Clearleft is currently working with a charity which is aiming to get all children around the world into school. Our role is to provide the organisation with a coherent content strategy and redesign their website accordingly.

We’ve immersed ourselves within the organisation and by interviewing stakeholders we’ve uncovered lots areas of attention for the redesign. These include improving findability and discoverability, better explaining what the charity does and has achieved, enabling the organisation to show its reaction and response to major events, introduce different speeds of journalism and more informational content, improve governance of the content lifecycle, and much more along similar lines.

On the face of it we now know the goals of the redesign so we could just crack on and use our judgement and expertise to make the required changes. But why? That’s a question we seriously need to ask. Why these goals? What will those changes actually achieve? We can’t honestly design effective solutions without knowing the objectives of those goals.

You can extract objectives by considering the sequence of consequences - sometimes known as the theory of change.

Our charity wants to get more women and children into education across the world. It does this primarily by influencing national and local political and organisational leaders to make changes in policy and act upon them. Policy makers react to large numbers of people, and even more so if those people are constituents. Growing an audience of supporters and activists will lead to more people to taking action, mobilising more people in constituencies, and thus have a bigger effect on policy makers. The audience supporting the aim of the charity can be grown through improved explanation of the charity’s work, by providing social proof it is having an effect, with more engagement through interactivity. A direct effect on policy makers can be had through increased credibility of journalism and convincing presentation of research.

Now we know why the changes need to occur and how they will help achieve the ultimate aim. This means we won’t be providing generic design improvements, but tailoring the solutions to tangible objectives. All because we asked ‘What’s the point?’.