Ronald McDonald House Charities increase donations and improve user usability with comprehensive Brainy site refresh

The Project

The Brains worked alongside Ronald McDonald House Charities to refine the user journey on their website and make it easier for people to make a donation and learn about the charity, what it stands for, and what it does. This was done with a full site refresh, ensuring the look and feel of the iconic charitable brand wasn’t distorted or compromised in the process.

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- The Brains

We had to be careful to keep the branding stable, as working with an established brand meant that we couldn’t make changes to the branding itself. Completing a site refresh without impeding on branding can be difficult, but we managed to make it work as a result of extensive research on our side and lots of support and direction from the client.

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Yuliya Kostadinova

Web Design Specialist, The Brains

Project Summary

  • Ronald McDonald House Charities approached The Brains to overhaul their website in order to make it easier for the user to learn about the charity and increase donations through an improved user journey.
  • The Brains team worked cohesively with the Ronald McDonald team to understand the personas of their funders and how the website could be refreshed to reflect them.
  • Ronald McDonald was clear that they didn’t want the refresh to compromise or detract from the look and feel of the existing brand, so any changes to the site needed to be in-line with their brand entirely.
  • We helped Ronald McDonald House Charities to make their website more user friendly and appealing to funders, helping them to generate more donations as a result.
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Ronald McDonald’s Site

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- The Brains
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- The Brains

Since we redesigned their website, our client has seen…

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Impressive increase in organic users

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Significant boost in donations from funders

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Heightened levels of brand awareness

Let’s discuss a Brainy website refresh!

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Our Objectives

Ronald McDonald’s House Charities is an established web of homes across the UK that provide outstanding, comfortable accommodation for families with children in hospital. They have been one of the most recognisable and influential charities in the UK since 1989, and are instantly recognisable to most. The charity wanted to increase their donations to help more families via a site-wide refresh, but they didn’t want to lose their iconic reputation and recognisability they had established through branding.

The Ronald McDonald team identified that their main issue was that the user journey wasn’t as simple or straightforward as they would like, and that this could be the reason why their donation volume wasn’t peaking. They also wanted to ensure that the history and objectives of the charity were easily identifiable across the site.

Our team liaised extensively with Ronald McDonald to gather information on the personas of their funders so we could create wireframes for the site refresh that resonated with users but that aligned with their long-standing brand template.

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Project Story


Ronald McDonald House Charities approached The Brains with a goal to increase the volume of donations they were getting through their website. They wanted to make their site more user friendly and better showcase their mission and what they stand for, but they were keen to keep the look and feel of their brand.


Our first step was to carry out in-depth persona workshops with the Ronald McDonald team so that we could drill down into the types of people who typically donate. With this information, we carried out extensive research to find ways to appeal to those users through UX, taking into account the user journey and what would encourage that core audience to make a donation. We also carried out a persona workshop based on people who require the services offered by Ronald McDonald House Charities to ensure we were able to finalise a journey that worked for them – giving them the information they need to be able to make a decision, too.


We opted to make the user journey as straightforward and uncomplicated as possible so that making a donation could be done quickly. We know from experience that any sticking points at any stage in the donation process could increase the bounce rate, so our web development team carefully created simple yet encouraging wireframes that were easy to navigate and that showcased the difference that donations can make.


After a few short months of collaboration between both The Brains and Ronald McDonald, we were able to reduce friction and pain points from the original site, create a smoother, more cohesive user journey, shine a spotlight on what Ronald McDonald House Charities stand for, and retain the timeless branding that has been in place for decades. As a result, donations to the charity increased and we were able to fill our objectives.

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