Crowdpac Product Design

A powerful platform for political change.

Redefining the Political Machine

In today’s America, big dollar donations largely oil the gears of the political machine, causing a vast overrepresentation of wealthy interests in our electable offices. At Crowdpac, we believe that the government should represent what America truly is like and the best interests of us all. As a political fundraising platform, we allow anyone, whether you’re already a candidate in a race, considering running for office, part of an organization, or even just a concerned citizen, to feel empowered to make a change and improve our shared government.

Unfortunately, a typical, everyday American does not have the financial means to run for office, despite whatever their qualifications were. Oftentimes, politicians have powerful connections and fundraising operations to draw in high dollar donations. This can be a daunting environment for anyone outside of that world who might be considering a run. Crowdpac helps to alleviate those barriers of entry by using the power of digital, modern, social crowdfunding to overturn the traditional methods of political fundraising. One of our core features, for example, is our “Start Running” tool that enables a potential candidate to explore a run, collecting yet-uncharged pledges, to help them gauge support until they decide to declare their candidacy. Because the world of political fundraising can be notoriously opaque and difficult to break into, we wanted to make it as easy as possible for everyday people to make political change.

 

Crowdpac is a political fundraising site dedicated to taking big money out of politics, empowering everyday people to run for office, have a voice within their government, and truly make a difference.


 

Campaign Creation

One of the key features of Crowdpac’s platform is that anyone can quickly and easily make a free campaign. When I first began at Crowdpac, the campaign creation flow was in desperate need of a revamp. While it was possible to fully create a campaign through the site on your own, many creators required support from our team. We needed to upgrade the process to make it more modern, understandable, and intuitive. It also needed to be friendly to a spectrum of technological capabilities as our audience had a wide diversity of backgrounds.

In order to do so, I had to rethink the entire creation process from a conceptual viewpoint.

 
 

Depending on what kind of campaign the user wants to make, there are different pieces of information we needed to collect. Some of the major use cases had pieces that were in common with others, but many were unique. The new flow would need to leverage those commonalities to reduce engineering work while still providing the creator with enough specific context so that they feel supported every step of the way.

 

It was clear that we needed a system that was flexible enough to accommodate the vast diversity of use cases of our platform, so using visuals to map out the branches of the proposed campaign creation flow highlighted its flexibility and ability to accommodate all use cases.

 

Each step of the process could branch into multiple possibilities so it was critical to account for each use case. I also strove to reuse this system for editing a campaign after publishing since it was the most familiar interface for the user to work with and contained basically the same information. This was also a significant consideration during its design and development.

 

Our previous campaign creation flow was not responsive, even in an era of increasing reliance on mobile devices. With the new redesign, we knew we needed to cater to all screen sizes and made a conscientious effort to make the flow easy enough to set up a campaign quickly on your phone, utilizing modern best practices for easy tap through.

Surprisingly to me, a lot of our campaigns after the redesign were created and edited on mobile. For many working in politics, the existing tools can be frustratingly out-of-date, desktop only, and poorly designed. Our redesigned flow set us apart as a credible, modern, and easy-to-use alternative.

 

Overall, we saw a huge change in the conversion rate of creators publishing their campaigns from beginning to end. The process became much smoother, easier to understand, and allowed us to better scale our growth for more users to create campaigns on their own. This redesign also updated the creation flow to be responsive and mobile-friendly, allowing users to create and edit campaigns from any device. With this new redesign, creators are now able to navigate the traditionally complex process of setting up a political fundraising site much more quickly and easily, reducing another barrier of entry for someone to create political change.

 
 

 

user dashboard

As our platform grew, it became more evident that campaign creators needed a space to better manage and control their campaigns. Campaign settings were strewn across the site in disparate places or worse, were only accessible by administrators, thus requiring our support whenever creators needed changes. In an effort to make our platform increasingly more self-serve friendly, I designed a user dashboard where creators are able to view the status of their campaign, change settings, and build upon their campaign in one accessible place.

 

Early explorations of the dashboard, brainstorming potential visualizations of data and interfaces for actionable tasks. Working closely with both the political and engineering team during this process, I was able to better understand and refine what metrics would be useful for users, what was possible with our data and engineering capacity, and what steps we could encourage creators to take to better promote their campaign and maximize its success.

 

With the new dashboard, we also added more features for users to better control their campaign and understand what those changes would mean. For example, creators were now able to disable their campaign to hide it from public view while still being able to edit it. Adding a status tag to the top of the page and additional messaging throughout the dashboard allowed creators to understand what state their campaign is in and how it appears to supporters. I worked with our front-end and back-end engineers in order to carefully consider each potential state not only on the dashboard, but its implications across the site.

 

The dashboard provided a home both for previously existing features, such as viewing contributions, posting updates, and editing through the new campaign editor, as well as new ones as part of this work, such as additional campaign setting options, multi-user access, and dashboard tips and metrics. Although we practice an iterative approach to our product, I wanted to ensure that whatever we first implemented could be scaled to accommodate any future features, setting ourselves up nicely with a ready-to-go framework. The flexible dashboard system has enabled us to expand our offerings for campaign creators. With each new feature we’ve built since then, the dashboard has grown and flexed to truly become the one-stop shop for our campaign creators.

 
 

 

action pages

While the campaign page is the main product on Crowdpac, many of our users needed a more flexible way to do their creative, online fundraising. We saw campaign pages used in truly innovative and unpredictable ways by our customers, such as supporting ticketed events and selling campaign merchandise. In the current political toolbox, there are so many disparate digital tools to handle very specific use cases, causing a headache for campaign managers looking for a single place for all their fundraising needs. From this, we embarked to create a smaller, simpler digital presence to augment the main campaign page that would also be flexible enough for creators to use for whatever they needed. Users could then link to them from wherever they wanted, such as social media posts and email updates, without interrupting or affecting their main campaign page.

 

Select steps from the Action Page creator. Because the interface utilizes the same style and formatting as the main campaign creation editor, users would feel familiar and proficient with the shorter and simpler Action Page process.

 

Desktop and mobile views of the Action Page itself. The page is simple yet flexible enough to allow creators to fundraise however they want.

 

A collection of some of the most innovative and interesting uses of Action Pages from our creative users.

 

Since its creation, Action Pages have enabled our users to raise over $130,000 in additional donations. We’ve seen users create Action Pages for creative event ticketing, collecting membership dues, addressing recent news and events, immediate action fundraising sprints, and more. We’ve also since added additional requested functionality, including the ability to create sign up forms and supporting a free ticket option.

 
 

 

Illustrations & visual design

Because of our small team size, designers at Crowdpac have always had to wear multiple hats. Whether it’s creating marketing assets, social share graphics, pitch decks, or illustration work, we’re always ready to provide design support in whatever ways we can.

 

Celebratory posts for social media.

Illustrations for marketing page.

Illustrations for marketing page.

Badges for donor profiles.

Badges for donor profiles.

 

 

Reflections

When I first came to Crowdpac in 2017, it was still not very well known. But over the time that I’ve worked here, we’ve gone from obscure, small start-up to a recognizable and powerful name in the political fundraising sphere. Since then, we’ve raised millions of dollars to combat and protest the injustices of the current government. We’ve launched campaigns that have propelled more women, people of color, and other minorities to win more local, state and federal offices than at any other time in history, getting us one step closer to a government that more accurately reflects all of us. We have witnessed and shared in the rage, fear, and frustration during these uncertain times and have helped courageous people do amazing things with it.

Whereas before I would have to explain what Crowdpac was, I now encounter everyday people who tell me that they’ve donated to one (or sometimes even to several!) of our campaigns. It’s been an inspiring and heartfelt honor to have played a part in building something that has made such a far-reaching impact.

 
 
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