UX Research for Non-Profit

UX Research
Voices for Children of San Antonio


A mobile-first design process that champions user experience while emphasizing organizational goals of "Making a Difference" in the lives of children across San Antonio, Texas.

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Project Summary

The original website does not convey critical child issues to the community which is leaving users confused about how they can help which is causing a decline in volunteer and donor support.


To provide a user-friendly experience that gives users simple and immediate opportunities to "Make a Difference" in the lives of children across San Antonio.


  • Project Manager
  • UX Researcher
  • UX Designer


Week 1: Discover
  • Competitor Analysis
  • Heuristic Evaluation
Week 2: Define
  • User Interview
  • Analysis
Week 3: Develop
  • User Flow
  • Site Map

Tools Used


Data Collection

"Network" Analysis

Although the goals in this industry is to save and improve the lives of children, considering other non-profits as "competitors" would be a moral issue, however, considering them as a network would help unify the mission of this industry. Therefore, we conducted a "network (competitor) analysis" to understand how the other, more successful, non-profits are using their websites to communicate the mission and goals of the organization to the community. What we found was clearly communicated mission statements and goals, noticeable volunteer/donation buttons, heart-warming images, and much more that our clients website was missing.

Common Features:
  • Easy navigation
  • Clear mission/vision statements
  • Noticeable donation/volunteer buttons
  • Clean designs
  • Heart-warming images

Heuristic Evaluation

After uncovering common design practices we analyzed our clients website scanning for opportunities and flaws in the current design, otherwise known as redlining. It became more apparent to us why the organization was not attaining new donation and volunteers. The opportunities we found and served as a starting point when drafting design goals.

  • Confusing volunteer/donate buttons
  • Cluttered navigation bar
  • Vague mission/vision statements
  • Obsolete Design


User Interview

We interviewed different types of people for this project; those that have volunteered/donated to a non-profit and those that work or have worked for a non-profit. The qualitative data we collected from these interviews helped define our design goals to benefit users and the organization. One person we interviewed, Iris, at the time a student studying for a Master's degree in Non-profit Leadership - Arts Administration, now working full-time for a non-profit in Oklahoma, gave us insight about her experience when using non-profit websites. Ray, a person who regularly donates his time and money, gives us insight of his expectations when frequently donating.

"If I go onto a website and if there are broken links... or it just looks like a much older website... I’m not necessarily going to trust it."


"If you’re willing to donate through a website, I think it should be easy so you could do it again.”



User Persona

All of our qualitative data is written down on sticky notes and organized in a collaborative effort so we can personify our data and constantly reference it during the prototype process. So let's meet our person(a), Bernard Price. Bernard is a man who wants understands how much of impact he can have on a child's life and wants to find somewhere to "make a difference".

User Persona

Empathy Map

To make Bernard (our data) more personable we give him a personality that represents our target users in an empathy map. This empathy map shows what he says, thinks, does, and feels. This map shows us what our typical users want so we can champion their needs when designing.

Empathy Map


User Flow

Before we can start the prototyping process we have get an idea of HOW we want users to navigate through the website. We must draft a user flow to show the expected route a user should go through when visiting the website. In our case, the user should have constant access to volunteer and/or donate.

User flow volunteer/donate cycle

Site Map

Developing a site map gives the team an understanding of how the website will be structured so we can all have a birds eye view of what pages will need to be built and how it will connect. This also serves as a valuable to when trying to optimize navigation during a redesign project such as this.

Site Map

Responsive Web Design

Mobile-First Design

Designing responsively gives us the opportunity to focus on optimization of the website when on a mobile device. During our interviews we found that the majority of users prefer using their phone rather than a desktop. Taking Ray's feedback about having an easy process when donating, we found that connecting to Apple Pay could help optimize the donation process.

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