Nicholas Swanson • Design
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Change.org native iOS and Android

In early 2016, we formed a team to tackle Change.org's biggest problem: create a relationship with our supporters.

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Supporters want to be involved in the issues they care about. Prior to this endeavor, Change had done a poor job of enabling this type of engagement. The primary challenge was that Change needed to move from a transactional to a relational platform. Included in this:

  • There is no concept of “knowing” a supporter. We worked with the data science team to embark on building and incorporating a model of supporter affinity
  • When signing a petition, the flow is optimized for immediate transactional revenue, not building a relationship. We knew we needed to evolve this
  • Topics are manually curated, which was both resource intensive and limited their effectiveness
  • Being in the unique position of developing the first version of Change's native applications, we had an opportunity to be “the tip of the spear”. In other words, to rethink how supporters found, read, signed, and contributed to their causes.
 
 
 
 Previous version of a topic page, which was manually curated and one of 18 fixed topics.

Previous version of a topic page, which was manually curated and one of 18 fixed topics.

 

 

A new addition to the supporter experience was onboarding. Since the web experience was focused on being transactional, there was never a need for considering how a supporter might first engage with the product. Our hypothesis, backed by user testing, was that onboarding would improve engagement and retention.

Upon opening the iOS or Android application, we have an opportunity to learn the issues a supporter cares about, and deliver immediate value back to the supporter. From our work, we believed topics were the best way to get to know a supporter quickly.

 

Video capture of the Onboarding experience.

 

Another new aspect of the product our team introduced was the notion of a "feed". One of these feeds would be your Home, which would be personalized to each supporter. It would consist of petitions, topics, locations, and someday people. It was filtered by quality of the content and your likelihood to support the issue or place it addresses. The primary goals were to:

  • Move from a manual topic feed to personalized and scalable feed system, introducing a Home where you can find your most personalized content
  • Introduce multiple content types beyond petitions to a feed, including places, topics, and people
  • Develop an initial model to balance personal interests with local, national, or even global interests
 
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Another key area of focus is the flow for reading and signing a petition. In a native application, we have several advantages over our web experience. We can:

  • Remove unnecessary information, as shown in the screenshot from the web product
  • Optimize for long-term engagement, rather than quick transactions
 
 
 Current petition signature form for web

Current petition signature form for web

 

Video capture of the reading and signing experience.

 
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A product-wide initiative was to introduce user-generated, deeper topics. We worked with the platform and web team to design and develop scalable topics and a topic feed structure.

 

Video capture of the topic experience, complete with a feed personalized to the supporter.

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Upon launch of the 1.0 versions of the applications, we exceeded goals for retention (our primary goal) and onboarding engagement. Our goal for a >4.5 rating in each app store was achieved, even though our 1.0 was an MVP we were anxious to begin building out.