Raising money for families in need during the holidays.

The Challenge

Each holiday season, the Canadian Red Cross runs a campaign to raise money to support people in need. Quite often, these campaigns focus on helping people in poverty-stricken countries around the world. There are many foundations who support this cause — especially during the holidays — so, this year, the Canadian Red Cross decided to do something different. They chose to run a campaign that would support Canadians who are in need because of local disasters, such as house fires and floods. They wanted donors to feel like they were supporting real Canadian families — someone who could be living right around the corner.

The Process

We started with concept brainstorming: I facilitated a Design Studio session with our scrum team and the Canadian Red Cross team. We had been working with the Red Cross on their holiday campaign for the past couple years, so we started the session by reviewing the results of those campaigns — what worked, what didn't, what we wanted to keep, and where we wanted to improve. Through rounds of individual and group sketching we explored many potential concepts and, in the end, landed on a direction. These are the final sketches from that session:

CRC Sketches

Before getting started on any UI design, I turned these sketches into a low-fidelity interactive prototype so that we could test it with some real users. We watched potential donors use the prototype, and were able to refine the functionality of adding, removing, and topping up item donations.

Canadian Red Cross Give What Matters Campaign Wireframes

I organized two photoshoots: The first was in the house where I grew up. I unpacked all of the Christmas decorations and decorated the house (in September). To make the scenes more festive, we wanted to capture the feeling of the crackling fire and the twinkling lights — so we took videos of the scenes, which we later turned into cinemagraphs. We placed the items that people would be able to donate in the decorated rooms.

For the second shoot, we built a lightbox and took photos of the items on their own so that they could be used on a white background in the shopping cart.

The Solution

We staged scenes in a typical Canadian house, to make it feel close to home. We set up the scenes to feel like someone had just stepped out of them. At first, the scenes are devoid of items that a family would need — like food, baby clothes, and blankets. As you donate items, they appear in the scenes, making the homes more complete. We knew from previous campaigns that food and baby items resonated with donors, so these are featured.

Canadian Red Cross Give What Matters Campaign - Add an Item
Canadian Red Cross Give What Matters Campaign - Check Out


Concept definition and strategy, user experience and usability, interactive wireframes, design, photoshoot planning and art direction, photo editing



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