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UX Design

Voluntu - A UX Design Passion Project

The UNDP (in 2019) states that the number of volunteers globally may soon exceed one billion. That is only 1/7th the world population.

Voluntu was a short, passion project that I undertook as my first icebreaker task at Aubergine. The idea for the project was something that I had been working on for a long time before I actually worked on it. I would go so far as to say that the idea stemmed from personal struggles to find relevant volunteering opportunities when I wanted to. 

According to a March 2012 report from the ministry of statistics, only 1.5% of India’s population volunteers for some activity or the other.

Infographic 

How do we aid in the betterment of society through volunteering?

Voluntu aims to:

  • Provide a platform for organisations and volunteers to find each other (not-for-profit)
  • Make volunteering opportunities accessible to all
  • Help NGOs meet their human-demand requirements

How does the product scale in terms of business ?

Collaboration with companies for mandatory CSR | Promotion of large scale campaigns that will contribute to revenue

Understanding the Challenge

I started off the research process by doing a couple of expert interviews; the people who were active volunteers and were involved in activities. Upon speaking to them, there was a dire need for making the “seeking opportunities” part of the process more accessible. For organizations, volunteers who didn’t flake at the last minute were hard to find. I also actively volunteered from 2017–2019 and some of these insights are from personal experience too. Following are some of the insights I gathered:

  • Finding opportunities involves scouring multiple websites, joining several Telegram/WhatsApp Channels
  • Committed volunteers were few and far apart
  • Volunteering is more of a niche thing amongst youth

The Design Process

  1. Research
  2. Competitor Analysis
  3. User Flow
  4. Sketches
  5. Visual Design
  6. Style Guide

Research

Desk research gave a base for this project. I tried to understand the statistics around volunteering, the need for volunteering, and the impact of volunteers. I wanted to understand what pushed people towards giving to society and why some people stayed away from it. Here are some excerpts.

Why can’t we meet the needs of NGOs?

It is because “Access to global spaces is uneven, and many volunteers are excluded because of a lack of money, technology or literacy” as in the UNDP report.

It is also important to note that there is gender disparity here as well, women have lesser access to technology than men.

Who else aspires to solve the same problem?

Here, I chose to compare and analyse GivingWay and VolunteerMatch.

Competitor Analysis

It’s time to say Hi to Aliya! 👋🏾 They will be with us for a while now.

It is crucial for us to understand the needs and lifestyle of Aliya —someone with an innate passion for volunteering. We need to look at their motivations so that we can create a solution that can satiate their requirements

How will Aliya navigate Voluntu?

This was a short project and I decided to solve only the main user flow which would cover the flow from user sign up to their first match. Below, I’ve shown why we’d need to use a certain social sign-up option and how a user must choose their causes so that we can use that information to streamline the cause pile.

Aliya’s User Flow

How do we sort the causes list?

I used content sorting for the first time to understand how we could categorize the list of causes that a volunteer would be offered and how the listing can be auto-sorted.

Click here for a higher resolution image

The Solution

Voluntu is volunteer-organization matching platform that uses the “swipe-right” concept to match volunteers with causes that they support. The interface was designed with the following features in mind:

  • Use a tag matching system to show relevant causes
  • Let organizations swipe right on suitable candidates
  • Have a matches tab where users can keep track of their applications
  • Apply to multiple posts at once
  • Use forms in the chat window to keep the process in-app as much as possible

Visual Design

Visual Design Mockups

Learnings

This project tested my ability to think and work deeply in a fast-paced environment. The complexity of the project bothered me at first, but that is when I decided to solve the key issues first and then move on to more complex problems in the second iteration.

author
Likitha S
UX Strategist at Aubergine Solutions