Gideons Canada ShareWord Portal Redesign

ShareWord Redesign Desktop View

Project Scope

  • My Role: UX Designer, Research
  • Tools: Sketch, Figma
  • Timeline: May 2019 (4 weeks)
  • Deliverables: Research findings, restructured IA, Personas, Wireframes, Mockups


Gideons Canada’s ShareWord portal for ministry members and ministry leaders. The portal’s purpose is for members to keep up with other ministries in the Gideons Canada family, access resources and the data centre (ministry leaders).

The Problem

The ShareWord portal is confusing to navigate and lacks relevant information for members. As a result, members become frustrated using the portal which results in low engagement and unnecessary calls to Gideon’s home office.


dashboard view before


dashboard view after

User Research

Defining Research Goals

Working with the Marketing Team

As part of similar work being done for this client, the marketing team was looking into engagement levels of members online vs engagement through word of mouth and direct mail marketing. The marketing team sent out a supporter survey to over 300 current *supporters of Gideons.

Some key insights were taken from this survey. We saw ~33% of respondents wanting a more personalized member centre and of those who replied identified more stories as being a primary motivator for the use of a unique website portal. Additionally 50% of respondents currently use Facebook.

*Supporters include members, as well as individuals who do not see themselves as members, but strictly as donors. These supporters interact with Gideons at least once a year.

User Interviews

To better understand these members, I wanted to speak directly with members who are active on the portal. I spoke with the communications manager at Gideons Canada who provided me with contact information for 10 members. I conducted phone interviews with these 10 members. Before jumping into questions about the portal I asked a few questions so I could get a better sense of who these members are, then proceeded with questions about the portal. The interviews were 11 questions lasting about 20-40 minutes.

Key Insights:

User quotes from interviews

"Let others see what our ministry is doing so that ideas and inspiration can be provided to one another."

"Lots of topics I don’t know what they are such as 'minister builders'. A bit more clarity on some of these sections."

"Should be easy to access and navigate regardless of age."

Persona Development

After collecting insights from the user interviews, I created two personas. The first persona is a general member of a ministry who wants to share information with other members, and wants to see what other ministries are doing. The second persona is focused on a ministry leader who wants to access resources, and smedia of events they’ve held.

General Member

Sharon, 68. 
                        Occupation: Retired elementary teacher.
                        Bio: Enjoying her retirement. Loves to travel. Just got back form a Gideons conference overseas.
                        Goals: Message other members; Post pictures of Gideons related events and gatherings. 
                        Technology: iPad, PC Desktop, Android.
                        Frequent Websites & Apps: Frequent Website and Apps: Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, CBC News.

Ministry Leader

Bernard, 77. 
                        Occupation: Retired Financial Advisor.
                        Bio: Loves spreading the good word.  Planning events for his ministry to increase membership. When not working on the ministry, likes to spend time with his wife and renovations around the house.
                        Goals: Educating members and non members about Gideons. Printing resources. Planning ministry events. 
                        Technology: iPad, Macbook, iPhone.
                        Frequent Websites & Apps:, Apple News App, WhatsApp.

Pain Points with Current Portal

During the user interviews, a few members mentioned pain points they were facing with the current UI layout. Each pain point is labeled in red.

paint point on current portal


Reconstructing the IA

During the interviews, I realized that the current menu had confusion labels, and multiple options of the same thing. I white boarded the current IA structure to get a better visualization and to make notes.

Current IA

current IA

Redeveloped IA

new IA


Incorporating everything learned from our user research, I began sketching ideas of what the new UI would look like making notes along the way. After a few versions, I was ready to move on to the final design.


wireframe sketches with notes



Final Design

The handoff was well received by the client, but unfortunately due to budget constraints the client decided to put a pause on this project. During the 4 weeks on this project, I learned a lot about time management, and best ways to speak with people when conducting interviews to get them to share their opinions.

final design