Case Study: Volunteer Houston Mobile App

The Goal

To design a mobile application for Volunteer Houston, that allows users to seek volunteering opportunities on the go based on geolocation, through a simple and easy process.

The Users

Volunteers

  • Searching capabilities for near locations by using the list or the map view.
  • Advanced searching options and filters such as date, distance, and interests.
  • Social Media Friendly: Users can share opportunities on FB and TW.
  • Users can customize their availability easily.
  • Tracking system for volunteers.
  • Users have access to information about the different volunteering agencies.

The Business Need

Volunteer Houston requested a mobile alternative for their web application http://www.volunteerhou.org/.

Why Mobile?
Most of the target users (volunteers) are mobile users.
Volunteers consider that location is a very important factor when applying to an opportunity. The mobile application shall feature a list of opportunities near the user’s location, which is very simple to use.

The organization also requests that an easy process to find opportunities be available by using a map view, and also the chance to refine their searches through filters.

Moreover, the ability for users to track hours is highly underlined by Volunteer Houston as it may provide them with valuable data.

Map View

The Challenges

Easy Process
As we all know, user’s hate to struggle with complex flows with tons of steps and longs registration forms, this generates frustration.

At this application the process to apply to an opportunity is simple. The look and feel are clean and has very clear call to actions, also the registration process is easy and has the alternative to allow users to registration through social media.

Connect People with their Passions
Volunteer Houston offers a big variety of opportunities. We have the challenge that users should easily find an opportunity compatible with their passion.

Simplify Content
We realized that inside the Volunteer Houston ecosystem there are different types of opportunities such as causes, needs, and specific events, etc. At this mobile application we are prioritizing content and trying to simplify as much as we can, that’s why we didn’t split the opportunities into confusing categories. This way all the events, causes and needs are inside one big category of opportunities.

The Approach

After having meetings with the stakeholder to review the requirements and the business needs, we run some usability tests on their current web application. This way we could detect some interesting insights, such as:

  • The Location is a crucial aspect for users when they have to pick an opportunity to volunteer.
  • Users like to filter by interest
  • Users want a smooth and quick process to volunteer

Then we did a brainstorming session with our UX team, where we exchange ideas, insights and sketch the first round of wireframes.

After some wireframing iterations, we continue with the visual design stage . Our proposal includes a fresh and clean look and feel. We included clear hierarchization through typography and spacing.

We also designed a color coded system with icons to easily differentiate the opportunities. Another aspect to highlight are the simple interactions and the clear call to actions.

UX Process

The Result

A simple and elegant mobile app that will provide volunteers a different alternative to help and connect with their passions.

The stakeholders were excited and enthusiastic with the result and we hope that they will receive positive feedback from end users.

We really enjoyed the experience of working with Volunteer Houston as a partner and we have an optimistic view that this app will change the way of volunteering forever.

“At Volunteer Houston we connect people to their passions and Headspring has been truly passionate about ensuring that the best product has been built and delivered to the Houston community.” 
Cameron Waldner, Chief Executive Officer at Volunteer Houston