Donor analysis report uploader
An intelligent, easy-to-follow upload wizard for companies to submit their employees' donations
On the very first page of the wizard I ask the user to tell us exactly which columns each of their fields were in. Crucially we’d remember these settings for next month when they’d repeat the upload.
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£ 0 k+
Cost savings per year

The story

Our Payroll Giving scheme is a flexible, tax-effective way for employees to donate to the causes they care about straight from their pay. The donor analysis report is a form our customer service team receive monthly from companies using this scheme that includes a list of all employees within their firm participating in the payroll scheme. Customer services then process these forms and once donations have also arrived, monies are disbursed to the employees chosen charities.

We needed a solution to standardise the way in which thousands of companies submitted their donor analysis reports to us to make the process more efficient. Before, payroll administrators sent over their files in a variety of formats and more often than not with mistakes and omissions in them.

Not only did this work give the business significant savings per year, it simplified the onboarding of new clients. The customers also had a benefit of a more secure transfer service via their online portal and reduced their frustrations and the amount of paperwork required.  Making additional work for payroll administrators was going to be a big no no. The simplification of steps and reduced data entry requirements for submitting their donor reports were carefully thought through. This will enable CAF to process faster but also to meet customer needs.

What I did

  • Undertook stakeholder interviews and requirements gathering.
  • Regularly spoke with a number of our clients to understand their needs, goals and how I could make their life easier.
  • Created personas to provide customer-orientated thinking throughout the project to help us relate to the users’ needs, goals and frustrations.
  • Ran a workshop alongside my Product Manager to create an experience which delivered on customer and business needs.
  • Mapped out the user flows to discover exactly what the user would need to upload and how we would feedback to them any problems.
  • Designed an easy to follow process that guides the user throughout the experience.
  • Designed and tested prototypes at varying degrees of fidelity to validate ideas with real customers via video calls. These were also rapidly shared with members of the processing team for feedback.
  • Delivered design specifications to the development team and worked closely with them as they implemented my ideas.


Mapping out the user flows to discover exactly what the user would need to upload and how we would feedback to them any problems.
By understanding the expectations, concerns and motivations of our target users, I was able to design the product to satisfy their needs.
An upload wizard was designed to reduce errors by making the user follow sequential steps.
After uploading if there were any errors, I’d pinpoint exactly where they were so the person could quickly fix it. The thank you page clearly explains what they should expect to happen next, broken down into steps.

What were the challenges?

I soon discovered the cause of the majority of problems was that everyone’s files were formatted in a different way – there was no consistent layout! This caused so much admin work for our internal processing team to work out what was wrong and they’d then have to send it back to the company to fix and re-send. For example, was it the totals that were the issue or the number of employees not matching?

I came up with a neat solution to include on the very first page of the wizard where I would ask the user to tell us exactly which columns of their CSV file each of their fields were in (there were usually 7 fields) and in which row their spreadsheet started at. Crucially we’d remember these settings for next month when they’d repeat the upload. They could also change these settings anytime if they needed to, but having spoken to various customers this wasn’t likely unless they suddenly changed payroll systems (another reason to speak to customers).

We also included an email notification to confirm disbursements had been made. When I was talking about the new service with clients, the one piece of feedback that was consistently given was, “to have an email from CAF confirming when payments have been disbursed would be really helpful and appreciated.” So we delivered on this.

To further enhance the UX, a helpful video and a sample file are included to help them get started if they need it. This has nicely solved this pain point for the customer and the business and the errors have been greatly reduced.

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