How might we assist prospective and active volunteers in finding personally relevant opportunities to help under-served youth?
A user-research plan to gather qualitative data to build empathy for and understanding of the people involved, supported by quantitative data to provide a clearer empirical picture of the volunteering landscape.
Emphasis was put on studying the problem rather than first driving for a solution.
Research participants were defined and recruited as follows:
Field research was conducted in the form of contextual observation and inquiry to collect qualitative data on the experience of volunteering.
Interviews and Focus Groups were conducted both in person and via the web to gather qualitative data on the organizational side of the volunteering process.
Quantitative data was gathered through a web-survey conditionally formatted for the various participant groups. This data was used in conjunction with qualitative data.
Quantitative data was used to confirm patterns observed in qualitative data. Thematic tagging of qualitative data helped isolate such patterns.
Key user personas were generated from the data, representing the types of users that would be served by a digital tool.
Feature and basic structure recommendations were created for a digital tool based on the needs of the various user personas.
Competitive and non-competitive feature analysis was conducted to enhance feature recommendations.
This User Research study provided qualitative and quantitative data sufficient to generate solid user personas and feature recommendations.
This research was the preliminary, divergent phase in a robust UX Design process, setting the stage for information architecture, wireframing, prototyping, and usability testing processes.