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Inspiring discovery on the world's largest crowdfunding platform 



Inspiring discovery on the world's largest crowdfunding platform 


As crowdfunding has gained popularity & recognition, the types of campaigns fundraisers create have changed. Indiegogo engaged Design Equation to create new navigation to support user behavior, company needs and current campaign trends. 


Indiegogo's users are a community of creators. By backing a campaign, they can fund the next great idea and be an active part of the entrepreneurial process. 


We proposed three variations of navigation schema and architecture which better reflect the Indiegogo brand and highlight the user's role in supporting the growth & success of creators.  




ROLE: UX/UI Designer & Researcher

TEAM MEMBERS: Drew CarlascioDanielle Malik (Founder at Design Equation)

PROJECT DURATION: 3 week client project

SKILLS:  Client Management, Content Strategy, Information Archiecture, Collaborative Design

TOOLS: Paper & Pens, Post-Its, Keynote, Cardsorting, Sketch3, InVision

DELIVERABLES: User Personas, 3 Navigation Schemas, Desktop Wireframes & Interactive Prototype, Hand-off Deck



The Design Equation team (myself, another designer and a mentor) applied a critical eye to existing Indiegogo categories and provided fresh possibilities for new directions.

This project was a fast-paced 3 week design sprint, roughly broken down as a week each of:


Category ideation & testing

 Interaction Design




Update the categories to better accommodate current and future campaign trends


Create a new structure that feels more appropriate to the Indiegogo brand identity


Support the new segmenting between product & philanthropy (served by Indiegogo's new site


competitive analysis

In a survey of crowdfunding competitors and sites featuring creative projects we found the following taxonomies:

  • topical
  • chronological
  • tag-based
  • geographical
  • featured & curated
  • social - through social-network integration, celebrities & influencers
  • customized to user based on browsing history


We rolled up our sleeves & dug into Indiegogo's current 24 categories & 152,000 campaigns, making the following observations:

  • Campaigners currently categorize their projects using topical & tangible taxonomies, creating confusion and inconsistency in exploration. (I.e., a cute new pet collar may be found alongside a plea to end animal cruelty- a jarring browsing experience.)
  • A few categories hold the greatest concentration of campaigns, and many campaigns could be listed across numerous categories.
  • Campaign backers have social, altruistic & passionate motivations for crowdfunding.


  • Design is bone deep. The information architecture of a site has as much influence on the overall feeling and experience of a product as its content and visuals. Navigation can convey the brand as much as a logo.
  • Most users enter through the campaign page, referred by social media & friends. Navigational components should thus encourage lateral movement.


Card sorting exercises and usability testing with volunteers who reflected Indiegogo's core user demographic helped us test mental models and word associations. 


While this was primarily an information architecture challenge, we also recognized that category structures require context.

We brainstormed and explored new schemas, iterating and refining with sketches. We explored how users can move around the site, browse, unearth their passions and be surprised by new discoveries with the new categories. Sketching new navigation designs helped illustrate how:

  • the theme & personality of a concept extends into interface elements
  • lateral movement & “recirculation” can be encouraged on the category and campaign pages
  • more prominent tags can augment navigation & discovery and surface trends
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We presented 3 concepts to Indiegogo, with design comps to illustrate their navigational stories. They range from a gradual shift in existing site categories to a disruptive, fresh take on its IA, providing multiple options for inspiration and implementation.


concept 1: topical

This concept is most closely based on current Indiegogo categories. It simplifies & collapses current categories into labels that better represent what the campaigns are about. 

  • Highlights categories that are gaining prominence & were priorly buried inside a massive single category (active & wearables, apps & games, tech life). 
  • Drives a harder line distinguishing Indiegogo from Generosity. Categories containing primarily social-cause campaigns were removed. Product campaigns within those categories can then find a new home.
  • Tags also serve as adjectives and sub-genres, further guiding discovery.

concept 2: identity

In this concept, navigation & categories convey the personality of backers and their motivations for funding projects. 

  • Shows spunk and creativity with quirky yet learnable categories.
  • Groups social-cause campaigns into one category, with a softer separation between Generosity & Indiegogo. 
  • Inspired by the tone & voice of Indiegogo’s brand positioning, categories are playful and smart. (And were a lot of fun to brainstorm). 

As this was the most ambiguous taxonomy, numerous alternative labels were also provided, to be further tested for understandability across diverse audiences.


concept 3: emergence & growth

This concept features master categories that highlight the backer’s active role in supporting the campaign’s growth and success.

  • A story of emergence and forward motion is told with active language, revealing sub-categories and gentle animations.
  • Clearly defines distinction between Generosity & Indiegogo with all social-cause campaigns grouped under “Movements.” Here, the distinction between social-good campaigns on the two sites becomes clearer - Generosity hosting local, community-based projects and causes, while Indiegogo launching entrepreneurs, ideas and large-scale change.

A week after project hand-off, the Indiegogo "Explore" page, while still in development, already reflects some of our design suggestions.