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E-commerce

Research | Analytics | Design

May - July 2022

Inspiring Innovation: A Creative Journey to Propel East Africa's Emerging Entrepreneurs
Growing Kenya's and Tanzania's economy one entrepreneur at a time

Image by Annie Spratt

Problem

Somo Africa's existing website faced challenges in attracting investors, sponsors, and donors due to its ineffective communication of startup value, unintuitive navigation, and cumbersome donation process, leading to a critical need for a redesign to enhance user engagement and increase financial support.

Inspiring Innovation: A Creative Journey to Propel East Africa's Emerging Entrepreneurs

The Somo Africa project involved a UX team of five tasked with redesigning the website to boost investor affiliations, sponsorships, and donations. The collaboration with Somo Africa stakeholders aimed to enhance key website sections: the homepage, donation pages, entrepreneur profile pages, and the discovery page.

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The Strategy

The team initiated the project with in-depth research, including stakeholder interviews, user surveys, and competitor analysis. Key insights pointed to the need for a more intuitive navigation system, compelling content presentation, and a streamlined donation process.

 

Design Challenges

  1. Homepage Revamp: Making the homepage more informative and inviting, ensuring first-time visitors grasp Somo Africa's mission and impact immediately.

  2. Donation Page Optimization: Simplifying the donation process to reduce drop-offs and increase conversion rates.

  3. Entrepreneur Profile Enhancement: Creating more engaging entrepreneur profiles to effectively showcase each startup's story and potential.

  4. Discovery Page Redesign: Improving the layout and filtering options on the discovery page to facilitate easier browsing and investment decisions.

The Solution

The team's approach integrated UX best practices with the unique needs of Somo Africa:

Intuitive Homepage

  • Redesigned with a focus on storytelling, highlighting success stories and clear calls to action to engage visitors right from the start.

Streamlined Donation Process

  • Simplified donation forms and introduced multiple payment options, accompanied by transparent information about how donations are utilized.

Enhanced Entrepreneur Profiles

  • Profiles were redesigned to be more visually appealing and informative, incorporating multimedia elements to bring each entrepreneur's vision and journey to life.

User-Friendly Discovery Page

  • Implemented an intuitive filtering system and engaging layout, making it easier for users to find and invest in startups that align with their interests.

Implementation

The UX team worked in sprints, regularly collaborating with Somo Africa stakeholders to ensure alignment with their vision. Prototypes were iteratively tested and refined based on stakeholder feedback and user testing sessions.

Outcome

  • Increased website traffic and longer average session durations.

  • Higher conversion rates on the donation page.

  • Positive feedback from users on the ease of navigating entrepreneur profiles and discovery page.

Prototypes

This is when the team defined the high-level structure of the screen layouts, flow, behavior, and organization. This process was iterative as we tried to ensure that we followed good UI principles and usability.

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Key Takeaways

  1. Stakeholder Collaboration is Key: Regular communication with Somo Africa representatives ensured that the redesign aligned with their goals and mission.

  2. User-Centric Design Drives Engagement: Focusing on the user journey and simplifying interactions led to a more engaging and effective website.

  3. Storytelling Enhances Connection: Using storytelling elements in the design helped create a stronger emotional connection with potential investors and donors.

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