Select Page

Engage

Simplifying and streamlining the volunteering experience

Project Deliverables

User Research
Interface Design
Functional Prototype
24 x 36″ Poster
Vision Video

My Role

I functioned primarily as the lead UI designer, and worked with two other designers on this project. I also took acted as the production lead, and filmed and edited our vision video.

Project Timeline

IACT 315 – Human Computer Interaction
Fall 2018 | Savannah College of Art and Design

 

How might we simplify & streamline the volunteering experience for volunteers and volunteer seekers?

 

Engage is an app that aims to enhance the volunteering experience. Our goal with this product is to help people foster successful, long-lasting, impactful volunteer relationships on a local and global scale.

Engage is a platform where volunteers and volunteer seekers can connect based on their skills and needs. Volunteers can take a quiz to explain their interests and skills and be matched with the perfect volunteer organization for them. 

 

 THE PROCESS

 

Approximately 25 percent of Americans volunteer. That means three out of four don’t.

 

We were given the broad challenge of solving any problem with a UX design solution during the course of my ten-week Human Computer Interaction class at SCAD.

My group considered problems in a variety of realms, ranging from healthcare to penitentiary reform to education. In our research, we came across the following statistic:

Approximately 25% of Americans volunteer. That means three out of four don’t.

This figure both surprised and intrigued us. We wanted to understand why so few people volunteer, particularly because we felt more people wanted to volunteer.

SECONDARY RESEARCH

 

Statistics

We spent several hours researching the current state of volunteering in this country and came across a few key statistics.

A study by the Corporation for National and Community Service found that 55 percent of youth in the United States volunteer, which is nearly twice the adult volunteering rate of 29 percent. This figure made us wonder what causes such a sharp drop in volunteering rates among adults.

Of those who volunteer, the average adolescent volunteers 29 hours per year and the average adult volunteers 52 hours per year.

 According to the Education Commission of the States, 31 out of 50 states either have a statewide or district high school service requirement or offer credit toward graduation for community service.

 

Competitor Research

There are several existing volunteer platforms currently on the market. I analyzed their strengths and weaknesses to determine how we could meet unmet needs and differentiate our product.

PRIMARY RESEARCH

 

Surveys

We also surveyed 100 individuals about their experiences with volunteering, and any potential barriers they face when trying to volunteer. A majority 83 percent of respondents stated they are interested in volunteering at this point in their lives. We also asked people what stops them from volunteering currently. The three most popular responses were “I’m too busy to volunteer,” “I don’t know how to get started,” and “I don’t have anyone to go with me.”

Expert Interviews

To get the perspective of volunteer organizations, we interviewed volunteer coordinators from a variety of industries. They gave us a better understanding of the struggles they face. Specifically, we found they struggle with having a consistent volunteer pool, getting people involved, and managing their volunteer’s schedules.

ANALYSIS & INSIGHTS

 

Data Affinitization

After our secondary research and gathering insights from our surveys and interviews, we wrote down every key point on an individual sticky note. We then grouped sticky notes by category, stepped back, and regrouped them again. This process took several hours but helped us get a solid grasp of the huge amount of data we had collected. Over time, a few key patterns emerged.

ANALYSIS & INSIGHTS

 

Data Affinitization

After our secondary research and gathering insights from our surveys and interviews, we wrote down every key point on an individual sticky note. We then grouped sticky notes by category, stepped back, and regrouped them again. This process took several hours but helped us get a solid grasp of the huge amount of data we had collected. Over time, a few key patterns emerged.

Core Issues

The patterns we observed could be grouped into three very broad categories:

  1. People want to volunteer, but don’t know how to get started or are afraid of the time commitment
  2. Some volunteers and organizations aren’t always a good fit
  3. Organizations constantly spend time recruiting volunteers

Potential Solutions

After affinitizing all of our data and identifying the main problems volunteers and volunteer seekers face, we came up with a few core features we would have to include in our product.

USER RESEARCH

 

User Personas

We created several personas for this project, but our two primary personas were based on a volunteer (Steven) and a volunteer coordinator (Jessica).

Storyboard

The storyboard below shows the ideal use-case for Engage. Steven learns he needs more service hours to graduate, and his guidance counselor suggests he downloads Engage. Steven takes the preferences quiz and is matched with an animal shelter. He has a great time, and shows the app to his friend. His friend is matched with a food bank. Jessica, the volunteer coordinator, gets a notification that she has a new volunteer. The volunteer does a great job, and she writes a positive review for him.

 

WIREFRAMES

 

Information Architecture

 

Mid-Fidelity Wireframes

 

User Testing, Round 1

 

High Fidelity Wireframes

 

User Testing, Round 2

 

Refined Screens

 

Next Steps

Moving forward, I’d love to explore this concept more and conduct in-depth user testing with actual student volunteers and volunteer coordinators. I’d like to observe how this app flow fits into their daily lives, and make adjustments as needed. I would also revisit a few UI decisions, most notably the text size and use of color, to make the interface more accessible.