Design Critique: Raise 5

Designers

I’m a huge fan of supporting charities. While researching, every once in a while I come across a new business with an unusual business model for supporting charities.

Raise 5 essentially allows you to make use of any skill you have for the benefit of a charity you like. The idea is simple: you offer your services for $5 – $50 a pop; people buy your service; 80% gets donated to the charity of your choice (the rest is for paypal fees, operation costs, server costs, and about 3% goes back to invest in the site).

If you’re interested in learning more, check out their About Us page for the details.

But this is a design critique, so let’s critique!

Raise 5 Design Critique

Colors

Their colors are orange and green, with a little brown and grey. I like their choices. Orange and green communicate brightness, happiness, and freshness. Not only is this business model fresh (in a good way) but knowing that you’re giving to a good cause makes people happy, as it should!

I also like that they went with white with a little bit of texture for their background color. It emphasizes the fresh look of the website and supports the overall “good” feeling a person gets when they give money to a good cause.

Header

I’ll be honest, the header bar is unusual. The logo is small, which is a trending design right now. But then you’ve got an interesting link structure layout. The first two link to the two major portions of the website – browsing for a service or sharing a service. Then you’ve got the¬†Facebook¬†like button. And then, on the same line, they put the four “background” links (for those with questions or for signing up/in).

Usually, the first two links, designed in the popular “bold color on top, smaller grey below” design style, have their own row on the page. The other links are routinely found either below these links, at the bottom of the page, or simply done in the same style as the other ones.

But here’s the thing: designing the links like this makes the user focus on the two most popular links. Their position, immediately right of the logo (unusual!), means that your eyes go there right after viewing the main slideshow. It’s unusual, but I like it!

Raise 5 Design Critique

Layout

The main layout of the jobs is reminiscent of Pinterest. You’ve got credit card style boxes with a photo to draw your attention at the top and all the important information – how much it is, who they’re supporting and what it is – below. It’s nice, clean, and organized.

This might be a rabbit-trail here, but when dealing with money, as they are, having a site look organized can be a real help to gaining people’s trust. If the jobs were organized more reddit-style (no offense to the reddittians) it would automatically make me think twice before giving them any of my money. It would be like wearing sweats to a job interview: the look effects the trust people put in your ability. Websites are no different. Take Ramit Sethi’s website. His stuff is awesome, but his website made me pause and, if I hadn’t already seen several of his videos, I probably would have clicked off. It simply looks like a scam website. The point is, design matters; which is why I’m doing a design critique in the first place.

Organization

Lastly, I like the organization of the jobs themselves. The categories are intuitive and the “featured/latest” options to the left of them were a great idea. And even though we’re talking about the organization of the jobs here, the design organization of those categories, categories on the right and featured/latest on the left, communicate effectively to the user that each section is an option that can be chosen in tandem or singly.

Take-Aways

  • Good design can influence a user to trust your website
  • Choose colors with an thought toward what they currently represent
  • Don’t be afraid to break the rules – for a good reason!

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