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Re-designing Communication 



This project was an evolving six month long engagement with Kiva Zip in San Francisco. In phase one of the project, we began by taking a deep dive into Kiva Zip's communication both internal and outfacing. Identifying where the gaps were. In phase two, we partnered up with Kiva Zip to re-design the website experience. The primary goal here was to make the website a fun and intuitive experience for those seeking to get loans.

Kiva Zip is a non-profit organization that focuses on providing peer-to-peer microloans to small business owners. The majority of these small business owners have exhausted all options to get traditional loans from financial institutions. As a subsidiary of Kiva, Kiva Zip works solely with people in the United States, whereas Kiva focuses on a larger international market.

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Phase 2 research
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design insights



The team began by interviewing small business owners, fellows, interns and borrowers on Kiva Zip, learning as much as we could about the Kiva Zip experience for the borrower and identifying what was good and what was missing. We learned that there was a high drop off rate at the application process, and a lot of people needed to call and speak with a Kiva Zip fellow or Intern to succesfully complete the borrowing process. 


We then did a comprehensive communications audit and developed a touchpoint map (pictured above) of all communication internal and outfacing at Kiva Zip, to help us identify the gaps in communication as well as pain points in the current experience. We learned that the website experience was lacking clarity and wasn't as cohesive as it should be. Borrowers were unable to navigate it and the multiple supporting webpages to find the information they needed. There was also a lot of important communication via email that was not easily accesible on the website.


With the primary areas of focus that we learned from phase one in mind, we held workshops with our clients to determine how to best prioritize the design goals, features, and functionality. We then began to organize data into categories of primary, secondary, and tertiary clusters of priorities. These groupings helped us realize what to focus on from a design perspective. 

For a more detailed overview of the project take a look at the process books for Phase I and Phase II.

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We ultimately delivered to Kiva Zip a final set of high-fidelity designs, a detailed process book and organizational report, and strategic guidelines.


In order to assist Kiva Zip with understanding how to implement the designs, we created a series of strategies that display how and why we prioritized changes. We had three types of strategic categories: experience design, visual design, and Kiva specific content strategies.



Below are examples of how the design progressed as the website priorities changed. Halfway through the project, we learned that Kiva Zip and Kiva were integrating into a single brand. Therefore, Kiva Zip's content will live on the Kiva website. This strategic change lead us to the

final designs.

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