Helping rats to save lives around the world

APOPO is a leading charity that trains giant African pouched rats to sniff out landmines and Tuberculosis infections, saving lives around the world. The rats are trained from birth by expert handlers to perform exceptional feats many times faster than a human can. Being too small to set off mines and with an excellent sense of smell, a rat can cover a minefield 20 times faster than a specialist with a metal detector.

The charity has an incredible story to tell but was being held back by a dated website that was cumbersome to update. This made launching new initiatives difficult, leaving new audiences out of reach. APOPO approached us to provide a full web design and development service and solve their content management problems.

APOPO Responsive Web Design Manchester

Discovering the real audience

APOPO is an organisation that relies on the generous support of its contributing donors, both public and corporate, spanning many countries. This presents a particular problem in that the conversation they have with donors changes often depending on the target audience. In order to effectively communicate with multiple audiences, it was a fundamental requirement to understand APOPO's follower breakdown from the start. The first stage was a discovery phase which included consultations with the client, competitor analysis and the development of a set of design principles that would support the project through to completion.

APOPO Worker

A well-structured approach to design

With a large proportion of donors based in the US and UK and many campaign activities having a social aspect, a mobile-first approach was taken in the web design phases. The charity is fortunate to have a wealth of rich content available to use. It is also obliged to make available key information regarding its activities and updates. With a lot of information to present, organising it into suitable chunks that is both relevant to the viewer and engaging was of key importance. The result is a well-structured layout with clear signposting for all top-level activities and easy access to supporting material throughout.

Adopting a new platform

Being able to adopt a rat is APOPO’s flagship donation product. In the past users were restricted to adopting a virtual rat. To make this a more appealing product it was deemed appropriate that users should be able to adopt a real rat and follow its progress in the field. To achieve this, we developed a subscription-based platform allowing visitors to choose a rat of their preference and signup to adopt it on a monthly or yearly basis. Once registered, users can log in to their account and monitor their contributions.

Click here to support APOPO through their adoption program.

APOPO Mobile Website Design

E-commerce features to foster donations

If adopting a rat isn't your thing, there are several other ways you can contribute to APOPO’s great cause. The purchase of digital products such as treats for the rats and health check-ups provide fantastic ways to make one-off donations. An e-commerce store was developed to house these with the purchaser receiving personalised certificates available for download after checkout.

The numbers don't lie

Being accountable to its donors, it was important for APOPO to be able to share its success in numbers. The charity does hugely important work in difficult environments and regularly reports back the success of the rats and what impact they've had. To help with the regular updating required, we used a framework that has data management at its core. APOPO is now able to manage all of their KPIs in one place without the need to content manage multiple pages each month.

APOPO Mobile Website Design
APOPO Mobile Website Design
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