Pacific Legal Foundation is a public interest law firm with an incredible 45-year history. They've won 10 Supreme Court cases and set countless other precedents for property rights, freedom of speech, protection from discrimination, and due process. In 2017, they looked to the future: what kind of organization did they want to be in the next 50 years?

As part of that effort, we worked with their team to create a new brand identity, and in this project, they asked for our help bringing that identity to life through their digital properties.

In particular, they wanted our help appealing to a younger donor audience that was increasingly demanding a better digital experience. Our mission was to create a beautiful, modern digital product that was easy to navigate, delightful to use, and told a compelling story about their mission.

Seeing Past the Obvious

PLF's old online donation process involved twenty-three different input fields, fourteen of which were mandatory. We had a hunch that this was probably cramping their online revenue — but the obvious stuff is rarely the whole story, and we challenged ourselves to discover what else donors needed to see from PLF before making the decision to donate.

We're huge advocates of research: ethnographies, interviews, user tests, and surveys are incredibly useful ways to push past first instincts and get to the heart of what's important to your users. In PLF's case, we found that there was a lot more to the user's donation journey than too many buttons and fields: they wanted to see the real people behind the cases, to feel like they were part of the team, and to be given a clear expectation of what was a worthwhile contribution.

After making sitemaps, user journeys, and writing on hundreds of sticky notes, we set out to create designs that would help our users go from "Who are these guys?" to "How can I be a part of this?"

Q: What do you hope to achieve from a redesign?
A: Modern, sleek, intuitive look and navigation. A site befitting an organization thinking about the future. Cutting edge.

Great design only looks simple.

Between their cases, press releases, blog posts, videos, case updates, newsletters, events, and other pages, we designed over 40 unique page templates for PLF's site. We expanded the brand's color palette to include vibrant blues and yellows, and borrowed from Material Design's layered philosophy to bring depth and focus to pages with lots of content.

So, did it work?

In short: yes. The results were staggering: we saw a 40% increase in the average size of donations, and in the first 100 days of launch, the website generated sixteen times the revenue it had generated in the previous two years combined. Even after the holiday giving season calmed down, PLF saw a sustained increase in monthly online revenue of about 1,000%.