To start the Sprint process, I needed to set a long-term goal. This helps set the base of the project, and helps establish clarity on where the project will be headed.
Next in the Sprint process, Asking the Experts helped me uncover the pain points of the organization amongst all of the members involved.
Talking to volunteers made it clear that they didn't feel confident with what was expected of them and that they wished for more guidance.
Talking to Event Leaders made it clear that they felt overwhelmed and could use more support during events.
Talking to the Program Director it was clear that they wanted to offer professional development for those involved, but were also stretched thin with other pressing tasks and needed to rely on others to be able to do their tasks efficiently.
To dig a little deeper, I attended a Latinitas event to experience its inner workings firsthand. During the duration of the event, I confirmed various pain points for all members involved. Which included:
• The Event leader often has to work alone, and at times can be responsible for 4 families at once.
• Volunteers tend to be shy or lack confidence in the subjects they are teaching to children.
• Events can be hectic or feel disorganized for volunteers and attendees.
• The Program Director has to constantly be looking for new volunteers through various outlets such as: EventBrite, Volunteer Match, and other Latinx Organizations.
After interviews and attending a Latinitas event, I felt comfortable creating a user persona to establish clarity, empathize with my user, and think of a helpful solution that would be beneficial and utilized.
Taking what I learned in my research, I made several How Might We statements, which is an exercise where I rephrase challenges as a question to maintain positivity while thinking in a different way.
During this exercise, I noticed my statements fell into three categories:
• Volunteer Support
• Event Structure
Based on my research and keeping the long-term goal in mind, the outcome for Latinitas was to create a simple volunteer portal where volunteers can keep in touch with each other and with Latinitas staff. The site also has resources for volunteers to educate themselves on the topics they would be teaching to event-goers.
When going from sketches to wireframes, it was important to consider making the page bilingual for Spanish speaking and bilingual volunteers, and clearly separate pages for certain tasks, such as the calendar and training modules.
The volunteer portal allows for volunteers to connect with each other, easily find their volunteer shifts, and watch training videos so that they are prepared and confident for their shifts. Showcasing what kind of skills the user has in their profile helps make it feel a little more personal.
Latinitas mission is to empower and encourage all girls to go into STEAM fields, and they currently use their Instagram feed to do just that. Creating an Instagram filter was a fun way to stay on brand, and encourage awareness and engagement from their followers.
This project taught me to not be afraid to take initiative, and how design can make a positive impact in real everyday problems. This was my first solo Design Research project, mentored by a professor, it was great experience to learn to not get overwhelmed and trust the process.
Towards the end of this project, I realized having a volunteer newsletter would work great alongside the portal. I would have also loved a chance to work with Latinitas on implementing my portal idea, and measuring its success.