This will be the third in under a year.
In my defense, the first iteration of the site was thrown into the online world as I was going through the process of becoming a living donor and then undergoing surgery.
It was rough, but I felt an urgent need to get it online (have you ever been in a room full of people needing what you are offering in order to live, but you can only help one person? Yeah, that kind of urgent).
Living Donor Match started out as a social media site more or less. You could join, create a profile, and then search for people depending on what your purpose was – if you wanted to donate a kidney, you could search for someone who was awaiting a kidney transplant with your blood type.
It made sense to me.
During the recovery from surgery, I realized people needed more hand-holding and guidance. There is a lot of unknown out there about the process and I didn’t want people to try to connect with someone who subsequently disappeared on them (can you imagine thinking you had found the person who was going to save your life only for them to vanish on you?).
Plus, the website was hideous if I do say so myself (and I absolutely do!).
Now that I was hanging out in bed for a while with my computer for company, it was time to give the site a makeover and completely change how it went about doing its job. I wanted potential donors to be able to register, I wanted those awaiting transplant to be able to register, I wanted to help make those life saving connections…
And I wanted the site to be pretty.
Once the new site was up and running, I found that it was working much better (and much more enjoyable to look at), but as I would receive new messages from people, I realized that the core purpose behind Living Donor Match had been lost somewhere on the page.
When you start a non-profit, that’s easy to do. You have a clear picture of what it is you do and how you help. You want to change people’s lives, change the world, do good.
And in all of that passion and excitement, you don’t dumb it down and make it obvious. You don’t clearly and concisely show the people visiting your online space what it is you do. And then you limit the good you can do.
If you’re hanging out where the people you are trying to serve hang out, you can also be hit with light bulb moments of inspiration as new needs become obvious and you know you have the tools to help.
I feel like my experience as an online business strategist and website developer, both serve me and hinder me. I have the know how and tools to make things happen! But this can also lead to hopping online without being as thorough and thoughtful as someone else who is hiring out the work would have to be.
So, in this third, and hopefully final iteration of Living Donor Match, I am going to attempt to be thorough and clear. And I am going to document the process along the way to make sure my brain actually has the time to catch up with my fingers as they move across the keyboard.