experience design

SickKids Foundation

Creating an innovative eCommerce Experience for donor products for SickKids Foundation.

Designs placed in different devices

Creating an innovative eCommerce Experience for donor products.

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.

What we did

Strategy, eCommerce, User Experience Design, Creative & Visual Design, Web Development, Enterprise Infrastructure

The Story

Creating an improved eCommerce user experience

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.

Designs placed in different phones

The Approach

Developing a modern eCommerce experience

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.

Low fidelity wireframes


Understanding How Non-Profits Operate

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.

design thinking

Innovating on Donation
User Experience

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.

Creative & UI

Extending the
Brand Guidelines

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.

Designs placed in different devices


A first-class enterprise architecture

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.

Design placed on an ipad
Two iphones


A modern, effective, and visually pleasing shopping experience

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.

Designs placed in different devices

The TAKEAways

What We Learned Along The Way

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.



Let's Talk