A product can be described as something which delivers value to your organisation by meeting the needs of your users. When applied to digital, this can be your organisation’s website, a function within your website (like the online shop), or an app you create.
More and more charities are starting to see their digital assets as products, and hire Product Managers to manage them.
If you want to find out more about Product Management and what it means for charities, this post explores it in a lot more detail.
This, however, is a roundup of some of the most innovative digital products across the charity sector.
Molehill Mountain app – Austica
Molehill Mountain is an app newly created by Autistica and King’s College London to help autistic people navigate their mental health. Users are able to make a log of the things that make them anxious, then play a daily game to ‘capture’ and reflect upon them.
The app allows autistic people to keep track of their anxieties and access tip for managing them. It is the first smartphone app specifically designed by a charity to build knowledge of anxiety for this audience, and provide the skills to self-manage the causes and symptoms involved.
With 42% of autistic children having an anxiety disorder and 79% of autistic adults experiencing mental health problems, the need is very clear. Extensive user testing went in to the creation of Molehill Mountain – over 500 individuals were consulted on their experiences and asked to give feedback. This has made sure all of its features, such as the ‘Coping with my anxiety’ snapshot, are specifically tailored to the needs of autistic people eager to track and cope with the anxiety they experience.
Find a pet search – RSPCA
The RSPCA’s search function for finding a pet to rehome is a simple yet joyful product to use. Providing a core service for the charity, it needs to search through thousands of records and display a filtered list for the potential adopter to pick from.
After selecting the animal I’m looking for through a drop-down list, I’m prompted to allow my browser to use my current location, or I can type in my town or postcode – a good range of options to suit different user needs.
Results are shown by way of image and the pet’s name, adding delight to the experience. Searches can often be clunky, but this is intuitive and easy to use. A next step could be to provide an online application once you’ve chosen your potential new pet.
BECCA app – Breast Cancer Care
Another app built to meet the aims of the charity, BECCA is there for people moving forward after treatment for breast cancer. Users ‘struggling to find their new normal’ after breast cancer can explore a massive range of daily tips and strategies on browseable flashcards.
Categories of information, such as Beauty and Energy, help navigate through the information. Each day, the app gives a personalised daily roundup of best bits, allowing users to save their favourites. Over time, suggestions become more and more tailored based on the individuals’ interests.
Now 1 year old, BECCA has helped countless women finding it hard to adjust to life beyond their illness.
Donate – Wateraid
The donate function is arguably the most important product for most charities. Most follow the same few patterns – no surprise really, as they are all trying to get users to do the same thing.
I like Wateraid’s approach for its usability. From clicking on the Donate button in the header, I’m taken straight to the donation form. I am usually a fan of being able to click on different amounts to donate and seeing how that money can help the charity in the work they do. Wateraid apply this approach but keep it subtle, making sure the message doesn’t distract from the main purpose of the page.
The different ways to donate are obvious, and the clean design looks especially slick. Most crucially, the stages are laid out step by step, making it very clear what information is needed and how long it will take to complete. I’d be surprised if the conversion rate for the form wasn’t high.