Vincent Lai ( Me)

Justin Lam

Priya Lakshmi


Grantpa’s goal is to help an artist find the right grant match for their respective discipline. Grantpa is looking to develop a responsive web design to make the process simple, easy and fruitful for artists.

Our Assumptions

Grants are mostly for professional artists rather than for students. Artists are looking for different type of grants like residencies, travel, study, workshops, projects, etc. Searching and finding the right grant is a complicated process. The lack of confidence when applying for grants is a hurdle. Artists are hesitant to apply because they are self conscious about being able to get one. When they do apply, they get frustrated with the massive amount of content and paperwork they will need to go through.

Our Goals

Our process is to do user research and synthesize the data we collected to find solutions to address the artists needs. Our goal is to make the search and applying for grants a very precise and quick process. We will address the centralized application system where artists can have their personal profile, which can be used when converted into a community in future. Grantpa can then match you with grants that fits within your personal parameters. Guiding the artists through proposal writing can also help increase the percentage of artists applying for grants.

Competitive Analysis

We started off doing Competitive/ Comparative analysis. We studied and compared a sampling of Grantpa’s indirect competitors which were, American Composers Forum, Foundation Center, Arts Council of England, Grant Vine, Grant Watch, Proposal Central and New York Foundation for the Arts. The analysis that we conducted were to compare the Branding & Elements and Marketing Positioning of these companies. We also did a Feature Comparison between these companies as well.

Competitor Descriptions

Findings and Key Takeaways from Competitor Analysis:

  • All Sites require you to register/ login.
  • The sites all use Top Main Navigation, but are poorly organized therefore navigating the website is not a pleasurable experience.
  • All sites allow you to search and filter for grants.
  • All are a non-profit model and are Non-profit Organizations.
  • Out of 7, five websites are international, and 2 are country specific.
  • Many sites add paid membership.
  • Regarding contents, all of them are overwhelming, and it’s leading the user to a paralyzed state.

Grantpa is different from its competitors because the goal is to make the search and applying for grants a very user-friendly, precise and quick process. Aiming at the centralized application system where artists can have their profile with their details and portfolio, which can be used to match you with grants that fit within your personal parameters. Guiding the artists regarding proposal writing and applying for grants will increase the percentage of artists applying for grants.

User Research

User Interviews

From our screener and other contacts, we were able to select our user interview participants. We conducted 7 user interviews from people of a variety of different disciplines. By interviewing individuals of different disciplines, we are able to get a variety of responses and insights. We engaged users who were professional artists and is familiar with the grant process. As a team, we conducted face- to- face interviews or phone interviews. We recorded and took notes during the process.

Synthesizing Research

Affinity Mapping

After all of our interviews we decided to put together and synthesize all of our data. We wrote down all the quotes and information and started to affinity map. We separated everything into four quadrants: Pain points, Pleasures, Behaviors, & Context. Our goal was to uncover similar trends to help develop our personas and problem statements.

Feature Prioritization

We prioritized the features using a 2x2 quadrant map to allocate features based on how essential the feature is and estimated amount of effort to have the feature developed.

The features we decided to focus on based on lower effort and cost as well as how essential it is to have. ( within this current scope )

  • Deadlines & Reminders
  • Social Sharing
  • Artist Profile
  • Filters

Layout Study

Since we decided the features we would like to pursue, we took a look at brands that do similar things but for a different industry. For example we did a layout study of the brand Hired. They match jobs with individuals.

Comparative Analysis

Comparative Analysis of Hired
Comparative Analysis of NYFA and Arts Council of England

Heuristic Analysis

We conducted a Heuristic Analysis of the websites Hired and Arts Council of England and New York Foundation for the Arts . We chose these three companies because we believe a closer look at them will help our process. Doing so will allow us to learn what the flaws and frustrations of a design might be, the outcome is a determination of whether the UI complies with our set of heuristics. (guidelines)

It is more of an inspection.

Findings from Heuristic Analysis to inform our decisions:

  • Intention to have a clear and straight forward navigation to avoid user confusion.
  • Letting the user browse the site so they can see the benefits rather than block them. ( Avoid mandatory sign up at the beginning)
  • The user should have the freedom of moving to the previous or next screen or Exit out of the Navigation.
  • Content should be well organized rather than overloaded with content on every page ( Avoid making the user find what they need with difficulty.)
  • Should have consistency in the navigation bar throughout the entire website.


From our research, were were able to develop user personas.

Primary Persona

Secondary Persona

Tertiary Persona

Problem Statement

The process of searching and finding the appropriate grant has become confusing and intimidating. Users need a way to effortlessly and precisely find grants that pertain to them.

User Scenario

Adam is a very ambitious artist and a painter. He has always had a dream to have his exhibition at an art gallery. Being a mid-carrier artist, finding fund is always a difficult task for him. As an artist, Adam is looking for opportunities / Grants to pursue his dream.

Solving Statements

  • Grantpa helps to find artist grants in a simpler, easier and faster way.
  • Grantpa helps in matching with the right grant.
  • Grantpa gives guidance to the artist in applying for a grant.


User Flow



User Testing

After sketching ideas on paper and making wireframes, we created Medium Fidelity Prototype and conducted user testing. Our goal is to find out the usability of our concept. We were mindful to test individuals with an art background as well as non-artists to get a broad sampling.


Grantpa Prototype Walkthrough

User Testing 2

We conducted a second round of User Testing. This time with our High Fidelity Prototype.

Responsive Mobile

Next Steps


  • More User Testing.
  • Refine profile page.
  • Iterate filter information.
  • Refine Grant Page.


  • Expanding the centralized application system as a social network and community development in future.
  • In Terms of business goals , upgrading the free membership to paid membership can be the artists can be provided with more benefits: Free membership — gets matches of 3 grants, Paid membership — gets more than 3–10 Grants.


  • Perfecting Style Guide and Branding for site.
  • Refining design elements on website.
  • Make responsive iteration.


  • The introduction of Smart Planner, which will give guidance for the artists in writing proposals, to keep track of deadlines and reminders.
  • Execution of applying with universal application for more than one grants.