Friday, 10 April 2015

The new Lendwithcare website - a lender perspective

I’ve been using the old Lendwithcare website since 2013, and although I didn’t have any major problems with it there were signs it was starting to show its age, having been originally launched back in 2010. It was great to discover it was going to be getting a lick of paint, as well incorporating some other changes suggested by existing lenders, and so I jumped at the chance to kick the tyres on the new site before it launched.

Behind the scene shots of the website redesign process

The first thing I noticed is how pleasing the new site is on the eye. The homepage no longer bombards you with lots of information, but instead explains very clearly to first-time visitors what Lendwithcare is all about.

What I really liked though is how the homepage changes once you log in to provide an at-a-glance overview of all your account information. Better still, if you choose the “Remember me” option this personalised screen is shown to you automatically each time you visit the site thereafter.

As well as the sort of information you might expect, such as your current credit and amounts lent and repaid, there are also some great new stats that reflect the wider impact a loan has. I was fortunate enough to visit some Lendwithcare entrepreneurs in February as part of a cycle ride through Vietnam and Cambodia for CARE International, and one of the things that struck me was that the money you lend doesn’t just benefit the entrepreneur whose picture you see on the site. Often it helps to raise the family income allowing children to get a better education and provide employment for other people in a village or town. The new site now shows you how many family members have been helped and how many jobs have been created as a result of your loans, not just the number of entrepreneurs you’ve lent to.

Existing lender homepage

The general navigation around the site has also been tidied up, but you can still easily get to everything from dropdown menus at the top of every page. If you want to send a gift voucher you no longer have to hunt around the site trying to find that link you know you saw somewhere. You’ll now find it conveniently located at the bottom of each dropdown menu.

One other new feature that’s brought the site right up to date is the ability to easily share links with your friends and contacts on social media. So if you want to let people know about an entrepreneur you’ve lent to, or promote your lending group, you can easily do it with a couple of clicks.

And if you’ve found it difficult to explain to people what Lendwithcare is all about, as I did initially, you can now point them to a new video based on the award-winning advert which does the job perfectly.

There’s lots more things I’m sure you’ll discover when the new site launches. I’m very much looking forward to using it!

By Gary Nicol, Lendwithcare Lender

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