It Takes a Village Africa (ITAVA) is a New York City based nonprofit organisation. ITAVA provides free STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics) educational programs to school aged children in Liberia and strives to increase the percentage of African girls entering tech and engineering careers in the global workforce.
The goal of this project was to create a new, improved web presence that would help the organisation raise more funds for their educational classes in Liberia, as well as attract additional volunteers for their operations in the US.
ITAVA’s previous web presence was quite outdated and did not fully communicate the great work the organisation is currently doing in Liberia. How can I present information about educational programs and frameworks in a more engaging way and highlight the positive changes achieved by the ITAVA?
As the freelance UX/UI Designer I worked directly with the organisation’s founders Erica Davies-Cole and Evonne Adebo. Working remotely from Perth, Australia – with a 12 hour time difference – we communicated predominantly via Skype and email. I was responsible for the website’s user experience and design and also developed and deployed the actual site using the Squarespace platform.
After initial discussions with the founders to establish project goal and scope, I sketched initial concepts and wireframes, before using Sketch to further refine possible layouts and create high-fidelity mockups, that were reviewed by ITAVA staff. Since the nonprofit organisation had a very limited budget, user research or testing could not be incorporated. As there was also no budget for a custom, hand-coded WordPress theme, I used a blank Squarespace template to recreate the high-fidelity mockups I had created in Sketch. This also enabled ITAVA staff to update their website without outside help, as they were already familiar with the Squarespace platform.
ITAVA’s new online presence with dominantly placed ‘donate’ and ‘start a fundraiser’ buttons and frequent call-to-action banners, makes it easy for visitors to find out how they can support the organisation. Authentic imagery mixed with bite-sized chunks of information tell ITAVA’s story and highlight the positive impact they make in the Liberian community. This is what ITAVA’s founders had to say:
“Laura goes above and beyond. While working on the site, she was always courteous, patient, and kind. Very lovely to work with” – Erica Davies-Cole, ITAVA (NYC)
“We were blessed to work with Laura. She was able to bring our ideas to a live website. She was great with advising on what would be best for our site's user experience. I respect her advice and would love to work with her in the future.” – Evonne Adebo, ITAVA (NYC)