SURJ Site Audit and Redesign
Showing Up For Racial Justice
The Bay Area chapter of SURJ (Showing Up for Racial Justice) is part of a national network of groups and individuals organizing white people for racial justice. There are over 150 chapters and affiliates nationwide. Through community organizing, mobilizing, and education, SURJ moves white people to act as part of a multi-racial majority for justice, with passion and accountability.
The primary goal of this project was to evaluate how the current website was performing, identify opportunities for improvement and implement them in a site redesign.
Growing The Movement For Racial Justice
SURJ’s mission is to build a movement of white people to act in support of racial justice while following the guidance of our POC-led partner organizations leading this work.
The involvement of white people in the fight for racial justice can be problematic. This is why SURJ explicitly grounds their work in the leadership of people of color and those most impacted by racial injustice. As white people benefit in numerous ways from racial inequity they are also uniquely positioned to leverage their access to resources and power to support needed change at scale.
- Project Lead
- User Research
- UX and Visual Design
Website Audit & User Research
Working directly with SURJ’s Communications Committee I led an audit of their existing website, including user research, to identify opportunities for improving the user experience in relation to SURJ’s goals for the site.
Understanding The Primary Audience
The primary audience for SURJ’s website is white people who are interested in learning more about racial justice and potentially participating in this work. They are all ages and genders. They range from every social class.
Audience Concerns And Considerations
- Insecurity about participating in something they see as a sensitive topic
- Discomfort around confronting racial privilege
- Uncertainty about the appropriateness of their involvement
- Confusion about how to get involved and where to start
- To feel educated about the cause
- Clear ways to get involved
- Participation opportunities that match their availability
Meeting People Where They Are At
Over the course of numerous conversations with members of SURJ’s primary audience group I identified the following relevant persona types representing availability to participate in racial justice work:
The newcomer is not sure where to start or even what questions to ask. They are interested in racial justice and want to learn more.
The supporter may not know how best to get involved or have the time to do so. They contribute to the cause by donating resources and/or spreading the word.
The event attendee is interested in racial justice and is not sure where to start. They’re pretty busy, so an event (a few hours one evening, or weekend) is an appealing option.
The campaign contributor wants to make more time in their life for racial justice. They want to get involved for more than one day, maybe a couple days over a month or two. Or maybe they just have a lot of time and energy this week.
The active member wants to build racial justice work into their day-to-day life, at least for now. They’re open to making a regular commitment to the work and show up a couple times a month.
Ways To Engage
Expand your knowledge of racial justice work, past and present, and the impact of white supremacy and other forms of oppression.
- reading list
Support the movement with a one-time or recurring financial contribution. Your donation moves change forward.
- social media share
Participate in the movement, whether you can make it once a year or several days a month.
The current design of the SURJ Bay Area website has remained largely unchanged for the past few years. The Events, Blog, and News sections are actively updated. Otherwise the site content has been static.
I worked with the Communications Committee to identify a set of goals for the website. I then created a survey to solicit feedback from the chapter membership regarding the SURJ website, their evaluation of its performance in relation to these goals, and to identify other areas for improvement.
- Articulate SURJ’s work
- Contact info
- Invite active membership
- Invite campaign participation
- Accessibility info
- Ongoing campaigns
- Past campaigns
- Working groups
- Core partner orgs
“Greater clarity on opportunities to engage based on varied levels of availability.”
– most common feedback
I created a brief report to summarize the findings from the website audit. I then presented this report to the Communications Committee of SURJ Bay Area. The committee unanimously approved my recommendations in the report and gave approval to proceed with the redesign.
I created a series of wireframes to explore different layout options for the site. I explored various structures to the page that would highlight the 3 main ways to engage with SURJ’s work (Learn, Support, Act) while maintaining easy access to social media links and content.
I’m currently working on the new design for the SURJ Bay Area website. I’ve created initial design concepts in Sketch. I will then be building the site in WordPress with an anticipated launch date in early Summer 2019.
+ Website Audit Brought Clarity and Buy-In
Prior to the website audit there was not consistent buy-in from stakeholders that a website redesign was needed. After I presented the results of the audit there was unanimous support for the redesign effort.
… Still In Progress
I am actively working on the site redesign and expect to have the site live by mid-summer, 2019.