First individual project in Ironhack: looking for a financial or welfare problem and proposing a solution to it.
In my case, I decided to look for a solution related to welfare because it seemed to me that in these uncertain times we are living we must show our most human face and take a step forward.
All the work was done between the 14th and the 28th of September,10 days of work.
If there is one thing that characterizes Spanish society, it is its solidarity: more than 25 years of leading the world ranking of organ donors is just one of the many evidence of this. This special sensitivity has once again been reflected in the number of new volunteers reached in these last few months of the pandemic.
The number of volunteers in Spain has tripled to 4.5 million during the pandemic — Europapress
In our particular case, we wanted to focus on those platforms that put volunteers in contact with entities that need help. While there are a number of new collaborative applications in the neighbourhoods (especially since the beginning of the pandemic), these are often based on ‘inter-village’ support and do not include organisations.
Despite this, we carry out the analysis on both types of platforms in order to try to better understand the behaviour of our “competitors”. Hacesfalta.org would be our most direct competitor because among its wide variety of offers it includes many of a sporadic nature, however its peculiarity lies in the fact that it does not have an app.
Starting from the premise that we Spaniards like to help, we decided to carry out a number of 120 surveys to discover what aspects could cause problems for all those people who were or thought to be volunteers.
In addition to the surveys, 8 interviews were carried out with people who were volunteers or who were involved in coordinating volunteer activities in recognised organisations.
From all this we learned that despite the fact that a very high percentage of people want to help, on many occasions their daily obligations do not allow them to commit to certain projects that interest them. In addition, the entities constantly need volunteers to carry out simple activities so they are forced to publish offers for projects that continue over time beyond the availability of the initial volunteers.
The process by which we try to understand the user came from the realization of the User Persona, User Journey & Scenario, Empathy map, Mind map and Affinity diagram.
To be able to organize the large amount of information extracted from the surveys, but above all from the interviews, we made an Affinity Diagram. This allowed us to better understand the reasons for the volunteers to decide which tasks to commit themselves to, as well as to discover their main stoppers.
In this project we made two user persona to represent the two types of users that would be available. On the one hand we have Luna who is a young person with a lot of desire to help, but with little free time to get involved. On the other hand we have Sol, who would love to publicize the many activities carried out by his association.
Branding & Ideation…
With the type of audience we wanted to attract in mind we conducted surveys with various images from our Moodboard. In this way we looked to align our vision of what we wanted to convey with the product and what it made potential users feel.
We chose the colours and fonts, and proceeded to develop the visual part of what would eventually be an application using tools such as the Style Guide, Style Tiles or the UI Kit.
It goes without saying that prior to all this we had to make the look of the application a little more tangible by using the corresponding low-fi and mid-fi.
After empathising with the user and defining the problem we arrived at the solution: both users and entities needed a platform from which they could quickly request/publish occasional activities that did not require specific training.
AyuDa is a gateway that unites non-profit organisations and users, with a single mission: that everyone can do their bit to make life easier for everyone else.
As we mentioned above, when registering we could either identify ourselves as volunteers or as an organisation, so the functionalities of the app and the way to use it would vary slightly. In this case for the MVP we have decided to present the app from the point of view of Luna, the young woman who wanted to help in her free time.
Below you can find the onboarding of the app containing illustrations by Karthik Srinivas. This would be the first contact of any kind of user with the app.
In this case, Luna is a regular user of the application so she will simply log in to access the volunteer proposals published in the app.
Once inside, Luna observes that she has a notification indicating that today she has to perform an activity for which she had signed up. Inside she has all the relevant information (she could click and expand that information) and also the contact of the person who organizes the activity. Once you have finished, you will indicate this by clicking on the “Volunteering Finished” button and you will have access to the rating of the organisation.
Then she decides to look for a new activity for the next week so she filters according to her interests and selects the one that most suits her to participate. At first the project she is trying to join seems to have disappeared, so she sees an “Error Message” telling her what happened and aiming her to look for a new one.
Monetización del proyecto
Finding money for something that is not paid with money is complicated and is something that the third sector has always had to face. Although it is normal for this type of projects to be financed by the State or private companies, in these times none of this is a guarantee, so there are three ways of financing the project:
- Including a referral system that suggests to our users trainings related to the topics they are interested in. In many cases the people who collaborate are social workers, or directly people who would be interested in having a career related to helping others.
- Certificates of participation in projects. It could be interesting for companies to manage their CSR activities in which their collaborators participate from our app.
- Advertising in app. Despite being the least attractive of all, the competitive analysis showed us that it is the one most “non-profit” platforms go for.
Next Steps & Learning
We start from an MVP from which there is much to develop…
From the volunteer’s point of view we would have to shape the messages, since communication is one of the most essential aspects when volunteering. It would also be interesting to make a user profile as complete as possible (videos, recommendations from others, photos, links to networks…) so that organisations can accept them without having to carry out interviews.
Furthermore, the whole part of the entities still needs to be designed: they must be able to publish in a simple way, reuse publications, access to certain volunteer profiles and even be able to mark them as “suitable” for future projects.
This was my first project on my own… I was very excited about the subject because it is a problem that I myself have experienced at one time, so I took it up with a lot of enthusiasm. The biggest challenges in this case have been the identity, the colours and trying to give a casual look to an application that had to reflect a lot of content. In spite of all the “problems” I am very satisfied with the final product and the work done in these two weeks.
Now keep on growing!
Thanks for reading! If you prefer to read this article in Spanish click here. Let’s work together! Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org