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Connecting students to service. 
Commitment made easy. 
Challenge
Students want to participate in community service but struggle to easily find opportunities in the area. 
My Role
Lead UX designer/researcher for the app dev and responsive website design.
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RESEARCH

  • Identification of local organizations offering service events

  • A competitive audit looking at service apps and websites

  • In-person interviews with school organizations, parents, students, and non-profits  

 
Insights
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Service not in Curriculum 
no service learning
in the K-12 curriculum 

 
Increased Ease Equals
More Service

more service performed if it was easier to find and sign up. 
 
Personal Development
Benefits students'
well-being and
character development. 

 
No Specific Apps
No collection of causes/organizations to use. 
Not Enough Volunteers Organizations rarely have enough volunteers to fully operate. 
"I struggle to find opportunities to serve. I want to find an organization where we can develop a long-term relationship and volunteer frequently."
--Jeff, father of two boys
age 14 and 8 
Personas
"So many students have so much given to them today. Giving back can help them develop a larger sense of gratitude, appreciation, and awareness for others. It helps them really integrate into the whole community."
--Lorrie, director of high school service organization  
"At most of our service days we only fill between 50-60% of our volunteer staff. We could really benefit from more volunteers and take our service to another level."
--Susan, director of a food pantry
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IDEATE
Initial Concepts
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Easily find nearby places to serve
Have a variety of causes to choose from
Increase awareness for organizations and challenges encountered 
Allow participants to serve with friends
Gamify hours &
award prizes for achievements 
Designing
Conceptual Wireframing Page Design
The landing and profile pages 
were the two most important pages in the userflow because they allowed one to explore a diverse range of information and require strong organiation.  
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Landing Page
Profile Page
Wireframing Event Selection
The low-fidelity prototyping focused on: 
1) searching for events via upcoming events, organizations and causes
2) creating an easy few step sign up process
3) displaying the student's important information and motivating them to complete their hours and receive their service award
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Gamifying to Motivate 
Gamifying
was examined as a way to motivate students to achieve their service goals. An analysis of different
completion circles, leveling up awards, and progress bars were reviewed to determine which was best for teens
 
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Branding and Logo 
The concept for the logo was to show people in connection centered around a common place. The colors chosen were soothing with an energetic pop accent and not  associated with any specific school colors. The contrast ratios passed WCAG AA and AAA ratings in all but one scenario which was avoided in the design. 
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My Responsibilities
Conducting interviews, paper and digital wireframing, low and high-fidelity prototyping, conducting usability studies, accounting for accessibility, iterating on designs, determining information architecture, and responsive design. 
TESTING

Usability Study

1

Profile Information

The information on the profile needs to be refined. Friends needs to be eliminated and preferences and settings need to be included. 

Easy to
Sign Up

When users click on an event to preview they don’t want to preview the whole organization and other events.

Concise Language

The words need to be clear between events and organizations and My events and My organizations.

Events
Front & Center

The main purpose of the app is to find upcoming events. This information needs to be front and center in the app and able to complete in as few as steps as possible.

Event Confirmation

Users want to receive an official confirmation that their upcoming service event has been approved and there needs to be a confirmation page. 

2

3

4

5

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What was said?

The most important reason I am using this app is to sign up for an upcoming service event. I want to see that information first over anything else. 

When I am signing up for an event, I want to see all the confirmed details and then click confirm. I don't want it to sign me up without a confirmation

My daughter is going to want to do service events with her friends. How can she share the event with them? 

I will scroll for content but with actions I want to be able to click right there without scrolling. 

PARTICIPANT 1
teacher

PARTICIPANT 2 
student

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PARTICIPANT 3 
parent

PARTICIPANT 4
parent

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Takeaways and Moving Forward

IMPACT

Communities Connect increased student service hours by 75% the first year and by 145% the second year. 

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Service betters self

IMPACT

Communities Connect increased their service hours in the primary schools by 65% the first year and up another 55% the second year.

Committment made easy.

IMPACT

The school increased students achieving their Prism Service Prize from 30 students a year to 166 students the following year.

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