The Alzheimer’s Association and Blackbaud partnered on the Association’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s website to create an exceptional user experience.

The Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s is the nation’s largest event to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s care, support and research. Held annually in more than 600 communities nationwide, this inspiring event calls on participants of all ages and abilities to reclaim the future for millions.

For the second year in a row, the Alzheimer’s Association used TeamRaiser software to power its Walk. This time around they also asked us to modernize their web presence and create an exceptional user experience to energize current and prospective participants, heighten engagement, and meet fundraising goals.

An interactive assessment revealed top goals

Blackbaud Interactive began by conducting an expert assessment of the Walk’s existing website. Key stakeholders were interviewed to determine organizational top goals which included:

  • Increased number of Walk participants
  • Increased number of teams formed
  • Higher levels of team participation
  • Improved user experience for Walk participants
  • Easier access to local chapter content and events
  • More engagement and fundraising opportunities for participants

Based on top goals identified, both teams collaborated in exploring and assessing areas of the Walk website that could be enhanced and optimized to meet them. Blackbaud Interactive presented detailed recommendations for adjustments to the information architecture, content strategy, visual design and web development that would drive the desired results.

Content strategy enhanced the user experience

Content strategy for the Walk website was a key area of focus for improving the user experience. Calls-to-action, such as ‘Find a Walk Near You’ were placed in the rotating carousel on the Walk home page and on the national pages within the Walk website. These provided additional opportunities to convert emotional appeals into engagement and action.

The 2013 Walk goal of reaching 40,000 teams was prominently placed on the interactive map and linked to the conversion pathway ‘Start Your Team Today’ to ignite immediate enthusiasm for helping in the fight to cure our nation’s sixth-leading cause of death.

Usability improvements were recommended for better results

Form usability has a significant impact on user experience and results. The Blackbaud Interactive team addressed problematic areas of the registration process for optimization, such as improving form readability, shortening the registration process wherever possible, and eliminating unneeded requests for additional information.

We recommended enhancing form usability by incorporating appropriate visual and textual cues for errors made during form completion. A progress indicator was also recommended to provide users with a visual gauge as to how far along they are in completing the registration process.

Content strategy recommendations.

Content strategy recommendations

National landing page wireframe. A critical part of the information architecture.

National landing page wireframe. A critical part of the information architecture.

“I’m especially excited about our new participant center design. We have a lot of content in our Participant Center, and [Blackbaud interactive] helped us simplify it. In highlighting key actions like “Update your personal page” we are seeing an uptick in the number of participants utilizing the Participant Center tools.”

–Noel Beebe, Alzheimer’s Association

Increased interactivity made finding a walk easy

At the Alzheimer’s Association’s request, Blackbaud added new features to the site’s functionality such as geo-location, which automatically detects a user’s location, and show ‘Walks Near You’ on the Walk home page. A hover feature on the prominent interactive map shows the number of walks scheduled in each state. This sophisticated implementations of location-aware event listings uses TeamRaiser’s application programming interface (API), geo-location, internet protocol (IP) address lookup, and Bing TM Maps.

Modern design and a superior user experience boosted Walk success

The Walk to End Alzheimer’s website has been updated and offers superior user experience to meet the top goal of increasing the number of participants and number of participating teams. Their fresh new look incorporates significant improvements in design and information architecture.

“We are seeing
an uptick in the
number of participants
utilizing the Participant
Center tools.”

Organization Type

Healthcare – Cure


Content Strategy
Information Architecture
Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Strategy
User Experience Design
Visual Design/Redesign
Web Development