Blackcreek worked with SickKids Foundation to deliver and successfully launch a new eCommerce website that: delivered a better donor experience, automated manual fulfillment processes, and contributed to their ongoing efforts to raise money for a brand-new hospital.
Strategy, eCommerce, User Experience Design, Creative & Visual Design, Web Development, Enterprise Infrastructure
As part of the biggest fundraising campaign in Canadian healthcare history (beginning in 2017 to 2022), SickKids Foundation wanted to launch a new eCommerce website that could deliver a better donor experience, automate more of their manual fulfillment processes, and contribute to their ongoing efforts to raise money for a brand-new hospital.
Working alongside the Marketing, Branding, and Technical teams from SickKids Foundation, we set out to design, architect, and develop a modern eCommerce experience built on top of the Shopify platform. We created an enterprise-level, queue-based microservice architecture capable of delivering fast and reliable order processing and fulfillment.
We worked with various teams at SickKids Foundation to understand the history of the project and uncover why there were false starts in the past. Multiple discovery sessions with the SickKids Foundation teams ensured that we could determine the best approach for improving the user experience of the site. These engagements lead to the creation of user flows, and eventually, a full IA to capture the ideal user flow.
Emphasis was placed on the usability of the customization wizard for the products, a feature that was lacking in the old shopping experience.
The key areas of focus were on the whole site’s interconnectivity, and the ability to adhere to its donor-first principles across the entire eCommerce experience.
Should we continue polishing our low-fidelity screens, or start showing creative concepts to the client? To get the best of both worlds, we chose to begin creating “hybrid” designs, showcasing a light-branding approach while enhancing our experience screens. To do that, we leveraged our shared insights through collaborative brand discovery working sessions.
SickKids Foundation is a leader in the digital non-profit sector - and their technical expectations were high. We worked with them to architect a first-class enterprise architecture that was based on two key principles: stable & scalable. We built the new eCommerce and fulfillment platform as queue-based microservices on AWS. We also made use of the iPaaS solution SnapLogic to streamline dataflows to their CRM.
Building on top of the Shopify platform meant saving a lot of time & effort by not having to reinvent the wheel, and instead addressing the unique challenges for this specific project: an intuitive customization wizard, automatic fulfillment, and isomorphic lightweight PDF generation technology.
We worked with SickKids to successfully complete and launch the entire project in under six months.
In the end, we implemented a modern, effective, and visually pleasing shopping experience, while making navigation incredibly easy for users. We also greatly improved the mobile experience of the site, even allowing for card customization (something many card companies don’t enable)! Our overall design enhanced the SickKids Foundation brand, while preserving the elements that make SickKids Foundation a cherished leader in their field.
Looking back on the project, there's a few important takeaways to note:
1. Don’t focus only on best practices for charities. Focus on the best experiences you’ve ever had, digital or not.
2. Create more design components and less individual styles. This helps in the long run for both the designer and the developer by creating a style guide within a style guide.
3. Voice your opinion on design matters objectively by having good examples to draw from, asserting your expertise, while walking the client through different scenarios. This leads to a more fruitful partnership built on trust and mutual respect.