UGA HEROs was organized in 2003 by two young college students at the University of Georgia looking to make a difference. A difference it would indeed make. After 10 years the organization has raised over $1.5 million dollars to help children affected by HIV/AIDS in the state of Georgia. 

During my sophomore year of college at UGA I joined HEROs and progressively increased my involvement each semester. In the fall of 2010 I decided I want to make even more of a difference so I applied and was accepted as the Media/Web Chair for the Executive Council. One of my first decisions was that the website, seen by our more than 1,500 members and thousands of donors, needed a complete overhaul.


With a budget of only $300 dollars my committee and I set out to research the best solution. We identified many problems with the site, including difficult and confusing navigation, unclear call to actions, and FLASH! These problems corresponded to areas where successful charities were excelling (such as Charity: Water). 

Development from the ground up was impractical due to limited time and financial resources, outsourcing the work was also impractical because of low financial resources therefore we decided to customize a WordPress theme to satisfy our organizational requirements. WordPress was also beneficial due to its low technical knowledge barrier for future HERO Media/Web members. After deciding on a solution we met with key HERO Executive Council members to receive input on their needs and wants. These meetings were critical to identify important content areas and to develop a unified message and vision.


The design philosophy of the project was to provide an informative, simple portal for both members, visitors, and donors. We strove to reduce the amount of text (college kids have very short attention spans!) and focus more on video and picture story telling. During user research we discovered visitors had no clue what UGA HEROs was when they initially visited the home page therefore we included a text area describing what HEROs' mission was. We also utilized the power of WordPress to enable HEROs to maintain a blog and share our wonderful news!