Behind the scenes: UNICEF website project

by Adrenalin
07 Apr 2017
7 min read
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Behind the scenes: UNICEF website project

This week the UNICEF Australia website was recognised as an Honoree by the international Webby Awards for the second year running.

The awards body which awards ‘the best of the internet’ is globally recognised as the highest standard of online work. To shed a little more light on what went on behind the scenes to create the acclaimed website, we talked with the team here at Adrenalin who were involved with the various aspects of the project.

A bit of background

UNICEF Australia is one of Australia’s largest not-for-profits dedicated to protecting the rights of every child globally. Our challenge was to drive deeper engagement with the Australian public. With a significant dependency on owned digital channels to drive revenue; differentiation, mesmerising storytelling and intuitive user experiences were essential.

It was imperative that the user experience be as seamless as possible for visitors as they traversed between the UNICEF website, social channels, video portals, blogs and advocacy sites; consuming content and building donor intent along the way.

What we did

Jennifer Doyle who was the project manager for the website project said “We split the project into two phases, focusing first on the UX, design and front end build of the site, and separately on the integration with payment systems. This allowed us to start the project and keep it moving separate to any dependencies and set up of the payment gateway.”

In the first phase Jennifer referred to was the creative for the site which was essential to nurturing the donors along the conversion funnel by engaging them and creating an emotional connection with the subject matter. The seamless journey to donation maintains the donor’s emotional connection by using relevant imagery from the story that first captivated them. Lauren Groblewski, the Senior Account Manager for UNICEF said: “UNICEF regularly draws in new and returning donors through compelling storytelling, often leading with striking imagery. Powerful photo essays, profiling a child’s story, or highlighting the hardships and successes of children around the world are frequently popular subjects on the blog. Using an emotional connection to engage an audience positions those readers one step closer to becoming a donor, and frequently reading a blog story is the first step in the user journey to donation.”

Brand and creative workshops were instrumental in developing the overall look and feel of the site and its components. Powerful, emotive and impactful creative assets and copy needed to be presented in a way that was striking, captivating, and respectful of the subject and/or subject matter. The creative execution on this project needed to walk a fine line with exploitative and violent imagery, neutrality, appearing ‘lush’ or ‘extravagant’, and needed, always, to consider the rights of the child.

The optimised UX encourages the conversion of one-time supporters to monthly donors.

Lauren Groblewski also said: “Traffic to is split 50/50 between desktop and tablet/mobile, so creating a seamless experience for users across all devices is paramount to the success of the site.” Taking this insight into account, we created the website to be fully responsive allowing for an optimal user-experience across different devices and resolutions. Edwin Yosorahardjo, who has worked at Adrenalin for the past 10 years, headed up the backend development of the platform and explained that “components on the site were built to support responsive design for mobile, tablet and desktop with integrated image optimization.”

Responsive design

Rajeev Kumar, Creative Director at Adrenalin and lead on the UNICEF project said: “The redesigned website utilises an innovative wide-form design, which is a departure from the content-heavy sites traditionally favoured by the not-for-profit sector. This allows the content to breathe whilst making room for functional aides such as intuitive ‘sticky’ navigation and supportive personalised content that compel the user journey to conversion.”

Design touches such as a primary navigation that sits a little shifted to the right, or icons that are composed of two slightly disjointed elements, all create a sense of realness while maintaining a credible look and feel.


To further drive revenue, ecommerce is seamlessly integrated into the website. Edwin explained that “As UNICEF has a complex business model, the ecommerce solution we built had to handle and support that.” The Inspired Gift Shop section of the site further enables users to donate. Throughout the website the navigation is intuitive allowing the user to easily move between the pages, consuming relevant content while being encouraged to share across their own social channels.

The result

The beautiful, conversion optimised site has generated unprecedented revenue in new donations since launch, exceeding all expectations. Sitting at the forefront of the Australian not-for-profit sector, the new award-winning website has outperformed the industry benchmark for traffic.

To learn more about conversion optimisation of the UNICEF Australia site see our recent blog post, read the case study or get in touch with our team.

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