Loaves, Fishes & Computers

Loaves, Fishes & Computers is an organization that provides low-cost computers to low-income residents of Monterey County. LFC’s director came to my team and I asking for help to make their website easier to use.

Homepage caters to those seeking to help much more than those who are in need of it.
LFC’s original website

We sought to understand the organization’s goals and those of their visitors. We interviewed staff and did research on the site and its peers to find that LFC’s website needed to be more approachable, consistent, and accessible, especially for those who needed the help that they provide.

LFC Interview Takeaways

Main website functions:

  1. Give us time, money, computers
  2. Digital Literacy
  3. Sell computers

Main priorities for new design:

  1. Pleasant, consistent formatting
  2. Functionality
  3. Accessibility

I made a mistake after this point. I had my team come up with design options that increased consistency and approachability, its pleasantness, but I failed to have us start from a unified idea on what being more approachable means. What we needed was an agreed upon set of requirements that established what specifically the problems are and what our solution needs to accomplish, with model visitors that we would then test our designs on.

In the absence of all that I still believe that the changes we made continue to have a positive impact on LFC’s visitors, while understanding how we would do better and work more harmoniously going forward with a clearly defined vision.

Donate and Buy buttons visually dominant in global navigation.
Prototype showing focus on approachability to those in need
LFC Homepage. First global navigation menu, widget for changing language from English to Spanish. “Translations automated to reduce staff load and increase availability”. Second global navigation menu containing top level items Buy, Learn, Computer Literacy, Volunteer, Repairs, About. “Services elevated to global nav to make those in need feel welcome, not just those helping”. Row of five items on homepage, each item has an icon above the respective link label to the Computer Literacy, Low-Cost Computers, Technical Support, Donate Equipment, and Computer Resources pages. “Icons used to span language and easily convey link destination”. Next section on homepage, partially in the viewport, has different background color from rest of page. “Different colored section background to encourage scrolling”.

Try visiting the site and putting yourself in the mindset of someone who needs to buy a computer, who does not have a high level of technical insight or money.

Final design that serves helpers and those in need well.
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