I am a UX researcher and designer who puts people before technology and seeks out data-driven answers so I can discover how best to create usable, efficient, and pleasing experiences.
Thank you for your interest.
Giving is a delicate transaction. At the end, for a user of an online giving portal, there is no product or service they receive. Instead, there is an intangible feeling of having done something positive in the world. As inspiration for giving, that feeling may be easier to lose or undermine if one's user, your donor, has a less than ideal experience with the online act of giving.
I began this project with research. I chose five varied university/college giving portals, for which I conducted content audits and feature comparisons. My goal was to get a broad view of trends in navigation, structure, labeling, and other features in other giving portals.
I found a lot of good ideas, but I also found problems with over use of jargon, distracting marketing content, and a lack of attention to users' memory load.
Then, I drafted sequence diagrams representing tasks an anonymous user would take through the portals I researched. I wanted to get a senses of potential breaks and missteps in those processes. I found that many users could come to points where questions needed to be answered, yet there was little instruction on how they should contact someone with questions.
I also became concerned by the large array of options presented to users. Again, much of it was presented in jargon and it appeared unclear to the user how/if certain options applied to her/him.
I then created a set of personas. These represented donors that many institutions court. They included alumni, students, faculty and staff as well as first-time donor representatives. I then developed a set of user journeys based on those personas. Assigning each persona goals specific to their outlook, the user journeys helped me understand what would or could frustrate these types of users, and what features and feedback they would need from an interactive system to help them accomplish their tasks.
From these assets, I developed an interactive Prototype using Axure RP Pro 7. This was one of the first such prototypes which was responsive itself, with breakpoints for mobile portrait, mobile landscape, tablet portrait, tablet landscape, and desktop views.
Of course, this was much more efficient than the process of creating separate prototypes. However, the use of Axure’s adapted views would prohibit using the function of exporting the prototype in code. I was able to use this prototype to conduct concurrent-aloud-testing, taking testers through a set of tasks and recording their reactions and comments as the navigated through the prototype.
The results were promising in that test subjects tested in their environment were able to complete the assigned tasks. Some labelling issues and structural issues were found, but could be easily remedied in a new iteration. In my mind, the models and even the process could be useful to small to medium-sized institutions, particularly those who can't or don’t want to invest in large enterprise-wide products.