Monday
Jun292009

Social networking site for campaigners

In December 2009, the Sheila McKechnie Foundation (SMK) asked Jellymould to tender for the job of designing a website for campaigners. Four months later, Campaign Central - the most complex site we have developed to date - was launched at an event hosted by the Connection at St Martins in London.

The site was challenging and exciting for many reasons. The target audience, campaigners, is an assertive and Internet savvy group of people. This was particularly evident in the personas we created for this project - profiles of fictional individuals representing the key characteristics of the potential users of the website - four out of five of whom were early adopters, already using a range of social networking tools to communicate their campaigning goals, from blogs to Twitter.

In our user research and testing, we found individuals who were willing to test the site or review our wireframes at midnight, rather than pass up an opportunity to comment! Engaged and supportive beyond our expectations, campaigners were a thrill to work with.

Jellymould Creative worked really hard to produce www.campaigncentral.org.uk for us. They offered the best value for money. But we didn’t go with them just because of cost – their actual bid was the best all round. They’re good at getting under the skin of what you want and take pride in what they do.
Harmit Kambo, Communications Manager
Sheila McKechnie Foundation

The project was also exciting because this was our first foray into open-source technology and the Drupal content management system. We teamed up with Adaptive, a Derby-based development company who have provided an excellent, friendly service from beginning to end.

The site includes a suite of social networking features alongside information giving, ‘expert’ articles. There are a multitude of ways users may choose to engage with the site and the community of campaigners using it. They can :

  • send private messages to other users
  • set up campaigns and keep a campaign journal
  • feedback on other users’ campaigns and become a supporter
  • ask visitors to take action to support their campaign
  • ask other campaigners to join their network
  • add key dates and events to the community calendar and chat with other campaigners before and after the event
  • read and comment on articles by leading campaigners on a film, book or song that has inspired them
  • delve into the extensive ‘know-how’ and ‘resources’ sections to become better equipped and informed as a campaigner.

SMK was established in 2005 to help develop a new generation of campaigners who are tackling the root causes of injustice. Set up in memory of Dame Sheila McKechnie, SMK is entirely dedicated to helping campaigners to run effective and lawful campaigns that further charitable purposes. SMK runs programmes for individuals and groups: providing support, advice and a place to share information on key areas of effective campaigning - from strategy, tactics, and targets to evaluating successful campaigns.

The website was funded by the Baring Foundation and the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust.

If you are interested in a similar project, please get in touch.

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