A friend is participating in The Ride to Conquer Cancer, a Vancouver-to-Seattle bike ride to raise money for the BC Cancer foundation:

She sent me an email asking if I could make a donation, so I followed the link to my friend’s donation sub-site. On the actual donation page, the section where you indicate the amount of your donation looks like this:


It struck me that if someone wanted to choose their own level of donation (say $100) they just might find this confusing. The problem is that the organizers used clever, thematic wording (“Free Wheeler”) rather than something clear, like “Other Amount”.

I ran a couple of quick and informal user tests on some colleagues and sure enough, they both hesitated and ultimately asked, “I don’t know… is it ‘Free Wheeler’?” So they both got it, but it took some figuring out. And they weren’t confident they’d got it right.

Bear in mind, these test subjects were very computer savvy. To less experienced web users, this lack of clarity could actually be a deal breaker. It makes you wonder: how many potential donors are the organizers losing?

One other little issue I noted was this “IMPORTANT” message regarding email addresses:


If something is important, it’s not a good idea to present the information in one long, crowded paragraph of reversed type. Nobody is going to want to read this.

The Ride to Conquer Cancer is a great idea. Let’s hope the organizers can fix some of these little usability issues. They just might get more donations.