TEAR Australia

An Australian website for global change

TEAR Australia is a Christian development, relief and advocacy organisation responding to global poverty and injustice in communities around the world. With a focus on working in partnership with local Christian development organisations, they respond to short-term emergency relief projects as well as medium-term recovery and rehabilitation projects.   

We were tasked with redeveloping TEAR’s website and positioning it as a key contender in the digital environment. While the original website served many user needs and contained a wealth of information on the organisation itself, both its content and functionality were outdated and falling short of how TEAR would like to be perceived in the digital space.

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Taking digital to the next TEAR

The first thing we did was sit down with TEAR and identify the aims of the new website. It became apparent that the site shouldn’t just become a repository of all the information about TEAR. Rather, there should be an emphasis on engaging and connecting with people through digital storytelling in the hopes of achieving the following:

  • Increased organisational awareness from targeting a broader audience

  • Improved engagement and content

  • Acquisition of new donors

  • Increased average gift from existing donors, and a drive towards increasing regular giving

  • More non-financial conversions in the form of newsletter subscription, event attendance, advocacy and pledge signups

TEAR also happened to be running a Salesforce implementation project in conjunction with the website redevelopment. To ensure that the site provided clean, accurate data into the fresh Salesforce instance, Evolution 7 worked in collaboration with TEAR’s Salesforce team to accurately map, implement and test all data transfer between the website and the CRM, closely adhering to GDPR and privacy regulations every step of the way.

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Mapping it out

After we understood what TEAR wanted from their new website and the value they wanted to provide their supporters, we had in-depth discussions regarding information architecture and the sitemap. Having spent almost 50 years working in advocacy and relief, TEAR had a huge archive of content which needed to be presented in a way that wouldn’t overwhelm users and could be easily navigated. It was important to ensure users coming to the site had easy access not only to the areas TEAR wanted to drive them to, but also areas where they could delve deeper into the details.

To make sure the key areas of the site were accessible to those with no prior knowledge of the organisation, a series of TreeJack navigation prototypes were performed with both existing supporters and random users sourced via TreeJack – a usability technique for evaluating the discoverability of topics in a website. Based on the results of the navigation testing, we were able to uncover critical blockers preventing users from accessing certain content, gain insights into the naming structures that best resonated with users, and ultimately improve the navigation structure to enhance the user experience.

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What’s the story?

Whether it’s a health facility in Somalia or primary education in Pakistan, TEAR’s global achievements are best communicated through stories. Storytelling is the most powerful tool that development organisations have, and with 95% of TEAR’s supporters being church-goers or nominal Christians, telling these stories in the right way allows TEAR to speak directly to their user base without alienating non-believers with an interest in social justice.

To put digital storytelling at the forefront, we incorporated visual pages with the ability for full-screen video and included sectional page styles, allowing TEAR to provide engaging, long-form content with the inclusion of key CTA’s where needed. We also leveraged TEAR’s vast library of high-impact imagery to evoke emotion from users and instantly engage them with the content.

The intended effect of this emphasis on storytelling is an increase in user engagement and, ultimately, donations and advocacy actions. After all, that’s the primary purpose of the website, because TEAR can’t make a difference without people being moved to donate or pledge to support their policy work.

To encourage this, our developers added multiple pathways and CTAs to prompt users to become involved in a variety of ways, financially or otherwise, and also brought more attention to Useful Gifts – TEAR’s sister site. Furthermore, the site’s design means TEAR can update the homepage to drive traffic to a current campaign, like the 2018 Indonesia Tsunami and Earthquake Appeal, with a CTA linking to the specific donation page.

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Turning website visitors into supporters

Since launching the new website, TEAR has seen an increase in all areas of its online performance. There was a 9.3% increase in traffic within a month of its launch, an impressive 24% reduction in bounce rate and there has also been an increase in total users. Most importantly, the average user is spending 20% more time on the website, suggesting all the changes have ultimately been successful in improving engagement and – we can only hope – increasing donations to help those in need.

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