Operation Smile

Conversion rate success leads to smiles all round for this global children’s charity

Image of Operation Smile's new homepage.

Project overview

Family-led, global children’s charity Operation Smile provide world-class cleft care in more than 30 countries, improving the health and lives of children with cleft conditions through access to safe, free, effective surgery and comprehensive care.

We worked with Operation Smile in 2022, to create an immersive, frictionless user journey, encouraging people to donate and making it easy for them to do so. Our work led to a 161% increase in donation conversions within just six weeks of the site’s launch.


  • Smoother UX for the donation journey
  • Custom designed map with subtle animation feature
  • Operation Smile timeline feature
  • Multiple payment gateway integrations
  • Integration with email automation platform



C02 per homepage view


Lighthouse Accessibility score


Page load time

Operation Smile came to us to help them extend their reach, and improve their online experience so that more of the visitors to their site would be compelled by their story, and donate funds to help them deliver more smiles to more children.

To ensure that we understood their audience before we began the design process, we undertook a deep discovery process, conducting workshops with stakeholders from across the organisation, to get a feel for what the charity’s target users’ needs were.

By writing unique user stories for each type of site visitor we identified, we were able to create a robust information architecture that meets everyone’s needs.

A seamless donation journey

As the main objective for Operation Smile is to encourage people to get involved and support them – either by fundraising or direct donations – we needed to ensure that the new website would have a frictionless user journey.

The new seamless user experience makes it easier for Operation Smile’s supporters to find ways to donate that work best for them.

Custom designed interactive world map

We created a custom map for the new website homepage, that shows Operation Smile’s global reach at a glance.

With subtle animations, which show the flag of each country as you hover over the map, this takes you through to the work the organisation is doing in the local area by taking you to the inspiring stories page.

These stories show how donations are spent and the difference you can make to the lives of those who couldn’t otherwise afford these life-changing operations.

Adding more ways to pay

To make it easier for supporters to donate, we integrated more than one payment gateway, so that people have the choice of paying by card, or can take advantage of the added security benefits of paying by PayPal.

Sharing stories more widely 

To help Operation Smile reach an even wider audience of those who care about changing the lives of children around the world, we integrated their automated email platform, allowing them to share their success stories, thus encouraging even more people to support their work.

Success equals smiles all round!

We’re so proud of the new website we created for Operation Smile, especially the UX improvements to the donation journey. Not only did we see a 141% increase in conversions (and a reduced exit rate) as a result of our work, Operation Smile’s donations increased by 161%!

Image demonstrating the success (in numbers) of the donations conversions. Image is yellow background with dark blue text

This donation conversion success makes for smiles all round – ours, theirs, and all the children these additional funds will allow them to help.