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Donation box design at TATE Modern

Posted on: 28 June '11

Donation Box


TATE Modern is the national gallery of international modern art located in London. It operates completely on the support of its visitors (over 8 million per year), trusts, foundations, and corporations. Therefore, it is important for TATE Modern to generate enough interest in people to make donations and to keep the museum functioning.


Donation Box


Donation is an act of willingness and care. Most donation boxes remain empty as people don’t feel motivated enough to participate in the donation process. Designers of TATE donation box have made efforts to understand the motivational aspect of such donation activity. They have designed the box to enhance the whole experience of donating a few pence with a sense of play and achievement.

The donation box is designed in such a way that when donors drop a coin into the box, it doesn’t reach the bottom immediately. Rather it stumbles down from one obstacle to another placed on its way down the bottom. People (especially kids) make multiple attempts to make sure that it takes long for the coin to finally settle at the bottom of the box. This experience is quite opposite to that of playing a Tilt Maze Game where the objective is to bring the metal ball to the center of the maze as quickly as possible.

TATE Modern offers a range of attractions for all kinds of people such as tourists, art enthusiasts, artists, designers and kids accompanied by their parents who come to explore and witness various art happenings in the museum. While kids are not real donors, they happen to be the biggest participants in the donation process at TATE Modern. Children accompanied by adults (mostly parents) are fascinated with the whole process of donation as a playful activity without really understanding the reason for it.

TATE is the best example that shows how experiences designed keeping in mind people’s context, activities and motivations are far more effective than other initiatives.



Vinay Dixit

Vinay Dixit is a design practitioner and head of user experience practice at Mindtree. He likes to observe people, their activities, motivations, and their natural behavior to see how technology opportunities can be exploited for business innovation and solve problems at hand. He is passionate about design processes, human factors, internet technologies, mobile and sensory technologies, gaming, art, history, and travel. He learnt traits of visual communication design discipline at National Institute of Fashion Technology, Delhi and applied some of it during his long association with the Media and Publication industry. Today he works closely with business verticals such as travel and transportation, media, retail and manufacturing, to design smart and intelligent business solutions across various digital platforms. He holds a post graduate degree in Business Management from NMIMS Mumbai.

  • Pranam Shetye

    This is indeed a different design for making sure the donation comes in. This in fact says so much about the connection between design and motivation.

  • Joyelle

    TYVM you’ve solevd all my problems

  • Jailyn

    YouÂ’re the one with the bnrias here. IÂ’m watching for your posts.