(As of January 2020, a private marketing group assumed responsibility for the content and development of the RAGOM website. I managed content, UX, and development from 2017 through 2019.)
RAGOM (Retrieve a Golden of the Midwest) has rescued and re-homed more than 9,000 Golden Retrievers and Golden mixes since 1985, and is one of the largest Golden Retriever rescue organizations in the United States. Although highly regarded in the animal welfare community for their impact, RAGOM’s website had been neglected for many years.
In 2016, RAGOM secured a grant to cover the cost of a new database and content management system. I led the UX work and created wireframes and a prototype for a fully responsive website. Analytics indicated that the mobile experience was a priority.
The primary UX goals for the new website were to:
- Help potential adopters evaluate suitable dogs
- Increase donations and support
- Recruit volunteers
Evaluate suitable dogs
So potential adopters can create a “short list” to browse suitable dogs, I introduced a sort field and filters on the Adoptable Dogs page.
As each dog’s page is viewed, its thumbnail and name are added to the “You Recently Viewed” panel.
Every RAGOM dog has a bio page that presents myriad details (age, weight, breed, gender, foster city and state, adoption fee, reason for surrender, availability) and requirements (children, other dogs, cats, fence, and exercise). In addition, the foster family posts updates about the dog’s health, progress, and recommendations for a home environment best suited for the dog’s needs and personality.
To consistently present information so potential adopters can efficiently evaluate a dog, I designed a template and introduced icons to draw attention to the dog’s requirements. For example, a family with young children can easily identify a “kid-friendly” dog.
To help RAGOM’s foster families provide the information needed for the bio pages, I created an online form and established guidelines for writing updates.
Increase donations and sponsorships
The Ways to Give page communicates at a glance the many ways to support RAGOM. All calls to action (CTAs) throughout the new site use one button style. I also collaborated with RAGOM’s fundraising and CRM technology vendor to minimize distractions during the donation checkout experience.
RAGOM would not exist without its dedicated volunteers and must continually add volunteers as it expands its reach and services. The Volunteer landing page presents volunteering options and includes a Why We Volunteer feature to encourage participation.
In addition to the UX work, I managed front-end development and wrote or edited all new site copy (exclusive of the dog updates). I continued to drive content strategy to provide fresh and relevant information for RAGOM’s many followers, adopters, and supporters.