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Released: January 2012

Released: January 2012 Creating the perfect donation experience Charities fail to make an impact online -
Creating the perfect donation experience
Creating the perfect
donation experience
January 2012 Creating the perfect donation experience Charities fail to make an impact online - we

Charities fail to make an impact online

- we show you how to improve

Contents
Contents

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Foreward

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How charities can embrace online to tackle uncertainty

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Our commitment

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Our approach

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Charity donation framework

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Engage

28

Nudge

36

Support

46

Reward

56

Conclusion

58

Appendix 1

64

Appendix 2

66

Glossary

Foreword

Many charities are feeling the e ffect of the recession. Although the income of some organisations is stable or increasing, the fundraising spend has gone up. While fundraising teams have a hard time balancing the need for a varied portfolio with maintaining a healthy ratio (for example participation events may be in decline but they are key to maintain brand awareness), I feel many organisations are missing out on digital opportunities.

Most charities are taking donations through their website, but the journey is neither engaging, nor inspirational; the experience still feels too similar to buying travel insurance. Too many organisations prioritise full data collection over income. This report shows that the drop out rate during a donation journey is not dissimilar to online shop baskets. Surely, we can build more engaging journeys. The practical advice given in this report should help you to increase income and establish a meaningful engagement between your supporters and your organisation. It may also help your organisation to think (more seriously) about your digital engagement strategy.

Among all the opportunities I foresee for charities, I believe the three main ones to grasp in the next couple of years are:

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.Embracing social media. I am puzzled when I hear there are organisations who still have Facebook banned or have a 2 day turn around to approve a Tweet. Gone are the days when you could rely only search engines or your website address on printed materials to attract supporters. Although it is still di fficult to analyse the direct return on investment from social media, the risk of being left behind is far greater than the opportunities to expand your network of supporters online.

.Being mobile. The way we access websites is changing. It is predicted that soon half of all web visits will be made from a mobile phone. When it takes a couple of clicks to buy a book, an app, a song or watch a movie, online giving should be straight forward. An email address is all you should need to start an engagement journey.

.Moving away from the traditional “donate” model. A few organisations are asking supporters to “invest “in their work or a specific project making it a more rewarding and fulfilling experience. Supporters receive regular and engaging updates (including blogpost, Facebook updates, tweets, videos) encouraging them to share the progress of the organisation with their network. You didn’t simply donate, you joined a movement. Theonline experience should to be adapted to this “citizen social responsibility” trend.

Bertie Bosrédon

Digital Engagement & Social Media

Twitter: @cafedumonde

Breast Cancer Care

Bertie Bosrédon is in charge of information & multimedia for Breast Cancer Care. He’s been working in the voluntary sector for over 10 years and regularly helps organisations engage with their audience through digital channels. He does a podcast for The Guardian Voluntary Sector Network where he interviews chief executives of UK not for profit organisations (www.NFP.org.uk).

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How charities can embrace online to tackle uncertainty

The current forecast for the not-for-profit sector is not looking promising. With 2010/11 experiencing no change in the value of donations, the total amount donated to charities by adults in the UK is estimated to be £11.0 billion i .Recently announced, charities will lose £2.8 billion in public funding between 2011 and 2016 ii . With this dramatic cut, the reality is that charities need to stop copying from each other and start learning about how donors actually behave online.

In a climate where the total amount of charitable giving has remained static this year, together with the Government cuts, charities need to work harder. For online donations, charities need to make sure that donors complete the donation journey. Currently 47% of donors give up before they have made the donation because the online journey is not intuitive and engaging.

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The opportunity

Charities can make their websites and specifically the donation journeys work much harder for them and their donors. This means investing into research to understand how donors think about and use technology. Not just the websites, but tablets and smartphones must also be considered to design a more effective ‘cross-channel’ experience. People want to become donors because they want to help those in need. By making it easy for people to donate, we help them feel good about doing so.

Re-thinking online giving

Charities need to stop copying and start learning about how donors actually behave online and this goes much deeper than reviewing Google Analytics reports. They must appreciate that the digital experience requires a di fferent type of thinking because the self-service model of the web is clearly not working (for example, the over-used ‘build it and they will come’ analogy). This is reflected in the relatively small revenue amounts charities collect digitally. Yet the opportunity is massive. There is a wealth of psychological knowledge and insight to be tapped. Charities need to make donors feel that engaging with them is valuable and treat them with the gratitude they deserve because without them the consequences do not bear thinking about. They have to discover new approaches and ways of tackling online giving and embrace how the digital landscape works and not how they would like it to work or think it works. Online requires a di fferent way of thinking. However, charities have vast experience and knowledge accumulated over many decades. They have to learn how to translate all that knowledge into a deeply engaging digital experience. This report will help to accelerate the process.

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Our commitment

In 2011, following our involvement with the Institute of Fundraising at their National Convention, we made a commitment to support the not-for-profit (NFP) sector to provide a more engaging donation experience. Nomensa’s CEO, Simon Norris set Nomensa the challenge of developing a donation framework that charities could implement that would allow them to connect with donors more deeply. This report will walk the reader through our research and show you how to apply our Donation Framework to your website.

Our commitment to the NFP sector will not stop. As we learn and uncover more insights about how people use and engage with charities we will share them on our blog; Humanising Technology.

We hope you find it useful and interesting.

The @we_are_nomensa Team.

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Our approach

In this research we evaluated the websites and social media presence of the three leading cancer charities in the UK:

.Cancer Research UK (www.cancerresearchuk.org)

.Macmillan Cancer Support (www.macmillan.org.uk)

.Marie Curie Cancer Care (www.mariecurie.org.uk)

This provided us with valuable insight into how the framework could work and where recommendations could be made to make significant improvements to the online donation journey of any charity website.

For each charity, we performed the following research activities:

.An expert user experience review of the online donation journeys

.One-to-one usability testing of the online donation journeys

.Social media evaluation

More detail on each of these research activities is outlined in Appendix 2 on page 64.

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Charity donation framework

Our Charity Donation Framework (shown in Figure 1) has four stages. Described from the perspective of online donations, these stages are:

Engage

During this stage the potential donor becomes emotionally engaged with the charity. This can occur o ffline (for example, through a television advert or appeal) or online (through case studies, online videos or other content).

Nudge

At this point, the donor is tipped over into actually deciding to make a donation. This typically occurs on the “Donate” landing page and is supported by a range of subtle features, such as suggested amounts, imagery and wording. Messaging is important and should be consistent with other online and o ffline messages.

Support

This refers to the support that the donor needs while stepping through the donation process. If this process is designed well and reflects user expectations it will feel shorter, more intuitive and ‘right’.

Reward

Having completed the donation, the donor should be rewarded with a positive thank you message and encouragement to engage further.

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Engage

Engage Nudge Support Figure 1: Nomensa’s charity donation framework In the following report, we discuss this

Nudge

Engage Nudge Support Figure 1: Nomensa’s charity donation framework In the following report, we discuss this

Support

Engage Nudge Support Figure 1: Nomensa’s charity donation framework In the following report, we discuss this

Figure 1: Nomensa’s charity donation framework

In the following report, we discuss this framework and how each point can be actioned, persuading your visitors to become donors.

Reward

report, we discuss this framework and how each point can be actioned, persuading your visitors to
Engage
Engage

As more people look online to make purchases and indeed, donations, a charity’s website is relied upon more and more to guide people to complete that all important donation.

to guide people to complete that all important donation. Research has shown that 47% of people

Research has shown that 47% of people who start a donation journey do not get to the end of the journey.

Although some people are strongly motivated to donate to a particular charity because of personal circumstances, others will be more ambivalent, having seen an advert on television for example. For these more

ambivalent potential donors, it is essential that the homepage and donation page of the website engages with them, and nudges them toward donating.seen an advert on television for example. For these more Research has shown that 47% of

Research has shown that 47% of people who start a donation journey do not get to the end of the journey iii . Charities must work hard for their donations and ensure a smooth user experience from start to finish.

In this section, we review how well the websites motivate people to donate, with a particular focus on the homepage and the journey to the donation forms , and provide best practice recommendations for homepage and the journey to the donation forms, and provide best practice recommendations for how you can motivate visitors positively to begin the donation process.

Charities fail to make online impact | Nomensa 2012

1. Promote outcomes of the charity’s work; Convey a sense of urgency 14 Figure 2:

1. Promote outcomes of the charity’s work; Convey a sense of urgency

outcomes of the charity’s work; Convey a sense of urgency 14 Figure 2: Cancer Research UK
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Figure 2: Cancer Research UK homepage carousel

The e ffects of Cancer Research UK’s work are shown in the carousel at the top of the homepage (see figure 2). This will help to motivate donations by showing what the money is spent on. The urgent need for further funding is illustrated by images with people who have lost someone to cancer.

However during the usability testing phase of this research, a number of participants commented that they would like to see more

concrete information about what Cancer Research UK does and why they need the money. Several people commented that they would go to sections such as “Support us” to find out more before committing to a donation. The homepage could provide more reassurance and information through a brief explanation of the charity’s main work, removing the need for the visitor to explore elsewhere. Images of the work funded by Cancer Research UK would also

Figure 3: Cancer Research UK donate landing page help. Further improvements could be made to

Figure 3: Cancer Research UK donate landing page

help. Further improvements could be made to the carousel to make it clearer how Cancer Research UK has contributed to saving lives and to explain why donors’ support is still needed.

The text on the donate landing page however conveys what Cancer Research UK does and why they need donor support particularly well (see figure 3). Emphasising that they receive no Government funding helps clarify

the importance to donors.

The text could also be further refined to explain in more detail how Cancer Research UK help people with cancer. There could also be greater clarity regarding the urgent need for funding. This could be done by explaining how many applications for funding they have to turn down.

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1. Promote outcomes of the charity’s work; Convey a sense of urgency Figure 4: Macmillan

1. Promote outcomes of the charity’s work; Convey a sense of urgency

outcomes of the charity’s work; Convey a sense of urgency Figure 4: Macmillan Cancer Support donate

Figure 4: Macmillan Cancer Support donate call-to-action from the carousel

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Macmillan Cancer Support convey a sense of urgency on their homepage by placing a donate call-to-action within the page element (using the overview by detail pattern which is similar to a carousel) which ensures that this information is given priority on the page and will catch visitors’ eyes (see figure 4).

However, we know from previous usability testing exercises as well as the analysis of data from many other websites that visitors do not tend to click through to the other items within carousels. Indeed, half of the participants commented that the Macmillan Cancer Support homepage did not motivate them to donate. This emphasises the need to move the “Donate today” content up the page.

During the usability testing sessions half of the participants commented that the Macmillan Cancer Support

donate landing page (figure 5) made them feel that donating would be fun. It is critical to make donations seem appealing in this way as the process is not the most exciting online transaction. Introducing elements into the process that make it feel less routine will increase a donor’s sense of curiosity and therefore engagement. This is a factor that can be exploited and will drive increased motivation leading to greater ‘click-throughs’.

Figure 5: Macmillan Cancer Support donate landing page The Macmillan Cancer Support donate page could

Figure 5: Macmillan Cancer Support donate landing page

The Macmillan Cancer Support donate page could be further optimised to encourage donations:

. Showcasing social proof prominently would encourage potential donors to think that “people like me are also supporting Macmillan Cancer Support”.

. Including images that illustrate the work that Macmillan Cancer Support does. At the end of the donation journey, on the thank you page, Macmillan Cancer Support use an image of a mother and child with a message explaining that it is because of the charity that the mother is still alive. In usability testing sessions, participants reacted favourably to this image, commenting that they felt emotionally connected to the image and its sentiment. Using imagery such as this on the donation page would help show the direct benefit of donating.

. Provide brief descriptions of the ways in which donations will directly support Macmillan Cancer Support’s work, for example “£20 will fund…”. It would also help to motivate donations by providing concrete examples that people can easily relate to.

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1. Promote outcomes of the charity’s work; Convey a sense of urgency 18 Figure 6:

1. Promote outcomes of the charity’s work; Convey a sense of urgency

outcomes of the charity’s work; Convey a sense of urgency 18 Figure 6: Marie Curie Cancer
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Figure 6: Marie Curie Cancer Care homepage

The Marie Curie Cancer Care homepage (figure 6) clearly illustrates what the charity does. The carousel clearly shows that the main focus is on providing hospices and the content below also makes clear that nursing is a big part of their work.

During usability testing, all participants said that they would click through from the carousel on the homepage to find out more about the hospices and what Marie Curie Cancer Care does before committing to donate. Several participants commented that they wanted to find out more about “where

the money goes”. Marie Curie Cancer Care should ensure that it is immediately obvious what the charity does and how donations are used. This will instil trust in the user, nudging them to donate.

A strapline, a simple “what we do”

section and case studies on this page would really help to promote the

e ffects of their work.

Additionally, this page does not convey a sense of urgency for support and donations. During usability testing sessions, 67% of the participants

During usability testing sessions, 67% of the participants commented that it is not clear why Marie Curie Cancer Care need donations

commented that it is not clear why Marie Curie Cancer Care need donations. A sense of urgency can be conveyed through key messages that explain why they need support. For example:

.The fact that they rely on public support and receive no Government funding.

.The number of people needing support from Marie Curie Cancer Care.

.The number of people who are on waiting lists for hospice places.

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2. Provide social proof The Facebook “likes” on the homepage of the Cancer Research UK

2. Provide social proof

The Facebook “likes” on the homepage of the Cancer Research UK (see figure 7) provide social proof and will help potential donors to see that “people like me” support this charity. This can be one of the strongest forms of

this charity. This can be one of the strongest forms of Twitter and Facebook are an

Twitter and Facebook are an excellent way of reiterating trust with a charity

motivation. Twitter and Facebook are also an excellent way of reiterating trust with a charity. In the usability testing, participants said that they would follow the Facebook link from this homepage to see what people are

saying about Cancer Research UK.the Facebook link from this homepage to see what people are Other forms of social proof

Other forms of social proof that could be used include a live list showing recent donations and support. This is provided within the My Cancer Research UK microsite (myprojects. cancerresearchuk.org, see figure 8). This list shows that other people are actively donating and gives potential donors the feeling of being part of a

bigger community. and gives potential donors the feeling of being part of a 20 Figure 7: Facebook ‘likes’

donors the feeling of being part of a bigger community. 20 Figure 7: Facebook ‘likes’ featured
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Figure 7: Facebook ‘likes’ featured on Cancer Research UK homepage

Figure 8: “Recent donors” section from homepage of the My Cancer Research UK microsite 21

Figure 8: “Recent donors” section from homepage of the My Cancer Research UK microsite

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3. Explain where the money goes There is a simple explanation of how each £1

3. Explain where the money goes

There is a simple explanation of how each £1 is spent by Cancer Research UK. This information will help to reassure donors as to how their money will be used. Being so transparent and honest with visitors will work favourably.

However, on the Cancer Research UK site, the information is slightly lost in the text and could be better presented to be more engaging. A good example is taken from the Save the Children homepage (see figure 9).

Being so transparent and honest with visitors will work favourably.

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Figure 9: “Where your money goes” section from the Save the Children homepage 23

Figure 9: “Where your money goes” section from the Save the Children homepage

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4. Allow donors to choose how their donation will be used Figure 10: Cancer Research

4. Allow donors to choose how their donation will be used

4. Allow donors to choose how their donation will be used Figure 10: Cancer Research UK

Figure 10: Cancer Research UK Donate page with option to donate by cancer type

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The option to donate to a particular project is a good addition. Donors like to be able to choose how their donation will be used (rather than feeling that it is going into“one big pot” or being used to fund things that they do not feel so strongly about).

Cancer Research UK allows users to choose the cancer type they would like to support. By clicking ‘by cancer type’ on the donate page, the potential donor is taken to a microsite (myprojects.cancerresearchuk.org) where they can choose a cancer type and then a particular research project to fund (see figure 10). Similarly, on the Macmillan Cancer Support website,

potential donors can choose one of six projects to donate to (ranging from Macmillan Cancer Support nurses to a hospital haematology unit). This allows donors to really feel that they have control over how their money will be spent, helping to reassure them and motivate a donation to their chosen project.

 
 
 

The option to donate to research into a particular cancer type is a good addition. Donors like to be able to choose how their donation will be used

into a particular cancer type is a good addition. Donors like to be able to choose
into a particular cancer type is a good addition. Donors like to be able to choose
like to be able to choose how their donation will be used Figure 11: Example project

Figure 11: Example project from the My Cancer Research UK microsite

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5. Balance content on the home- page for di ff erent audiences The content on

5. Balance content on the home- page for di ff erent audiences

The content on the Macmillan Cancer Support homepage caters for a range of audiences. The content is primarily aimed at people personally a ffected by cancer, but there is also information for a general audience who want to support the charity. Participants responded well to the images used on the homepage.

However, the homepage does not really convey what Macmillan Cancer Support does. It is not clear what work any donations will fund. A strapline outlining the outcomes and benefits of their work would really help as would case studies or a “what we do”section.

The Marie Curie Cancer Care homepage is the simplest of the three that were evaluated. Participants especially liked the bright colours and clear branding. The page provides good balanced content for di fferent audiences, such as people who need Marie Curie Cancer Care’s support and people who want to support the charity. Several participants commented on the prominence of the “shop” and commented that they would be more likely to support an unfamiliar charity by shopping with them and building a relationship with the charity in that way.

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Participants commented on the prominence of the shop and said that they would be more
Participants commented on the prominence of the shop and said that they would be more

Participants commented on the prominence of the shop and said that they would be more likely to support an unfamiliar charity in this way

on the prominence of the shop and said that they would be more likely to support
on the prominence of the shop and said that they would be more likely to support
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Nudge
Nudge

Once the donor has been engaged it is imperative we maintain their motivation. The whole experience should feel seamless and must work to make the donor feel they are moving in the right direction. This means the

feel they are moving in the right direction. This means the The design must catch more

The design must catch more than the donor’s eye, it must begin to touch their heart

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design must catch more than the donor’s eye; it must begin to touch their heart.

At the Nudge stage of the process, the donor is being tipped over into actually deciding to make a donation. This

typically occurs on the “Donate” landing page and is supported by a range of subtle features, such as suggested amounts, imagery and wording. The use of messaging is very important and should be consistent with other online and o ffl ine messages. Ultimately, we want donors to feel empathy and deeply relate with the ffline messages. Ultimately, we want donors to feel empathy and deeply relate with the messages, and by extension, the charity.

In this section we review the

homepage and journey to the

donation forms again. This time with a view to evaluating how well the websites nudge and encourage donors to donate.deeply relate with the messages, and by extension, the charity. In this section we review the

Creating the perfect donation experience | Nomensa 2012

1. Provide a clear next step for making a donation 30 303030 The homepage of

1. Provide a clear next step for making a donation

1. Provide a clear next step for making a donation 30 303030 The homepage of Cancer

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The homepage of Cancer Research UK has a clear call-to-action box midway down the page (figure 12) which really stands out. For potential donors who are already engaged with the charity, their next step is very clear: clicking the donate button takes them straight to the donation form.

A clear donate action on the page helps people to find the route to donation easily. As an example, the Marie Curie Cancer Care website provides a donate action that is eye-catching in the main navigation (figure 13). The subtle al­ teration to styling and placement at the end of the list will help to draw attention to this button. However, there is no clear call to donate within the carousel-like page element or other homepage content.

Macmillan Cancer Support also highlight the option to donate in the navigation (figure 14). By placing the donate option last in the navigation, Macmillan Cancer Support have en­ sured that anyone exploring the site by browsing through the navigation options will come to this page last, at which point they should be familiar with Macmillan Cancer Support and, hopefully be ready to make a donation.

A clear donate action in the main navigation really helps people to find the route
A clear donate action in the main navigation really helps people to find the route

A clear donate action in the main navigation really helps people to find the route to donation easily.

A clear donate action in the main navigation really helps people to find the route to
A clear donate action in the main navigation really helps people to find the route to

However, the significantly di fferent styling on this option makes it harder to spot than the other navigation options. In addition, the “Donate online today” panel is quite lost at the bottom of the page. The sentence here is very motivational, but it is not clear many people will actually get this far as there is a lot of other content on the page. It would be better if this content was placed higher up the page.

Figure 12: Panel to donate on the Cancer Research UK homepage Figure 13: Marie Curie

Figure 12: Panel to donate on the Cancer Research UK homepage

Figure 12: Panel to donate on the Cancer Research UK homepage Figure 13: Marie Curie Cancer

Figure 13: Marie Curie Cancer Care navigation

UK homepage Figure 13: Marie Curie Cancer Care navigation Figure 14: Macmillan Cancer Support navigation 31

Figure 14: Macmillan Cancer Support navigation

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2. Promote regular giving The line on the Cancer Research UK website “Make a monthly

2. Promote regular giving

The line on the Cancer Research UK website “Make a monthly donation and help us plan our research” is a nice concise way of promoting the benefits to the charity of making a regular donation.

the benefits to the charity of making a regular donation. More could be done to promote

More could be done to promote regular donations, including example amounts (to show how affordable a regular donation can be)

amounts (to show how a ff ordable a regular donation can be) 32 323232 This could

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This could be promoted further with

some example donation amounts and explanations of the di fference that each suggested donation amount would make. One example is from Oxfam’s donation page (figure 15). Oxfam provide two “shopping lists”

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one for regular donations and one

for single donations. Hovering over an

image displays text explaining what the donation will provide (for example,“£5

month can buy 24 buckets to help keep water clean”).

a

The Macmillan Cancer Support page has a good di fferentiation between regular and one-o ff donations, clearly explaining how a regular donation will help with long-term projects. Stressing the importance of the charity’s long-term strategy and goals will encourage extended engagement and regular giving, which is much more valuable.

long-term strategy and goals will encourage extended engagement and regular giving, which is much more valuable.
Figure 15: Example donation amounts from Oxfam’s donate page 33 333333

Figure 15: Example donation amounts from Oxfam’s donate page

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3. Provide alternative ways to donate The Cancer Research UK donate page promotes several other

3. Provide alternative ways to donate

3. Provide alternative ways to donate The Cancer Research UK donate page promotes several other ways

The Cancer Research UK donate page promotes several other ways to donate. These cater for people who do not feel confident transacting online. However, care should be taken that there are not too many choices, as they can easily overwhelm potential donors and lead to abandonment. A participant in our usability testing commented that the Cancer Research UK donate page felt too busy with options for how to donate.

The Macmillan Cancer Support page provides eight other ways to donate, together with five other ways to support Macmillan Cancer Support. A third of participants commented on the distracting number of links (options) on this page. While it is good to provide other options, these should not be so numerous that they distract people from the primary goal of this page (to make a donation). The main choices should be given much greater priority over more marginal options, so the experience ‘feels’ easy rather than overwhelming and complex.

While it is good to provide other options, these should not be so numerous that
While it is good to provide other options, these should not be so numerous that
While it is good to provide other options, these should not be so numerous that

While it is good to provide other options, these should not be so numerous that they distract people from the primary goal.

While it is good to provide other options, these should not be so numerous that they
4. Include “trust” symbols On both the Macmillan Cancer Support and Cancer Research UK websites,

4. Include “trust” symbols

On both the Macmillan Cancer Support and Cancer Research UK websites, the FundRaising Standards Board logo is displayed at the bottom of the page. Although none of the participants in the usability testing sessions recognised the FundRaising Standards Board as an organisation, this type of logo does help to reassure

potential donors, many of whom are concerned about online security.

Other potential logos that could be included to help reassure donors are the VeriSign logo and credit card logos (as appropriate). These are more widely recognised and trusted.

donors are the VeriSign logo and credit card logos (as appropriate). These are more widely recognised
donors are the VeriSign logo and credit card logos (as appropriate). These are more widely recognised
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Support
Support

Making an online donation to a charity is very different from an e-commerce transaction. However people expect some of the same standards to apply. The donation process should not feel like an online checkout, but it should be quick, straightforward and well supported. In this section we review the donation forms.

Although many participants in usability testing state that once they have decided to donate they will continue with the process whatever, we know that this is not actually the

47% of people who start a donation, do not get to the end of the journey

case, with 47% of people who start a donation not getting to the end of the journey.

Factors such as perceived poor levels of security, a long and difficult process, poor error handling and intrusive questions will all put potential donors off.

Charities fail to make online impact | Nomensa 2012

1. Provide a clear progress indicator On the Cancer Research UK site there is a

1. Provide a clear progress indicator

On the Cancer Research UK site there is a clear progress indicator at the top of each step (see figure 16) showing how many steps there are and which one the donor is on.

This gives the donor a good idea of how long the process will take and what to expect next.

On the Macmillan Cancer Support donation journey, the progress indicator also shows the donor how many steps there are and which step they are currently on (for example, “Step 1 of 5”). However, unlike the Cancer Research UK donation journey, the indicator does not show what the

next steps will be. This can cause uncertainty for the donor. In addition, the Macmillan Cancer Support donation journey has five steps which is longer than the usual donation journey (which is typically just one or two steps – personal details and then payment details);

Step 1: Your donation

Step 2: Your details

Step 3: About your donation

Step 4: Card details

Step 5: Credit Card Security Check

2. Streamline the donation process The process of donating to Marie Curie Cancer Care has

2. Streamline the donation process

The process of donating to Marie Curie Cancer Care has only three steps which is more streamlined than Macmillan Cancer Support and Cancer Research UK. The three steps are shown below. To streamline the process even further, the last two steps could be combined into a single payment step.

Step 1: Donation details and personal details

Step 2: Select payment method (in a third-party WorldPay system)

Step 3: Enter payment details (WorldPay)

 
 
 

The lack of a progress indicator means that the donor does not know how many steps are involved or what to expect next.

The lack of a progress indicator means that the donor does not know how many steps
The lack of a progress indicator means that the donor does not know how many steps

However, although streamlining the process and minimising the number of steps is very important, it is equally important to let donors know what to expect. The lack of a progress indicator on the Marie Curie Cancer Care website means that the donor does not know how many steps are involved or what to expect next. In addition to this, the “Donate” button at the bottom of the first step is misleading. The donor may think that clicking this button will complete the process. A label such as “Next” would make it clearer that there are subsequent steps.

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3. Isolate the donation process On the Cancer Research UK site, the navigation has been

3. Isolate the donation process

On the Cancer Research UK site, the navigation has been removed from the steps in the donation journey, thus reducing the opportunity for the donor to abandon the process.

the opportunity for the donor to abandon the process. Figure 17: Cancer Research UK donation journey

Figure 17: Cancer Research UK donation journey where the navigation has been removed

4. Continue to provide motivation and reassurance Due to the high number of people that

4. Continue to provide motivation and reassurance

Due to the high number of people that abandon a donation process having started it, it is important to continue to motivate and reassure donors throughout the process.

On both the Cancer Research UK and Macmillan Cancer Support websites, the forms are well branded and styled which will help reassure donors that the forms are part of the charity. During the testing of the Marie Curie Cancer Care website, participants commented that they were not immediately confident that the payment process was still linked to the charity. By ensuring branding and styling remain consistent throughout a payment process, donors will feel more confident of their transaction and more motivated to complete it.

Macmillan Cancer Support, Marie Curie Cancer Care and Cancer Research UK prominently showcase credit card logos including “Verified by Visa” and “Mastercard Securecode” on the payment step. These are well recognised and reassure the user about security. During usability testing, participants voiced concerns about the security of the transaction on the Marie Curie Cancer Care site however, as the logos did not appear on the first page of the payment steps.

Cancer Research UK also use WorldPay and the FundRaising Standards Board logos, which although not widely known are also reassuring to some users. These logos are hidden at the bottom of the page however,

and should be moved higher to reinforce reassurance of payment protection.

On the Macmillan Cancer Support site, example donation amounts are provided on step one which will help the donor to determine how much to give. However, these could be positioned better as where they currently sit, below the “Next” button, means that many donors may not see them. Additionally, it would be beneficial to see this information earlier (on the donate landing page for example). Also, the example donation amounts are not present on the first step, but on subsequent steps. This is potentially o ff -putting as it makes donors feel that Macmillan Cancer Support is just asking them to increase their donation, rather than being grateful that they are taking the steps to donate.

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5. Follow form design best practice Donation forms should follow design best practice so that

5. Follow form design best practice

Donation forms should follow design best practice so that they are as easy and seamless to complete as possible. Some of the highlights from the three charities we looked at include:

.Both Cancer Research UK and Marie Curie Cancer Care’s forms indicated required fields clearly and were well laid out with headings and clear labels.

.All three sites had excellent address look-up functionality which makes completing the form easier for donors.

.On the Cancer Research UK website, providing a phone number was optional. Participants commented that this was good as they are often unsure about providing a telephone number for fear of being bombarded by phone calls.

.The ability to opt-in/out of future communications on step two of the Cancer Research UK website is done very well done and should result in a good proportion of people signing up. The donor can opt-in and there is an explanation of what to expect and a choice of communication methods (email or mobile). All of this should reassure donors and encourage them to sign-up. Similarly, both Macmillan Cancer Support and Marie Curie Cancer Care have good opt-in options. The level of control that donors are given here will work favourably for the charity, instilling confidence in signing up to communications.

.On the Marie Curie website, error handling is well designed. Figure 18 shows that when an error is made, the focus is placed on the first field in error and there are clear messages by the field(s) which have errors explaining how to correct each mistake. It is important to indicate not just that there is an error but also provide an explanation of what to do to correct the mistake. Ideally, against the field by which the error has been made.

.The Marie Curie Cancer Care website was the only one where participants did not feel hindered by marketing questions. It is important not to ask donors questions that they will find off -putting. This could cause people to abandon their journey if they feel uncomfortable about providing the information. For example, on the Cancer Research UK site, donors are asked “Why are you making this donation?”. Although it was an optional field, it was felt too personal by usability testing participants.

 
 
 
It is important to indicate not just that there is an error, but also provide

It is important to indicate not just that there is an error, but also provide an explanation of what to do to correct the mistake.

to indicate not just that there is an error, but also provide an explanation of what
provide an explanation of what to do to correct the mistake. Figure 18: How error forms

Figure 18: How error forms are handled on the Marie Curie Cancer Care donation form

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6. Encourage Gift Aid sign-up If an eligible donor signs up to Gift Aid, the

6. Encourage Gift Aid sign-up

If an eligible donor signs up to Gift Aid, the charity can claim extra money on the donation from the Government at no cost to the donor. It is obviously very valuable to get eligible donors to

sign-up. All three sites managed to keep Gift Aid very simple (it can sometimes appear complex and overwhelming which discourages sign-up).

appear complex and overwhelming which discourages sign-up). Figure 19: Gift Aid section in the Cancer Research

Figure 19: Gift Aid section in the Cancer Research UK online donation process

section in the Cancer Research UK online donation process Figure 20: Gift Aid section in the

Figure 20: Gift Aid section in the Macmillan Cancer Support online donation process

Figure 21: Gift Aid section from Oxfam’s online donation process. The green highlighting appears when

Figure 21: Gift Aid section from Oxfam’s online donation process. The green highlighting appears when the checkbox is selected.

However, it is useful to illustrate the

di fference that Gift Aid will make for

this donation (in other words, including a line such as “Your donation of £10 will be worth £12.50 with Gift Aid”).

A good example is provided within

Oxfam’s online donation process (see figure 21). When the donor ticks the

box to apply Gift Aid to their donation, the section below is highlighted. This emphasises and reinforces the

di fference that Gift Aid will make for

this specific donation.

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Reward
Reward

When a donor has successfully completed an online donation, they should feel like they have made a worthwhile contribution. Unlike with online shopping, there is no tangible reward (no goods in the post), instead the reward for making a donation should be to help the donor feel even

This will then encourage the donor to engage further with the charity and to spread the word amongst their friends and family

better about what they have just done – rewarding them with a really positive emotion. This will then encourage the donor to engage further with the charity and to spread the word amongst their friends and family. In this section, we review the thank you pages at the end of the donation process.

1. Encourage donors to “spread the word” on social media channels In order to further

1. Encourage donors to “spread the word” on social media channels

In order to further engage with donors, the thank you page is widely used to encourage prolonged interaction with the charity. The thank you page is a great opportunity to provide some suggested next steps for the user. By o ffering up social media channels at this point, donors are likely to respond and make the step of long- term interaction, by following on Twitter or becoming a fan on Facebook. These forms of ‘keeping in touch’ will continually remind the donor of the charity and as they have already been motivated to donate before, will encourage further donations. This continued engagement with a charity past the point of donation will build a relationship that will secure ongoing support for the charity.

All three charities encourage donations through regular events; Cancer Research UK have Race for Life, Macmillan Cancer Support hold Co ffee Mornings and Marie Curie Cancer Care have Wear Something Yellow days. These events thrive through social media.

Encouraging participants to share their experiences of these events through social media creates a community attitude, recruiting more people to get involved and widening the scope for donation.

On the Cancer Research UK website, the very prominent “Share” section stands out on the thank you page. Engaging donors through social media

is a great way to spread the word about your charity. It also provides an informal way to keep people up to date with what’s going on including the latest campaigns and events. One participant said that they would follow up to find out what people are saying about Cancer Research UK on Facebook and Twitter.

During the usability testing sessions we also found that many people are also unwilling to click on social media links when they are not sure what the outcome will be. It is therefore a better approach to provide specific details and to allow people to share their support for your charity (rather than the specific details). As an example, Oxfam provide very clear and persuasive calls to spread the word on both Twitter and Facebook (figure 22).

Through the testing we also found that many people are also unwilling to click on
Through the testing we also found that many people are also unwilling to click on

Through the testing we also found that many people are also unwilling to click on social media links when they are not sure what the outcome will be.

found that many people are also unwilling to click on social media links when they are
found that many people are also unwilling to click on social media links when they are
Figure 22: Example social media call to action from the thank you page after making

Figure 22: Example social media call to action from the thank you page after making a single online donation to Oxfam

(The “Find out more” section at the bottom of the page on the Cancer Research UK site includes a number of links to pages within the site to find out more about the work the charity does. However, this section is poorly placed (right at the bottom of the page) and is not very engaging. Only one participant said that they would be likely to follow these links with others saying that there was no real call- to-action to continue exploring the site.

Changes that would help to keep people interested that would encourage them to engage further include:

.Moving this section up the page to give it more prominence

.Adding some images and breaking the text up; to be more readable

.Adding sub-headings to direct people to relevant content (such as: Find out more, Support us, and See how we can help)

.Putting the main navigation at the top of the page to make it easy for people to get back into the website

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1. Encourage the donor to engage further with the charity 50 On the Macmillan Cancer

1. Encourage the donor to engage further with the charity

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On the Macmillan Cancer Support website, the navigation at the top of the page makes it easy for donors to explore the site and continue to interact with the charity. Half of the participants said that they would browse or click on the story to find out more about how their donation would be used.

Additional ways to engage donors could include providing some suggested next steps. These should not be financial, but could include options such as volunteering, campaigning or signing a petition. Again, the thank you page for Marie Curie Cancer Care provides some good examples of this (see figure 23).

The Marie Curie Cancer Care thank you page does a very good job of encouraging the donor to engage further. The “Where your money goes” and “Meet our nurses” sections will help reassure the donor about the value of their donation and the

di fference it makes.

These sections are placed a little too far down the page though and should be given more prominence. In addition, the “Get fundraising” call to action could be seen as a bit strong. The donor has just given some money and this call-to-action could be seen as ungrateful. It would be better to ask for a di fferent type of commitment (such as volunteering) at this point.

The top navigation on the Marie Curie Cancer Care thank you page lets the

donor get back to the main site easily. However, donors could be encouraged to explore by placing some contextual links within the text at the top of the page. For example, there is a suggestion to watch one of the Marie Curie Cancer Care nursing films. It is good to provide a link to this type of content or, even better, embed one of the videos on this page.

Additional ways to engage donors could include providing some suggested next steps. These should not
Additional ways to engage donors could include providing some suggested next steps. These should not

Additional ways to engage donors could include providing some suggested next steps. These should not be financial, but could include options such as volunteering, campaigning or signing a petition.

steps. These should not be financial, but could include options such as volunteering, campaigning or signing
steps. These should not be financial, but could include options such as volunteering, campaigning or signing
Figure 23: Marie Curie Cancer Care thank you page 51

Figure 23: Marie Curie Cancer Care thank you page

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2. Reassure the donor that the transaction has been successful Although it is not an

2. Reassure the donor that the transaction has been successful

Although it is not an e-commerce transaction, it is still important to provide some information to reassure the donor of the donation details (this is especially critical for a direct debit, when details such as frequency and start date will be important).

Cancer Research UK does this with a small “Transaction information” section low down on the page. It is good that this is not given too much prominence; however it could be further improved by changing the labelling (for example, to “Donation information” and “Donation amount”).

Cancer Research UK also provide details of how to follow up any problems with a phone number and email address. This is reassuring for donors.

However, overall this page feels too much like a “receipt” and not enough like a “thank you”. Participants commented that it felt too much like a transaction, with two saying that they would just leave the website from this page. Changes that would help alleviate this include:

.Changing the title from “Donation complete” to “Thank you”

.Adding a strong, personal “Thank you” message (for example, the message at the top of the Macmillan Cancer Support thank you page, see figure 24)

.Adding images and text to explain the di fference that the donation will make and reassure the donor as to how their money will be used.

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It would be good to include a phone number and/or email address for donors to

It would be good to include a phone number and/or email address for donors to use in case of any problems.

email address for donors to use in case of any problems. On the Macmillan Cancer Support

On the Macmillan Cancer Support thank you page (figure 24, page 23), the message at the top of the page includes the donation details (amount and refer­ ence), thus reassuring the donor and providing them with the necessary informa­ tion in case they need to follow up.

It would be good to include a phone number and/or email address for donors to use in case of any problems (for example, the thank you page for Cancer Research UK in figure 24).

the thank you page for Cancer Research UK in figure 24). Figure 24: Cancer Research UK

Figure 24: Cancer Research UK thank you page with contact details

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3. Provide a prominent, personal thank you message It is important to provide a prominent

3. Provide a prominent, personal thank you message

It is important to provide a prominent thank you heading at the top of the page to instantly make the donor feel like they are being thanked rather than being presented with a receipt. In usability testing, participants particularly liked the fact that the simple thank you message on the Macmillan Cancer Support site included the donor’s name, making it feel very personal (see figure 25). There are also a couple of sentences explaining how their donation will be used and reassuring the donor about the di fference their donation will make. The messaging on this page does a very good job of making the donor feel thanked and thus reinforcing their positive feelings.

One additional point on the Macmillan Cancer Support thank you page is that the “shopping list” is still displayed. We have found in previous research that displaying a “shopping list” at this stage can make the charity seem ungrateful for the donation and as though they are immediately asking for more money. Furthermore, a lot of screen real estate is wasted and could be used to much better e ffect.

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It is important to provide a prominent thank you heading at the top of the page to instantly make the donor feel like they are being thanked instantly rather than being presented with a receipt.

page to instantly make the donor feel like they are being thanked instantly rather than being
page to instantly make the donor feel like they are being thanked instantly rather than being
instantly rather than being presented with a receipt. Figure 25: Thank you page displayed after completing

Figure 25: Thank you page displayed after completing a single online donation to Macmillan Cancer Support

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Conclusion

UX Online Donation Framework

If charities want to bridge the gap left by lack of Government funding and increase the current online donation level of just 7%, they need to stop thinking that creating a website is an end in itself. If it doesn’t provide a satisfactory online experience, they will not convert website visitors to donors. It is essential to understand a donor’s motivations and emotional mindset so that each step along the online donation process can support, reassure and enhance their experience. Providing donors with an experience that meets their expectations and makes them feel good about their donation will have many benefits including:

.Increasing the number and value of online donations

.Increasing the likelihood that a donor will “spread the word” and thus bring potential new donors to the charity

.Making the donor more likely to support the charity again in the future, whether with a subsequent donation or through a di fferent commitment such as volunteering or campaigning

Understanding the psychology at each stage of the process is therefore vital to ensuring that your website supports donors e ffectively at every stage of the process, rather than getting in their way. User research and usability testing can both help to ensure this, along with following best practice guidelines (as outlined in the tables in Appendix 1).

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Appendix 1

Guidance

Motivating donors

Many potential donors will come to a charity’s website having seen an advert, having heard about the charity through word-of-mouth or through a personal connection with the charity’s cause.

These potential donors will already have strong feelings about the charity. However, we found that for many websites, the homepages and donation landing pages do not meet expectations which caused people to detour from the donation journey.

When a potential donor lands on the homepage, they need to understand very quickly what the charity does, how donations will be used and why there is an urgent need for support. The aim is to provide a first impression that reassures the donor, so that they believe donating to this charity is the right thing to do. The donor can then start to make the commitment to making a donation, namely clicking on a “Donate” button. (Note that this button or link should be very obvious and should stand out on the page).

Having gained the initial commitment from the potential donor (by getting them to click on a “Donate” link or button), the next step is to help that person engage more deeply with the donation process. Therefore, the donate landing page needs to work hard to make donations real and meaningful to the donor. Real examples and images will help donors to engage with the cause and understand how they can help. Potential donors are probably willing to spend a little longer on this page, but their next step should be clear and distractions should be removed.

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Engage

Engage Table 1: Key recommendations for encouraging donations No. Recommendation See page(s) 1. Promote outcomes of

Table 1: Key recommendations for encouraging donations

No. Recommendation

See page(s)

1. Promote outcomes of the charity’s work

14

2. Convey a sense of urgency

14

3. Provide social proof

20

4. Explain where the money goes

22

5. Allow donors to choose how their donation will be used

24

6. Balance content on the homepage for

26

di fferent audiences

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Nudge

Nudge Table 2: Key recommendations for motivating donors No. Recommendation See page(s) 1. Provide a clear

Table 2: Key recommendations for motivating donors

No. Recommendation

See page(s)

1. Provide a clear next step for making a donation

30

2. Promote regular giving

32

3. Provide alternative ways to donate

34

4. Include “trust” symbols and logos

35

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Support

The donation process needs to be smooth, quick and easy for donors to complete. This will not only mean that more people will successfully complete it without abandoning their donation, but will also mean that it is actually an enjoyable process.

Providing an enjoyable donation experience has numerous benefits. These include the fact that people are more likely to recommend something that has been a positive experience and that donors who are in a more positive frame of mind at the end of the process are more likely to engage further with the charity.

Table 3: Key recommendations for supporting donations within the donation forms

No. Recommendation

See page(s)

1. Provide a clear progress indicator

38

2. Isolate the donation process

40

3. Continue to provide motivation and reassurance

41

4. Follow form design best practice

42

5. Encourage Gift Aid sign-up

44

6. Streamline the donation process

39

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Reward

Reward At first thought, the thank you page at the end of the online donation process

At first thought, the thank you page at the end of the online donation process may not seem to be that important. After all, the donor has given their money at this point. What di fference does a nice thank you page make? The answer is:

potentially a very big di fference. Previous donors are more likely to make another donation to a charity than someone approached “cold”. Not only that, but repeat donors tend to give larger amounts than first-time donors.

Making the donor feel good about their donation will therefore have lasting ef­ fects, not only in terms of their future donations, but also in motivating them to “spread the word” and engage further with the charity, recruiting more people to get involved and widening the scope for donation.

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Table 4: Key recommendations for thanking and engaging the donor after the donation

No. Recommendation

See page(s)

1. Encourage donors to “spread the word” on social media channels

48

2. Reassure the donor that the transaction has been successful

52

3. Encourage the donor to engage further with the charity

50

4. Provide a prominent, personal thank you message

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Appendix 2

Appendix 2 Our Methodology Expert User Experience Review Nomensa’s UX experts reviewed the online donation journey

Our Methodology

Expert User Experience Review

Nomensa’s UX experts reviewed the online donation journey on each website against our proprietary list of over 100 usability checkpoints. Many of these checkpoints are specific to the charity sector and assess the emotional engagement and motivational aspects of the websites. A single £5 donation was made on each site to assess the end-to-end donation journey from the homepage to the thank you page.

Usability Testing

Six usability testing sessions were held at Nomensa’s Bristol o ffices between the

17 th and 18 th November, 2011. All participants had made a donation to a charity

within the last two years.

Each participant, during the session with an experienced Nomensa facilitator:

.Discussed their charity activities from the previous two years, including any other online donations made

.Completed a one-o ff donation of £5 on one of the three websites

.Compared the homepages for the three sites

.Compared the thank you pages for the three sites

Social Media Benchmarking

On the 18 th November, a review of the three charities’ social media o ffering was conducted. A review into which and how social media channels were used by the charities, was conducted.

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Glossary

Carousel:

A carousel is an interactive display of content or images on a web page. A

simple example of a carousel is a horizontally-oriented gallery of images that have left and right arrows for users to navigate through them.

Click through:

Click through typically describes the process of clicking through an online advertisement to an advertiser’s destination page or site. It can also be used in a more general sense, for example to denote a user interacting with an interactive element on web page (for example, link or button) which results in a corresponding change of page within the same site.

Strapline:

A strapline typically accompanies a company brand name and imagery. Its

purpose is to emphasise a phrase that the company wishes to be remembered by amongst a general or its specific target audience base. For example, Nike’s “Just do it”.

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Social proof:

Social proof, also known as informational social influence, relates the psychological phenomenon whereby people assume the actions of others reflect correct behaviour for a given situation. This is particularly prevalent in ambiguous social situations where people look to others for behaviour cues based on the assumption that they possess more knowledge about the situation.

Progress indicator:

A progress indicator is a user interface element designed to inform the user that an operation is in progress. It is intended to reassure the user that the system is neither frozen nor waiting for user input. It is also often used to provide the user with an estimate of how far through a task the system has progressed.

Overview by detail:

An overview by detail element is an interactive display of content or images on a webpage. A selection of images or content are presented as an overview allowing the user to select one.

References

i https://www.cafonline.org/pdf/UK_Giving_2011_Summary.pdf

ii http://www.thirdsector.co.uk/Finance/article/1083871/public-funding-charities­

fall-28bnnext-five-years-ncvo-warns/

iii http://www.slideshare.net/JasonPotts1/iof-2011-best-donation-form-session

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