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Got Time?

Civic engagement is a vital part of every community. This app and corresponding site aim to educate the general public about the breadth of engagement opportunities as well as encourage regular participation for accessible free-time activity.

*this project grew from the generalized prompt of 'designing for social good' and was in part inspired by personal experience with volunteering and the search for volunteer opportunities

Overview     |     Understanding the User     |     Competitive Analysis     |     Starting the Design     |     Refining     |     Final Design     |     Going Forward

Project Overview

Role

UX Designer for the Got Time?  app and responsive website from conception to delivery

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

Client

Google x Coursera

Duration

8 weeks

Problem

The strategy team at Got Time?  has identified a lack of general knowledge about the scope of charitable action and limited understanding of accessible volunteer opportunities. With additional research showing the lowest volunteer rates among those in their early/mid twenties, the team has also planned to strategically utilize social media platforms with higher engagement from this demographic to get on their radar.

Goal

Design an all-encompassing civic engagement app and corresponding site to promote accessible, charitable opportunities as fulfilling free-time activities no matter your schedule or financial situation.

Product

Got Time? is a U.S.-based organization focused on volunteerism. The organization needs a tool that spreads awareness about convenient opportunities for charitable action and encourages people--especially younger adults--to take part.

Understanding the User

User Pain Points
Finding Opportunities

Seeking out opportunities fitting for your region, interests, skills, and schedule can be overwhelming. Many people simply don’t want to have to do the research.

Time Commitment

Individuals have jobs, families, social groups, and resulting busy and/or varying schedules. This often makes advanced time commitments a challenge.

Accessibility

Between limited capabilities (like travel, funds, or age) and physical/mental disabilities which affect 13% of the global population, not all traditional volunteer events are accessible.

Donation Options

Modern money transfer apps increase comfort for many users as opposed to entering their card information. Unfortunately, many organizations do not always clearly display all available payment options.

Persona & Problem Statement
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Cece is a young working professional who needs on-the-go suggestions for self-paced community engagement projects because their busy work and social schedules make setting aside large chunks of time difficult.

User Journey Map
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Summary

I used information from past conversations as well as data around volunteerism in the states to develop interview questions, which were then used to conduct user interviews. Most interviewees reported a desire to volunteer more but didn’t actively seek out such opportunities. This was reported to result from time commitment challenges as well as a general lack of opportunity awareness. The feedback received made it clear that users were open—and even optimistic—about volunteering more if there was a tool to guide them.

"Competitive" Analysis

Based on the apparent open-mindedness to volunteering given the right guidance, I looked to existing search tools for information explaining the missed connections. Three volunteer sites proved to benefit many organizations and individuals, but also revealed potential guidance improvements.

-clear, to-the-point location search field

-some 'virtual opportunities' are an option

-helpful filters to sort through options

-'virtual opportunities' listed as a separate, less emphasized option rather than highlighted as beneficially flexible

-exciting home page graphics & stats

-opportunities often independent from traditional group events

-home page above the fold does not highlight an actionable element or search

-site link for donations limited to direct donation to dosomething

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-clear, direct search field on home page

-'volunteer remotely' option directly below search bar

-home page graphics not showing

-limited/no direct donation options

-some users may be less comfortable using a site with religious affiliation

After analyzing these three sites, Got Time had two key takeaways. Current search sites do not equally promote/ list traditional and non-traditional volunteer opportunities, and the connection with potential volunteers (or lack thereof) is likely not due to the complexity of their search functions, but more to the requirement of seeking the opportunities out. Through the lens of the late teen-mid 20s demographic, things like school, jobs, athletics, clubs, etc. take up so much time that they're not as likely to actively seek out ways to fill the little free time they have. In this instance it's a buyer's market as far as time spent rather than dollars spent. Their attention, and therefore time, is constantly being drawn in different directions so getting volunteering on their radar has to be a push from the 'seller' or the volunteer opportunities. This is where a concurrent push on social media could help. Platforms like TikTok and Instagram have already successfully sold themselves to this generation, so utilizing their existing reach by creating engaging volunteer accounts could spread useful information.

Starting the Design

Social Media

Based on the audit, Got Time? recognizes that creating another site alone may not inspire the desired increase in connections. Got Time? aims to create a site with a clear set of varied opportunity types as a great tool to reference from exposure in existing social media platforms.

  • TikTok
TikTok

TikTok's leading platform for short-form mobile content is perfect for project intros and quick tutorials

  • Instagram
Instagram

Instagram's mixed image/ video content is great for shareable, informational posts, tutorials, and donation links as well as a place for users to share their GT? experiences

  • YouTube
Youtube

Credited links to existing Youtube videos can be great for project tutorials, a Got Time? channel utilizing Youtube shorts may be a beneficial future endeavor 

Sitemap

equal presentation of social engagement options (volunteer / activity / donate)

Paper Wireframes

Mobile

Digital Wireframes

[click to enlarge]

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Mobile

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Tablet

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Desktop

Lo-fi Prototype

[click image to use prototype]

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Usability Study Findings

A short, moderated usability study of 5 participants tested the processes of searching volunteer, activity, and donate options revealed:

Home Page

Presenting users with an immediate choice of volunteer category seemed slightly confusing, use the initial step to narrow location and explain selection option benefits selections as well 

Toggle V / A / D

The toggle between 'volunteer', 'activity', and 'donate' lists was not immediately noticeable for all users and therefore could use emphasis

Donation Options

Through follow-up questioning, users expressed donatable goods via online wishlist or even 2nd hand home goods give them more options and make them feel more directly involved

Refining

Before Usability Study
usability 1.png
After Study

Instead of presenting users with the immediate choice between categories of involvement, the updated home page gives them brief informative blurbs via decision map but only initially requires them to select a general location

Before Usability Study
Got Time_ VAD before2.png
After Study
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After selecting a location, users can then easy toggle between the volunteer, activity, and donate tabs to explore the opportunities best suited for their current search, these tabs were enlarged and made use of color and animation to emphasize their presence and functionality, the map and listings were adjusted to ensure the first listing falls completely above the fold

Before Usability Study
Got Time Usability 3.1.png
After Study
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On the donations tab, the first listing again falls completely above the fold and users now have donation options including lightly used home goods and amazon wishlist links so users have more variety in financial requirement and may feel more involved as they see what their money/item goes directly toward

Accessibility Considerations
Headings & Colors

Careful consideration of typeface, font, and size create an organizational hierarchy intended for screen reader legibility. Colors were not only selected based on brand identity, but were checked to pass WCAG AAA contrast standards.

Featured Projects

Individuals have jobs, families, social groups, and resulting busy and/or varying schedules. Beyond the site UI, the platform itself includes more widely accessible options for volunteering beyond traditional in-person positions.

Icons

Simple, recognizable icons aim to guide users throughout their journey with ease. They also benefit those unfamiliar with the site or even the language it's in.

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High Fidelity Prototypes

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Desktop Site

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Mobile App

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Tablet Site

Social Media Mockups
Promoting Got Time?

TikTok

Instagram

Youtube

As mentioned, it's a buyer's market for users as far as deciding how to spend their in-demand time. Due to this, marketing Got Time? to get on their radar may make volunteering a known contender rather than an unknown option in a sea of endless options. Social media accounts aim to do so in the digital world while strategically placed QR codes do so in the physical. According to data collected by datareportal.com, "global consumers age 20-29 are the biggest users of social media" and make up almost 1/3 of the total social media user group. This again informs the decision to promote via relevant social platforms to target this almost identical age demographic to lowest volunteer rates.

In the Streets
realworldQR craftstore.png
realworldQR craftstore.png
realworldQR Petstore.png
realworldQR Petstore.png

These mockups of physical QR code signage aim to portray just the tip of the iceberg in terms of potential strategic placement. By encouraging civic engagement activities (and/or donation) in a location which already contains the needed supplies, the inconvenience of having to leave the house and commute is negated. If they are within range to scan the code, then they are already one step closer to completing the task(s) provided. The placement of the idea in front of individuals eliminates the necessity to seek the opportunities out; such is the case in the round-up campaigns at checkouts, door-to-door fundraiser sales, and more.

Going Forward

Takeaways
Impact

I'd love to think this project holds true potential to fulfill its purpose of increasing civic engagement in a variety of communities for people of all ability levels. The simplicity of the site aims to get users from exploration to endeavor quickly while transforming their inactivity into inspiration. A well managed and maintained social media platform could transform volunteer statistics for the less active Gen-Z age group and integration with the data of existing search engines could rapidly expand the opportunity network of listings.

*Unsolicited Next Steps
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What I Learned
  • Design simplicity can be both functional and beautiful

  • I don't think it's necessarily bad to feel unsatisfied with a project, there is almost always something that can be tweaked, animated, or adjusted to improve the UX and I feel that way with all my projects - there is no 'perfect project' 

  • I loved the designing for social good prompt, I'm sure many other designers have great ideas of how to make the world better and I understand it can be hard to take the time to design for a less profit-based project

This project aims to extend the current reach of volunteer programs, events, activities, and fundraisers to the public. Though for the assigned scope of the assignment I created an app and responsive site, I do believe there is untapped potential to incorporate the Got Time features within existing search engines. As the true goal is increased civic engagement, incorporating the volunteer search into one of the most heavily trafficked search engines could be game changing. I created simple, unsolicited mockups of what this could look like on one of these top search engines. Besides site traffic, Google's existing data resources, advertising grants, and more already make them a great candidate to take on a more direct volunteer search site.

GotTime_ googlemainmockup.png
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By including the "Got Time?" tab on Google's home screens, people browsing for general plans and/or activities may find opportunities that also positively impact their communities. Whether they're looking for something to do themself at home that night or something for a large group at an upcoming family vacation, Got Time's suggestions show that free-time activities can be both emotionally fulfilling and socially beneficial. 

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