3 Minutes For Amnesty International

Jan Holan

The most satisfying projects usually have a noble cause. In 2021, we contacted several non-governmental organizations with a pro bono offer of our services. After talking to a few interested NGOs, we decided to collaborate with the Czech branch of Amnesty International because their fight for human rights is a cause worth supporting. And here is the result – a rejuvenation of their website 3 Minutes Is All It Takes.

The Idea

One of the main activities of Amnesty International is collecting petition signatures for their various campaigns. Increasing public awareness helps to put responsible governments or groups under even more pressure. Therefore, after a few brainstorming sessions, we decided to focus on a project called 3 Minutes Is All It Takes, to bring Amnesty’s decade-old idea back to life.

3 Minutes Is All It Takes is based on the idea that signing a petition takes just a moment, and your action can change the lives of the people you support. The swiftness of the entire process is emphasized by a 3-minute countdown – one of the most prominent elements of the design. And that’s also where the idea got its name.

Amnesty International launched the website in 2011 in cooperation with TBWA (nowadays Hullabaloo) and redesigned it in 2013, with the help of HAVAS and Petr Urbančík (BitCarvers). Unfortunately, since then, the site only received the minimum required maintenance and updates, resulting in an outdated design and old information still being presented – that is, until we took charge.

The 3 Minutes Is All It Takes website design in 2011 and 2013

The Goal

We instantly fell in love with the original idea, mainly because of how simply it conveyed its essential message. In addition, the website also served as an entry point for anyone who wanted to volunteer in other Amnesty International activities. And so, it was a no-brainer to have these two ideas appear in our redesign.

With this vision in mind, we identified three main objectives to ensure that the website was ready for the digital world of 2021:

  1. The 3-minute countdown must be the key element of the new website; with several new features added to make it more prominent, and to make the whole website more engaging for visitors.
  2. The design has to be attractive to a teenage audience; because teenagers are one of the main target groups of Amnesty International.
  3. The website has to be mobile and desktop friendly; visitors nowadays use different devices to view and engage with online content.

The Result

To our pleasure, the project required close cooperation with the representatives of Amnesty International, some of the nicest people we’ve had the chance to work with. According to our product discovery process, we divided the project into 5 phases:

  1. Direction – discussing and agreeing on several new features (e.g., exporting statistics, pre-filling forms) to make the website more engaging.
  2. Prototype – creating interactive prototypes for desktop and mobile.
  3. User testing – identifying different ways the visitors can interact with it.
  4. Implementation – coding and testing the entire website.
  5. Delivery – delivering the result to Amnesty’s IT team for deployment.

API connection, or the need to make certain parts easily configurable for effortless content switches and edits, is the common challenge facing any development, and we decided to tackle it head-on. However, our proudest achievement was the visual and functional design. So let’s take a closer look at the features that stand out:

  • The 3-minute countdown – It’s the first (and quite massive) element that visitors notice, branded in Amnesty colors. And as visitors scroll through the page, the countdown stays visible as a floating bar to create and maintain a sense of urgency. When the countdown expires, the visitors see a powerful message: “Time is up, but it's never too late to help others.”. To continue where they left off, they have to press a button stating: “I want to help”.

  • The three faces – The second important element the visitors see is the three faces of unlawfully persecuted people. Clicking on a given card, visitors see a summary of the situation and can read the whole article. The grayscale face in the section's background emphasizes that these are real people fighting for freedom.

There is a lot of additional information to convey to visitors. So, to avoid cognitive overload, we decided to split the user flow into 3 stages:

  1. Signing the petition – The website’s primary objective. Visitors can select any person they want to help (all three are preselected), and they fill out the petition form. To make the process easier, we added an option to prefill the fields using a Google or Facebook login. We showed the total number of already collected signatures to encourage the visitors to finish this action.
  2. Thank-you page – After the visitors submit the petition, they arrive at a thank-you page and the thought-provoking question “If you could change one thing in the whole world, what would it be?” The submitted answers float in the background, allowing visitors to ponder other petitioners’ responses.
  3. Get involved – In this section, visitors see options on how to get involved in other Amnesty International activities. Using a slider, they can select how much time they want to invest, and consider the appropriate activity or action.

But words and screenshots can’t convey the complete experience. To feel the design in action, take a look at the 3 Minutes Is All It Takes website, and see for yourself how well we covered our set goals.

The Experience

The collaboration with Amnesty International was an impactful experience for our team. The project specifications allowed us to experiment with new technologies and designs. And thanks to the project’s narrow scope, we could test new management and design review flows – before delivery, we re-consulted the finished website with our designers to make sure the result precisely fit the goals we set in the beginning. We also helped a good cause or two.

What do you think about our design, elements, and flows? Could you utilize a similar approach to your project? Or are you an NGO striving to make the world a better place? Send us a message, and let’s make it happen.