Blueprint Itemized Dashboard
Investigating what product features could help foster more sustained political giving outside the election cycle.
Role: Lead researcher
Methods: Survey & 1:1 user interviews
Collaborators: Product Manager, Design
Blueprint is a political giving tool that provides users with a quarterly portfolio of impactful races and organizations. We think of it as an investment tool for democracy -- if it’s not an election quarter, donations are focused more on organizations that are expanding voter access or fighting voter suppression.
Users can donate in three main ways:
They can choose an amount and invest in the quarterly portfolio that our team has selected based on expert political analysis
They can request a custom blueprint, that is more tailored to their values
They can create a giving circle, which is a custom blueprint that they then share with their network to try and raise funds as a collective
Blueprint has had great early success. In 2020, Blueprint donors invested over $5 million in 148 Democratic candidates and 31 civic organizations. It also won a Fast Company Innovation award in 2020.
In a post-Trump political landscape, how do we keep Blueprint donors engaged?
What features should we invest in that Blueprint users want?
Our hypothesis was that much of the early success of Blueprint was due to what we called “The Trump Effect”. Many people became donors or volunteers for the first time because it was easy to rally behind a shared villain.
After the 2020 election, we strategized around what would need to be true for donors to stay engaged? What could we offer them, product and experience wise, that could make the donation experience better and help them understand the importance of sustained giving.
We started broadly with a post-election survey. We wanted to understand how users felt about current features, the election, as well as get a sense of what potential future features might be appealing.
This user survey had two main things stand out that we wanted to pursue further via interviews: customization and a more personalized dashboard. I interviewed 12 users; 6 donors and 6 people who had signed up with Blueprint but had yet to give
When asked "Select the two features that would make you more excited to use Blueprint"
The two top features were
an itemized dashboard and more customization.
Taking all of these together made it clear to us that we needed to investigate what value an itemized dashboard could bring our users.
Through digging deeper qualitatively, we found that customization actually was not a priority, despite the survey findings. Every donor we spoke with appreciated the level of thoughtfulness that went into each quarterly portfolio and the fact that you could choose a more organization- or candidate-focused portfolio.
What users were yearning for was slightly more personalized information. Participants liked the quarterly impact reports, but wanted something briefer, more front & center, and about their own donations specifically.
From this research, we decided to not focus on customization and instead, invest in an itemized dashboard for users.
“I’m okay with it…I don’t really need customization. The whole point is that there are people behind it that know where the money goes.”
Impact & Lessons Learned
The launch email raised our benchmark raise in 1 week (we normally consider 2 weeks the lifecycle of an email’s fundraising effect because of the tail)
Increase in time spent on the page compared to similar times in previous quarters
30% increase in page views
The way we worded the question around personalization & customization may have been unclear to the users
Need a better understanding of non-donors
Harder to reach group, so we did not have as strong representation from these users
More user testing
due to when this product was launched, we were limited in capacity to test as thoroughly as we would have liked