Case Study: Alzheimer's Society

Driving engagement and donations

The Alzheimer's Society's Memory Walk is a sponsored event that sees people of all ages and abilities unite to raise money and defeat dementia. The walks are spread across England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and are held in cities, parks and woodlands.

With over 110,000 people walking in 2017, as individuals or in teams, it has become a key fundraising activity for the Alzheimer’s Society. It provides crucial revenue that supports their research into tackling this devastating illness that affects more than 220,000 people a year.

Our objectives:

  • Increase completed registrations on the Memory Walk website
  • Drive more donations and fundraising
  • Encourage more teams to walk together
  • Improve integration with JustGiving (the fundraising platform)

The results:

  • £7.1m raised since May 2017 (up by £2.9 million)
  • 92,000 sign-ups (increased by 14k)
  • 45,000 individual sign-ups 
  • Team leader sign-ups increased by 2,000
  • Team members increased by 1,500
  • 37,000 JustGiving pages set up
  • 500 more volunteers

A bit of history

We started working with Alzheimer’s Society in 2014. Their business goal was to get 300,000 new walkers on Memory Walk by 2020. Back then there was no way of registering online for a walk, while JustGiving - their partnered donation platform - was not integrated. Moreover, the website's design was not responsive on mobiles and other devices. Together, we hatched a five-year digital plan with the aim of refining and strengthening their digital presence.

The first step was to create a bespoke microsite dedicated to its annual Memory Walks. The site would provide support through from initial sign-up to post-event activity. Every year we would meet again to update the site and make sure it was still meeting user needs.

Since launching the site in 2015, participant sign-ups have continued to grow year-on-year. And, as agreed, we have continued to enhance the site by conducting and implementing changes based on feedback from the people who really know: the fundraisers who use it.

User-centric design refined year-by-year

We met with Alzheimer’s Society in late 2016 to discuss their priorities and business objectives for the next year. Their ambition for 2017? To register more walkers and raise more money through sponsorship and donations. Alzheimer’s Society itself had rebranded in early 2017, so we were tasked with bringing the Memory Walk site in-line with this. At the same time, we needed to ensure it retained its personality as a flagship fundraising event.

The key focus in 2017 was to provide a clear and easy way for prospective participants to find and sign up for an event or walk. They also asked us to concentrate specifically on the team registration journey. Teams mean more fundraisers and it was of paramount importance that we reduced any drop-offs during the sign-up process due to frustration or bad usability. We also needed to make sure the third party social platforms and JustGiving would integrate with the site seamlessly.

Putting the user into focus

We created a series of design prototypes that we tested with twelve users face-to-face. They were a carefully selected group of existing and potential fundraisers for the Memory Walk. As well as interviewing the participants to get their qualitative feedback on the site and their experience of it, we tested how they actually used the Memory Walk website, guiding them through all its features and functionality. This research let us investigate the effectiveness of ‘real world’ solutions we were proposing before we started developing them. With our help, the Memory Walk attracted over 90,000 registered walks in 2017.

Drawing it all together

We went to Alzheimer’s Society HQ for a workshop, armed with our findings from the user testing. Together we explored the initial designs and templates, and explained our recommendations for the design phase of the project. We analysed each user journey and the overall navigation from the perspective of a user, giving careful consideration to the accessibility of the site for those affected by dementia. Working closely like this meant fresh ideas were generated and valuable discussions took place.

Our initial prototypes were used as the base for the full redesign stage of the project, saving time and money for Alzheimer’s Society. With these, their recommendations and priorities clearly marked, and some further UX research into the current content, we were able to refine the labels on the navigation and brainstorm user-generated assets to keep it looking up to date. This also gave potential walkers a real sense of what it’s like to take part.

We added in clear calls to action, text to help users understand and visualise the charity’s work and brought to the surface lots of the valuable, but hidden, content in the FAQs. We also made it possible for a user to log-in directly to JustGiving from the registration page.

We created high fidelity mock-ups prior to the build commencing. We were respectful of the branding (created externally) for the main Alzheimer’s site, retaining the palette and striking forget-me-not mnemonic shape, so there was a clear consistency between the sites for a user. Once approved by the Alzheimer’s Society in-house quality assurance experts, the page designs were sent to our development team to demonstrate how the style guide and wireframe designs would come together across mobile, tablet and desktop.

Our developers set up and configured our in-house CMS, Defacto. They brought together templates, bespoke features and content and launched it in time for the Memory Walk's 2017 marketing campaign.

Changing lives with every step

Our teams worked collaboratively throughout, sharing knowledge, insights and assets to provide a newly designed website.

We are excited to continue our partnership in 2018 and look forward to supporting the Alzheimer's Society and their Memory Walk experience even further. The work they do is absolutely essential, and we're proud to say we helped change lives of those affected by dementia – one step at a time.

Interested in working with us on a similar project?

Drop us a line or give us a call on +44 (0) 117 929 7333 to get the ball rolling.

Working with Nomensa to launch a new website for Memory Walk has been challenging, interesting and fun and all made possible and easier through the relationship with Nomensa. It has been great and I look forward to continue working together in the future.