CCA + KIVA ZIP, 2016

For our project with Kiva Zip in our Live Exchange class at California College of the Art's DMBA Program, our group delivered a set of redesign recommendations and strategic guidelines for improving the website. We based these suggestions on deep user research conducted in the Fall term, during which we identified new borrowers' information needs, and where Kiva Zip's current messaging strategy (including on their web platform) was leading to pain points.

With the support and partnership of the leadership team at Kiva Zip, and other key stakeholders including interns and fellows, we worked to identify what was happening internally, that led to difficulties in transmitting important information externally.

Identifying challenge areas, and the equally great strengths of the team as well, allowed us to develop a design that was more than just a "pie in the sky" or a moon shot, but a team-building, fun-inciting goal to strive for -- and the tools the Kiva team needs to succeed.


Our research and design process was guided by Appreciative Inquiry -- with the understanding that Kiva's leaders and team members want their organization to do purposeful and meaningful work, and that they want to, and are well equipped to, be powerful change agents when needed. Appreciative Inquiry (AI) asks us to discover and articulate why people are proud to be affiliated with their organization, and design new opportunities to leverage this pride, and capitalize on existing strengths. 

We found both users and Kiva team members were unanimously frustrated with the online loan application process. Not only was it pushing away new users from applying for a loan but it was causing stress and tension internally at Kiva. We decided to take on their website and redesign the visual, navigational, and experiential components of the online loan application process as well as update their messaging throughout to provide for a painless and dare we say "fun" experience.