Website developed and illustrated by Sanjna Sudan © 2019

katha

Year 2017

Awarded by SM4E award'18 (by Facebook & DeF) in entire South Asia

Who

Katha is an award winning publishing house and NGO in India, working in literacy to literature continuum. 

 

 

What

Led a small team at  Katha Digital Lab, to digitally re-brand Katha and strategise its digital interventions and presence. 

What was the challenge?

 

Being a 3 decade old organization, the key challenge lay in bringing all the learning and knowledge accumulated by the organisation together to organize its messaging and digital presence in a way that:

 

  • it represents the organization’s fun and yet serious tone (of working in areas of low literacy in India) of messaging both visually as well as textually.

  • it represents its key stakeholders well.

  • it weaves together internal communications well, to solve BIG strategic problems

But, what were these

BIG strategic problems?

 

Apart from communicating our messaging well, we needed to: 

  • move past the traditional donor funding mechanism and CSR funding modes to explore crowdfunding via our website and social media platforms

  • use crowdfunded money and crowdsourced books to build COOL (Community owned and operated libraries) in and around slums in Delhi

  • make it possible for our volunteers to be able to easily begin work in the nearest community within Delhi where Katha organized its intervention, with the click of a button or a phone call​

  • But to do all this, we needed a fabulous team! Therefore my role was also to hire people, start and manage the Katha Digital Lab.

 

My team, therefore, started with two young students from Katha's IT school in a community who I eventually trained in media management and design. We were later joined by numerous amazing interns, a product designer, developer, animator, and photographer. 

 

So how did we do it?

concept mapping

We drew out a concept map along with the Founder (Geeta Dharmarajan) and key leadership of the organisation to break down what Katha stood for and what all was needed and expected immediately from Katha’s digital presence.

 

 

STAGE 1:

Planning & Scoping

stakeholder maps

We understood that the key stakeholders of Katha NGO & Publication were the board of management, donors, internal team, teachers in the schools, community workers in slums and books buyers.

 

 

 

THAT WAS A LOT OF PEOPLE!

Therefore we realised we needed to further break it down and see if we could make a microsite that were or was designed in accordance with what our programmes could offer to our various stakeholders. We wanted to make this rebranding process have a 6 month timeline so as to develop a social media campaign (#3oo M Challenge) as well as an e-commerce website for katha books,a writing workshop teachers' website along with the main site- katha.org.

Here we’ll discuss only Katha.org

Some of the stakeholders at Katha

STAGE 2:

Exploration & Research

Interviews:

We interviewed key stakeholders on the “what, why and how” of Katha's organisational goals and their expectations from its digital presence.This helped us to put together a relevant narrative after a lot of filtering & editing, and also prioritise.  

 

Content analysis: 

We went through all the annual reports and donor pitches to get a sense of how far Katha has come and where it is headed.

STAGE 3:

Early Prototype!

Once we had all our basic content and information together, we created an information architecture flow chart and low fedility mockups

Adobe XD was the main platform I used for creating our early prototype and high fidelity mock-ups and sharing UIs and UX flows with our developers and stakeholders

STAGE 4:

Evaluation & Refinement

Once our mockup was ready we moved ahead with our developer to develop our prototype website on a parallel domain and kept editing the same until perfection. We got:

- A donation portal 

- A volunteering portal + map

created to name a few

STAGE 5:

Launching & Monitoring

Once our prototype was launched, we tested the product for its usability with many of our stakeholders and communities (slums) we worked with, to get relevant feedback and make improvements.

To monitor our product’s success, we set clear key performance indicators that were in sync with organisations goals- to get more crowdfunding, donated books and volunteers, and monitored them accordingly. 

Conclusion

At the end of the day, we managed to:

  • create a fabulous team of Katha Digital Lab comprising of a product designer, an animator, two young IT students (who we trained on the job) from Katha's community, interns and a photographer! 

  • collect 30,000 donated books

  • 2 Lakh rupees donated to us via digital campaigns

  • start 60+ community libraries and centers in Delhi with volunteers and donated books

All in about 7-8 months!

 

We won special mention award for this by Facebook & Digital Empowerment Foundation in South Asia!