Whale & Dolphin Conservation logo

International website

Whale & Dolphin Conservation



// The brief

Whale & Dolphin Conservation are an international charity who believe that every Whale and Dolphin has the right to live safe and free. With offices in 5 countries and the need to communicate with a range of different audiences they were keen to have a website that enabled them to have one clear brand along with being adaptable to local needs.

Whale & Dolphin Conservation approached us to develop their new websites and bring the fun and passion of the organisation to life through a new look and feel. They also needed us to integrate the site with existing systems and make it easy to manage the content across the different offices.

Beluga whale wireframe pt1

Understanding the audiences

The starting point for the project was to work with the team at WDC to understand their audiences, the challenges facing WDC and how to best drive support for their cause. We spoke directly with the teams in Latin America, Germany and North America because we were keen to understand how the audiences and approach differed across the countries and cultures. From this we developed a set of personas that we used to shape the user journeys and initial wireframes of the website.

One of our main aims was to understand the key entry points on the website and engage people beyond the initial landing page. We worked on structuring the content to drive visitors to find out more and, ultimately, move them to take action and become supporters. One example of this was looking at how we could take people from high traffic, high bounce-rate pages like the Species guide on to more in-depth content and ways to get involved.


// Creating a visual style with impact

One of the main focuses of the brief was to create a site that reflected the sense of fun and the love for dolphins and whales that characterises supporters of Whale & Dolphin Conservation. The site needed to tap into that feelings of awe that seeing a humpback whale or dolphins playing makes you feel.

Screenshot 2019-10-17 at 09.56.04

We used a range of elements to create the new look and feel. Central to this was making the most of amazing images of Whales and Dolphins, and elements of the design, such as using the long logo and large header, were about maximising the impact of the imagery.

We also created a more informal style and sense of fun by using splashes of colour, a more informal font for headings and textured effects on borders. We used subtle touches of animation to create interest on the page.

Screenshot 2019-10-17 at 09.56.33


// Donations, adoptions, CRM

One of the areas we spent time developing was a brand new WordPress plugin to manage the charity’s donations and adoptions. Having developed lots of standalone donation forms and learnt a great deal about what works, we were keen to create something much more flexible than was offered by standard WordPress plugins like WooCommerce or WPGive.

Adopt a Dolphin

One of WDC's core fundraising offers is the opportunity to adopt a specific Humpback, Orca or Dolphin and receive regular updates about your named animal. This was a great UX challenge. It involved much more complex decision making than a typical donation or adoption process by offering adult / junior options, picking a species and a specific animal. On top of this, large numbers of adoptions are given as gifts.

We created several design iterations of the adoptions flow and carried out user testing to hone the process. We then built the donations plugin so that it integrates with WDC's CRM system, sending data there in the right format, and with their email tool Campaign Monitor so that all the thank you emails can be designed within that.

Measuring success

// Learning by results

Alongside the redevelopment of the website one of the areas that Whale & Dolphin Conservation wanted to make big improvements was in their tracking and analysis of audiences.

Google Data Studio Example

We used a Balanced Scorecard approach to decide which were the most important metrics to track and then created a suite of reports using Google Analytics Data Studio. This makes it much easier for the team to see at a glance what they want to know. Now they can understand how all of their content is performing as well as the overall site, and create more of the popular content.

Screenshot 2019-10-17 at 09.44.02


// Making a splash

The website has had a huge impact for Whale & Dolphin Conservation, they are able to use amazing images, emotive text and a stronger brand to connect with their supporters. The results have been a higher conversion rate, longer times on the site and a much more engaged online audience.