Thursday, April 30, 2009


Here is a mockup of a IJDH homepage. My group sketched it and Anatoly, my go to web developer, designed it.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Lessons learned

I think we all definitely learned a lot from the presentations done by the Lend-a-hand India and UNANIMA teams- it was useful for us to see how they confronted their main challenges.

Not only was it helpful for us to gauge what works and what doesn't work as well when it comes to presentations, but watching these groups helped us better articulate our own priorities and challenges.

We still have a lot of work to do, but things seem to be coming together! I'm looking forward to the presentations next week~~

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Is it possible?

At our meeting this week, we took a step back to figure out whether our recommendations are feasible given IJDH's resources. The most likely answer is yes, but no. Thus, we have clearly defined our short run recommendations and our long run recommendations. We wanted to give them reasonable goals that they could immediately implement, as well as more ambitious goals to strive for in the future.

The good news is that we learned that Brian and Monica will be taking our presentation and report to a board meeting in which they had already been planning on making a proposal pitch for funding for website development. So, it is possible that our analysis and recommendations will see the light of day sooner than we though with appropriate funding and the hiring of a professional web development team. As our clients will not be present during our presentation, we will not know exactly what aspects of our project they plan to undertake, but we are open to meeting with them when they come to a conference in New Jersey in early May to clarify anything in our report if they have questions. Otherwise, the future of IJDH's website looks like it is in good hands for a possible revamping!

A Work in Progress

This is a homepage sketch by Ker with input from Jacqueline, Nick and myself. We still have a lot of work to do, but we're making progress.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

What to do with video?

It has been interesting for me to figure out how IJDH can best incorporate video into their website. Part of me feels as though its a new, interesting medium that is relatively easy to add to websites, yet at the same time, I feel that lots of the material that IJDH would likely put on their website would fall prey to the "talking head" syndrome.

Hopefully there are good, interesting documentaries available to supplement or replace the current videos of lectures and talks on the websites(even if they do feature Matt Damon!).

...for further investigation!!!


Things are shaping up well, it was extremely constructive to speak to IJDH last week to get a better understanding of things going on in Portland, and get a better perspective of their hopes for the project.

I think one of our biggest issues will really be prioritizing the many changes that are possible. So much can be done with the website, it is definitey imprtant to recognize what we should suggest IJDH to confront first, especially given time and financial constraints.

Hopefully all the group members will get together this weekend to really hammer out a plan for the upcoming week, when we hope to finalize our main arguments and create a solid presentation. As of now, it's been slightly frusterating to coordinate schedules and deadlines...


One of the takeaways from our last call with IJDH was that we can see some of the past stuff they've done with their website in the archives section. In other words, specific to fundraising, they have altered the fundraising destination page during certain times of the year where particular issues in Haiti were at the forefront.

It was good to see that they have put some effort into revitalizing the fundraising section in the past. But, why not always have some interesting material there? Currently, it's literally just the paypal page to donate money. That's it. You click on "click to contribute online," and bam, give me your money! It would definitely be a good idea to highlight their current programs here and demonstrate how supporters donations contribute to the work of IJDH. We hope to create a sample of a good example of web writing that could easily be implemented as their default fundraising/donation page on our recommended new website design.

The past fundraising campaign from their archives was a good effort. With some more efficient and tighter web writing, the general message for the need for donations can be told permanently on the website, and hopefully, they can solicit donations throughout the year for their ongoing programs.

Thursday, April 9, 2009


I think a major focus of our website design has turned to the importance of fundraising. After another conference call with Monica and Brian of IJDH, all of us noticed a recurring emphasis on donations and potential alternative revenue streams.

Dot orgs rely on donations to survive, so it's not like this is a surprise, but if you have seen a lot of .org websites, you wouldn't know they're focused on attracting donors! IJDH is no exception. When you click on the donation link from the homepage, you don't even get a pathway page that describes the organization's current or major projects. It goes straight to a paypal transaction page! The ironic thing is that Monica and Brian have very compelling stories about the mission of IJDH and moving testimonials that would all be suitable content for soliciting donations on the website.

To take action on this topic, they have sent us archived parts of the website that they used in the past during major fundraising campaigns. We are going to propose recommendations that suggest an greater fundraising presence at all times during the year.