that shutting the old site down and building a new one was the only way to get this charity what they needed. Bravand presented how a new website would deliver operational cost savings, generate funds, and help with the massive operational issues they faced with donations and distribution of stuff during the pandemic.
We got a little money released, and the project was a go.
It starts with UX
This charity has a LOT of user groups! Donors of stuff, donors of money, volunteers, fundraisers, corporate donors, brand partnerships, the press. And that’s outside the people they actually help. Beneficiaries of the service AND the professionals that refer them were in the mix, too, each group having its own requirements both in features and content.
Our team mapped out every user journey, the key pages that deliver the best experience for each user group and of course, the transactions – those interactive elements that let us know we’re getting results.
Then came testing and gathering ideas from the users themselves – our specialist research team met online with volunteers, beneficiaries, supporters and staff, discussing what we’d mapped out and letting them break it to redesign it all over again.
“Opinions were plentiful on this one,” says Head of Insight and Strategy, Ross Musgrove. “The sheer energy from every user group interviewed on what was broken, and what could help to fix it, was just awesome. Our design team basically increased from 4 to 14”.
Release the crayons!
With UX then mapped out and agreed, we got the crayons out.
Essential to the success of this project was working with the agency behind the Little Village branding, Coyote. These guys had developed a beautiful and engaging brand look and feel, and our UI team wanted to create an interface worthy of hosting it. Mobile-first elements we developed included a gorgeous little mobile nav that provided three shortcuts to the top tasks we knew users would want to do. Other key Ui features included a CMS editable wish list to prevent donors of stuff from sending bits that we couldn’t afford to store at any given time. But most importantly, for Christmas 2020, we designed a whole new online shop, allowing supporters of the case to buy a gift from one family to another in the form of a Christmas gift card.
To the coding library!
We didn’t have long to get this thing built – design ran into September, and we needed to be live in time for Christmas campaign time. Our brilliant partners Team Satori worked with our PM team to get every feature coded, tested and live. The efforts of two work placement aficionados were essential in making sure it all worked as it should, combined with a brilliant client team that worked tirelessly on content. A few late nights later, and we were live in early November.
A gorgeous website that finally works on mobile, plus increased traffic, decreased pressure on the charity comms channels, and over £30,000 in donations generated through this store in the three weeks leading up to Christmas. Not to mention a headless build with super speed (oh hi Google), a CMS that doesn’t make admins want to hit their head against their laptops, and a flexible component build, meaning that if changes were needed in January and beyond, they would need our dev team to do them.