Case Study: Mothers’ Milk Bank

10 Jun 2016

TradeMark Media brought our website into the right decade, maintaining excellent communication and keeping clearly scheduled deadlines throughout ... We're thrilled with our new site and already see evidence of how it's better serving our users.

Since its inception in 1999, the Mothers' Milk Bank at Austin—the largest of its kind in the country—has dispensed more than four million ounces of pasteurized milk to pre-term and medically fragile babies in Texas and around the U.S. 

So why wasn't its old website effectively making the case for its mission?

For starters, it was visually lackluster and featured a site architecture that didn't perfectly align with its operations and users' needs. But more importantly, nonprofit organizations—especially those that depend so heavily on volunteers—must convey a sense of professionalism and authority. Users should land on a nonprofit site and, within seconds, sense that this organization can be trusted. 

Designing Trust

Internet surfers grow savvier every day. What users once considered a luxury—e.g., mobile-responsive websites—are now expected. Organizations whose websites look and feel outdated immediately lose some credibility with their users. 

So we started with the basics:

  • Reimagined visuals—including photography of babies, volunteers, and doctors
  • Making the site mobile-responsive
  • Simplifying navigation
  • Developing fresh new content

This went a long way toward "designing trust." Now, users can immediately see and feel the MMB's size, scope, and commitment to its mission.

Big Donation Boost

Back in early 2015, a year before we initiated the redesign of the MMB website, we provided AdWords consulting, including helping them secure a $10,000 Google AdWords grant through the Google for Nonprofits program. Additionally, our search engine optimization (SEO) work helped the Bank see an enormous growth in monthly milk donor sign-ups online. Check it out:

A Few Nifty Tools

Building the website offered a few opportunities to flex our development muscle, including:

  • Building on ExpressionEngine 3 
  • Subtle, delightful animations that appear as the user navigates through each page
  • Made-from-scratch menus
  • Fluid page width—i.e., the website stretches to the edges of whatever screen it's being viewed on—is beneficial to larger screens, which are becoming more prevalent. 

Whenever we construct a website, we aim to incorporate at least "one new thing." In other words, we don't want to offer cookie-cutter solutions to non-cookie-cutter organizations. In this case, we sprinkled a number of these subtle, yet differentiating, elements throughout the new MMB site.