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Responses by Lincoln Assis, founder, Adrift Agency.

Background: The Bushfire Help website was built to unify all relevant information about the organizations supporting victims of the Australian bushfires into one platform, in order to generate more donations. We focused on creating a very user-friendly site that enables visitors to filter organizations according to their preferences. Our site is still under development, and most of the features we envision for the final platform will be added as we continue to develop the platform. Our brand and website is targeting pretty much every Australian able to offer volunteering services or money donations. Here’s a cool fact about the brand development: we teamed up with The Design Kids, and through their massive community, we launched a “Logo Competition” that had more than 30 logo entries to help our cause!

Bushfire Help is a branch of a new association called We Help Australia. Our ultimate goal is to develop the largest database of supporting organizations and people to help Australia respond faster to future natural disasters and to minimize the destruction they leave behind. Our next step is to further develop the technology and create an application packed with intuitive features and engaging marketing. The application will adjust to any current disaster to continue to raise awareness, raise volunteers, build community and gather donations.

Design core: The Bushfire Help website was created 80 percent dynamically using Webflow. Most of the pages you see were built using the CMS and collections in order to enable fast updates and to quickly create new content. We took that approach to be able to multiply the site structure and adapt its database to gather new data about people and organizations supporting any current natural disasters.

Favorite details: We are really proud of how slick and user friendly our website looks too. The brand is very minimalistic, and the dark theme gives perfect contrast to the content we want to promote. We had our junior marketer, Julia Mazucante, handpicking images for all the organizations’ pages to make sure that they were visually appealing and had a strong emotional impact. Our copywriter Kurt Cameron has been searching the news all over the web on a daily basis to link all relevant information under our latest headlines.

We also love the mobile site; there was a lot of love put into it since 76 percent of our users are accessing Bushfire Help from their phones. Above all, I am proud to see this project coming alive so fast with the collaboration of multiple friends and colleagues.

Challenges: We chose to develop the platform initially on Webflow in which we excel. We were confident about being able to rapidly build the site we prototyped with most of its key functionalities using this platform. Although Webflow was a great pick, it has limited us to achieve some functionalities, such as geolocation filtering, form field and dynamic page creation. Up to this stage, we were able to overcome probably 60 percent of the issues we discovered by creating custom code; unfortunately, we won’t be able to achieve our final vision using this platform.

The alternative will be to produce a native app. We are looking to build it on React Native, and we currently have a data architect mapping out the development process. I believe that Webflow was the best choice for our MVP due to the urgency of launching this platform when the fires were at their worst. We were aware of the limitations, but our goal was to raise awareness and build community as fast as possible. Thirty days later, here we are.

Navigation structure: The Bushfire Help website has a very simple navigation. There are only three major areas that we wanted users to focus on: Donate, Volunteer and Send Goods. We adapted the interface to push users mainly to these pages, and we also added related “Cards” to each organization page to ensure that users continue to browse. The entire site is mapped using software like Hotjar and Facebook Pixel in order to understand user behavior and make necessary changes according to how users navigate.

Technology: Bushfire Help was built using Webflow, JavaScript, Lottie and a bunch of JQuery snippets. Most of the functionalities, such as filtering and motion, were achieved by pushing the boundaries of this amazing platform.

Response: We were lucky to get two nominations—one by the Department of Innovation in Canberra as part of a list of businesses that supported Australia during this difficult time. Our Instagram has grown daily, and people are actually engaging with our content. Apart from that, we gained even more experience with building in Webflow. We had to fully push the boundaries and create solutions every time we hit a new wall.


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