Soap Hope
1 week
April, 2013
Soap Hope is a one-of-a-kind company, which aims to help women in third world countries build their lives, by issuing them microloans so as to empower them to make a living for themselves. The way the current website looks and functions, does not serve this purpose well. Even though the main intention is philantrophic, it seems commercial, thus making it look just like any other website. My aim with this redesign was to differentiate it from other companies by focusing on its core value proposition.
Soap Hope is a website which sells health and hygiene related products and uses the proceeds for the sales to empower women in poor countries, by issuing them microloans and helping them create small bussiness so that they can sustain themselves and their families. After the microloans have been used effectively and returned one year later by the women who they were issued to, only then does Soap Hope use its profits earned from the sales in the previous year. This is called the Good Returns model, followed by Soap Hope. However, the problem with the current website is that it doesn't do justice to its glorious business model. How exactly does Soap Hope work ? This question is not clearly answered well on the website.
The redesigned website aims to bring the Good Returns model to the forefront.
Team members : Deepak Bhagchandani

I did a lot of desk research in trying to find out more information about the company, watching talks given by the company executives and trying to find out the core motivation behind the company and what motivations was it rooted in. I also studied the current website and the products that were being offered to customers. I looked at the current website and tried to analyze what was working for them (so that I could reuse it in the new design) and what was not working for them (so that I could elimate it in the new design).
One of the key insights that I gleaned from my research was that there is no clarity in the visitors mind with regards to these questions :

  • Are they selling the products for cheap ?
  • Are they making women make these products that they are selling ?
  • Are they employing women and thereby reducing poverty?

The website also seems to be more commercially oriented rather than philanthropically. The first thing that you see when you log onto the website is the product banner. It makes the site look more commercial rather than philanthropic. It makes the company look like its here to sell its products and that changing the world is their second priority. Because of this the site looks just like any other small business that is trying to sell their products for a profit. Therefore, when redesigning the website, I had the following criterias in my mind :

    Focus needs to shift from $$$ -> : ) :) :)
  • When users comes on the website they should feel really comforted
    By a nice and positive user interface with calm colors.

  • They should feel compassionate
    By a nice and positive user interface with calm colors.

  • They should feel happy about what this company is doing
    By showing what SoapHope is doing to solve problems of underprivileged women.

  • They should be motivated to buy their products
    By somehow showing that the money spent by the visitor is going to help a woman directly.

With all these insights in mind, I redesigned the website.