Redesigning a movement

With a tenth anniversary and $1 billion in lending on the horizon, Kiva decided to take an introspective look at the brand, it's position in the marketplace, and it's mission. In doing so we decided to undertake a total brand refresh — something to drive us toward the next billion in poverty alleviation, while paying homage to Kiva's social justice inception.

The current brand experience had a decade of relationship building with our user base, so the challenge was to create a visual voice which would remind the world that Kiva is still a uniquely amazing product, while avoiding being perceived as having disconnected from our beginnings as a scrappy grassroots org.

The previous incarnation of Kiva.org as designed by Hot Studio in 2011. View full image (2 MB)

Our redesign team identified three primary goals:

  1. Rethink Kiva’s brand positioning to reflect a broader variety of loan products.
  2. Reimagine our UX, holistically, emphasizing user-first and device-agnostic.
  3. Integrate Kiva’s direct, P2P model, Kiva Zip, into the primary lending platform.

We began this process by establishing who Kiva is — what we do, how we work, how we look/feel/sound — and where we want to go. Finally, the team set out to define what it is that makes Kiva unique from other social good enterprises.

Kiva unique offering descriptions

What makes Kiva unique?

Our team distilled its learnings into a single brand narrative, "Dreams are universal, opportunity is not." We saw this not as a departure from our existing narrative, but as an incorporation of of additional possibilities and a reflection of our new position as more than just poverty alleviation.

This concept can be conveyed in all of our assets — from how we depict our borrowers in photography, to the tone of our brand voice, to the selection of an approachable, friendly typeface.

dreams are universal, narrative image lifting one, narrative image

The initial visual expressions of a duality of human experience - the haves and have nots.

After the redesign team had our collective heads wrapped around our new directive, we next sought to understand our customers and their goals for using Kiva. We first mapped out our product's architecture, and then compared that to feedback from extensive user surveys and interviews. This laid the basis for crafting a new sitemap and navigation hierarchy.

product map

Kiva product architecture map. View full image (85 KB)

feedback bubbles

User research feedback. View full image (220 KB)

site map image

Site map reworking and reducing. View full image (145 KB)

Building upon that foundation, the team established a series of, "signature experiences" — user events that are pivotal to building a relationship with our brand and product. With these experiences defined, we could begin to flesh out new aesthetics and design the core touch points of our user flows.

navigation interfaces

Nav and footer UI

homepage mockup

Homepage layout

borrower loan page

Borrower's loan description page

With the foundation laid for a revitalized user experience, we iterated on these few, initial designs. Thanks to the good will Kiva has cultivated over the years, members of the local design community joined with us to volunteer their time and we were able to incorporate a custom typeface, "Kiva Post Grotesk" (Josh Finklea) and new wordmark (Marty Grasser & Marion Chiao).

new kiva logo new kiva typeface

Dozens of more pages would need to be thought through and designed in the following months, but these four pages below show the culmination of our team's strategy and research would act as templates for the solutions to come.

The redesigned Kiva homepage. View full image (840 KB)

About Kiva. View full image (856 KB)

Finalized borrower's loan description page. View full image (539 KB)

How Kiva works. View full image (673 KB)

Wow that's a lot of changes. Need a reminder where we started? Jump back to the beginning.


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