About Chad Vavra

Michael J. Fox Foundation

*Note: MJFF was underway when I joined RFI. Discovery had completed and wireframes were being developed by a contractor and junior interaction designer. My role was to understand the brief and help make sure that the design team stayed true to it

The Brief

The Michael J. Fox Foundation came to RFI Studios to redesign their website for a couple reasons. First was that the look and feel was outdated as it hadn't be redesigned for almost 6 years. Second was in response to a change in their mission. When the foundation was created experts had told Michael J. Fox that with enough money Parkinson's desease could be cured in 10 years. It had been 10 years and that cure had proved more difficult than anyone thought. The foundation was at a turning point as it was no longer a 10 year mission, it was now a fight without a end date.


Over the last 10 years the foundation had amassed a huge amount of information about Parkinson's, started doing study trials and patients could join, and had created a fundraising platform called TeamFox.

Time was spent organizing all the content into a site map that followed a large taxonomy without becoming over whelming for users. We achieved an extra level of granularity in bringing the menu drop-down items into the footer area. This benefitted both SEO and user interaction with analytics showing successful usage.

The design had to be extremely dynamic, allowing the foundation to update quickly and on their own as the job specification did not include ongoing content management.

TeamFox uses a 3rd party to process sign-ups and donations and the system had to integrated into our look and feel to ensure a seamless user experience. This was not without difficulties as most 3rd party integrations are. In spite of a frequently changing API everything we set out to do came together.

Final designs