KCRW's Donate Button: A Case Study for Interaction Design

KCRW is a public service of Santa Monica College that creates and curates a unique mix of content through radio, digital, and in person. In being a public service, KCRW relies on member donations and sponsorship.

It is established as in "why" a user would want to donate to KCRW, but the digital platform needs to focus on "how" a user can donate.

The donate button is clearly distinguished upon the users arrival to www.kcrw.com. Attention grabbing, yet not intrusive. The issue with this button is that it is not consistent throughout the website. With all of the options available to the user, the call to action can easily be overlooked and forgotten.

Consider the use of the mini-player. Once it is active, the user is likely to close the current tab to proceed with listening to the scheduled program. When the mini-player starts, the user is prompted by an audio message to donate, yet there is no donate button (Fig.1).

An argument can be made that the user may not close the tab, but the issue still persists. Opening the mini-player prompts the closing of the regularly sized player that contains the donate button. Figure 2 being before the click and figure 3 being after. Even if the user wants to donate, they need to search for the button, this causes friction between desire (wanting to donate) and ability (donating).

Fig. 1

Fig. 2

Fig. 3

The issue continues to hold true if the user proceeds to click on any other part of the website.

Examples being:

*When the menu icon is clicked.

*When the search icon is clicked.

*Almost every clickable item prompts the removal of the donate button, exceptions being the headphone icon and volume.

The focus is on user interaction strategy through interaction design when building the call to action of a page. Understanding user interaction will allow for a higher rate of donation. It should be kept in mind that good design makes it so the user does not have to think. By having a consistently present donate button, the user can easily donate to KCRW when they are reminded of the quality content and services provided to them.

The solution is having a donate button built within the navigation bar when the web player disappears (Fig. 4 top right corner). A button being added to the mini-player will allow users to easily donate (Fig. 5). The love and loyalty for the KCRW brand is present, but complexity and friction to support the product should be minimized. The user has the motivation to donate and has been triggered to do so, but does not have the ability. It is important to optimize for all three elements in order to have a behavior (donating) occur (BJ Fogg's Behavior Model) .

Fig. 4

Fig. 5