Design Sprint- Youth Assisting Youth
Youth Assisting Youth is the product of a 5 day long design sprint that challenged teams of four to come up with a redesign of a desktop website, focusing on charities. I collaborated with 3 other UX designers where we created a redesign of an existing charity website called Youth Assisting Youth, with our deliverables being a prototype and a presentation.
Role: Stitcher, UX Designer
Time: 5 days
Type: Design Sprint Challenge
Platform: Desktop Website
As a team, we divided up the task based on our strengths and worked together but also took some time to work independently. My role was to gather and synthesize the research and stitch together the prototype.
This was my second time using the Design Sprint methodology created by Jake Knapp and I felt a lot more confident participating in this design sprint this time around.
We spent our first day deciding on what roles each of us wanted to take on, based on our strengths, and then we selected a charity website to redesign. The focus of this design sprint was to redesign the charity’s donation page, so that the charity will gain more donations.
We decided to go with Youth Assisting Youth as we agreed that we liked the idea of teens mentoring youth that are at-risk or new to Canada. Also, the charity is based in Toronto, in the area I grew up in, so it was especially important to me.
Youth Assisting Youth's home page
Once we selected our charity website to redesign, we then gathered secondary research. As one of the UX researchers on the team, I scoured the entire website, first to see what the charities values were but also to check out the website and see how the pages looked, if there were any links missing and analyzed what could elevate the website so that visitors would be more inclined to donate to their cause. I also found statistics about at-risk youth in Toronto, the crime rate for Toronto youths and discovered what helps at-risk youth avoid going down a wrong path.
We also decided on what our goals for our redesign would be, which was to expand the charity’s reach, convert potential donors and communicate the impact of the redesign. We also looked at the current landscape to understand how many people actually donate to charities and for those who don’t, what is stopping them from doing so.
After I discussed my research findings with the rest of my team, we then focused on our preliminary research, which was user interviews, and came up with questions to ask. Some questions we asked were:
From our interview findings, we discovered that most of our interviewees have a willingness to donate but may lack the capabilities of doing so, whether that’s due to financial reasons or just not being aware of charities they may be passionate about. Another discovery was that people are more inclined to donate to charities that they have an emotional tie to. We also found that our users want to see that their donations are making a direct and clear impact. One of the biggest discoveries was that every user we interviewed wanted transparency. They wanted to know where exactly their money was going.
We then synthesized our findings by affinity mapping and seeing what our users' pain points, behaviours and motivations were. Once we did that, we came with our how might we question, which was:
We then can up with a user persona named Felicia where we mapped out her current user journey, her pain points and goals, based on our user interviews
Day 2 was the start of our design process, starting with sketching and ideation. We first worked on quick analog sketches in the crazy 8s form and from our best idea, we then created solution sketches. To choose the solution we wanted to prototype, we began a 5-step process. We started with an art museum where we each uploaded our solution sketches for the entire team to observe. We then silently marked screens, components or features that we liked or found interesting, which is called heat mapping. This was followed by a speed critique where each team member was asked questions and we all had a quick discussion. We conducted a straw poll where each team member selected the one solution they liked the most. Finally, we reviewed the votes and decided on the screen to prototype.
We created a moodboard and decided to slightly change the branding colours by choosing a softer red, as we felt the red they currently use is a bit harsh on the eyes. We also added some variations of green to the brand colours, replacing the two dark colours that were very similar to black. We wanted to simplify the design of the website, provide information transparency and create a personal connection for users.
We also started our lo-fi sketches for prototyping so that we could get the flow and functionality of our redesign together. Once we were satisfied with the flow and functionality, we created our high fidelity screens. I was assigned the role of the stitcher and worked with the maker, helping put the screens together. We did a trial run of our prototype amongst ourselves first and then created our usability questions in preparation for our usability tests the next day.
We started this day by having a quick meeting discussing our interviews and when they would be taking place. We each interviewed 1 user to evaluate how well we executed our redesign solution. The usability tests started with the interviewer introducing themselves and asking the user general questions to get to know them better. Once the prototype was introduced to the user, we asked them to do a specific task and would ask task related questions and observe their body language and how engaged they were throughout the test. By the middle of the day, we came together and presented our findings to each other. Here’s a summary of our results:
After our usability tests, we then refined our prototype. Here’s an example of one of our screen revisions:
This was a day of reflecting on what we learned, wrapping everything up and finalizing our presentation. We looked back on our goal for this project and our how might we question to be sure that we remained in line with what we intended to do. For our presentation, we had a clear idea of who our target user was and introduced a strong persona that allowed the audience to empathize with the current problem space. We received very positive feedback for our presentation, with the audience finding it engaging, they liked the design and they truly empathized with our persona.
The challenge of having to create a solution within a short amount of time seemed daunting at first, but with an amazing team like the one I had, it turned out to be my favourite project to date. We really worked well together and each had our own strengths in different areas that allowed us to come together and create a great solution. A few things I personally learned:
-don’t be intimidated by the talent of the rest of the team
-your input is important as well
-ask as many questions as needed to make sure were on the right track
-it’s possible to have fun while working with your team