ATA - Home redesign.png

Austin tech alliance

"ATA offers companies and employees in Austin's tech sector the opportunity to be in so many amazing rooms with so many amazing people to help solve so many complex and exciting problems."

This is an overview of how we re-designed an organization's website to provide valuable incentives to increase membership conversion rates  & engagement.

Timeline

3 weeks

Problem Solved
Website re-design to increase member acquisition
Role
Lead Researcher
Client & Stakeholder POC
Tools 
 

DETAILS

Austin Tech Alliance was ready for a makeover for its website that hadn't been updated since 2016. The nonpartisan nonprofit has been helping individuals in Austin connect with their community and stay informed on where their local political officials stand. Now, they want to reflect their passion and place within the tech community with the look and feel of a modern website while remaining an educational tool for new visitors.

We designed a website that would provide valuable incentives to increase membership conversions rates with a more engaging events and volunteer page, donations, and resources that will increase the frequency users return to the website.

 

The Lay of the Land

Using stakeholder interviews, client interviews, and secondary research to understand the foundation that's been laid. Through these methods, we could better grasp what is most important to them when becoming a member of a website and the impact ATA has on their life, thus eliminating waste of resources. The design should meet the goals of the user and the client.

My role throughout this project was being rigorous in my generative and evaluative research, conducting user interviews, usability tests, and synthesizing the information for the design team.

The following methods and data showcase my approach.

Researching our client

Gathering the history and understanding of who they are, forcing us to ask ourselves where we play a part.

First, I wanted to understand where a nonprofit generates its revenue to support the programs. ATA (Austin Tech Alliance) currently supports its programs through 2 revenue streams, Individual and Company members, and donations.

 

Now that we understood in order to make an impact on these areas, we would need to set our sights on:

  • Clearly defining what "civic engagement" (value proposition) is

  • Increase site return by increasing resources

  • Provide members with ways to get involved in their community

RESEARCH METHODS

  • Heuristic Evaluation / User Interviews / Usability Testing

  • Surveys

  • Stakeholder Interviews

HEURISTIC EVALUATION

A measurement for user-friendliness

I used the Heuristic Evaluation to narrow down our focus to issues that we later found were also reflected in the User Interviews and Usability Testing I conducted.

2. Match Between System and Real World

3. User Control and Freedom

5. Error Prevention

2. Match Between System and Real World

While this banner is there, it's not easy to understand, it's not very concrete. It's not for the layman to read and understand what's going on...building a culture is kind of vague. What does this mean? What does this mean for me?

"

Current

Re-design

Moving 'Our Mission' to the homepage for clarity of who ATA is.

3. User Control and Freedom

Current

Re-design

  • Adding a back button on the bottom left

  • Segmented billing process

One thing I don't see here is an exit, what if I accidentally clicked it, that makes me very nervous.

"

5. Error Prevention

I think you should have some type of confirmation or receipt. You should say what email you're sending to, making sure it's correct since I'm giving money. It's like leaving the store without a receipt.

"

Current

Re-design

The user is given the opportunity to confirm their details and make any changes before committing to an action.

Follow the user's journey through making a donation, a feature that previously did not exist.

STAKEHOLDER INTERVIEW QUESTIONS

  • What inspired this idea? What inspired you to be a part of ATA?

  • What is your role as an advisory board member?

  • How would you define civic engagement?

  • What has been the most important aspect of being a part of this for you?

  • What mediums have you found success in as far as getting information
    to people?

  • Thinking back to the last time you signed up for a membership or joined a group, what was important to you?

  • Thinking about the website you visit most, what brings you to the site?

STAKEHOLDER INTERVIEWS

In order to help the nonprofit thrive, I felt it was important to interview not only the users but the stakeholders as well and include their insights into the design. We gained a deeper understanding of the obstacles, where the organization stands, and where they envision it to be, allowing us to connect insights to creative inspiration.

Civic engagement means people know how to get involved in something and have no barriers to entry. It doesn't necessarily mean they do get involved.

The most impactful thing is peer-to-peer. If you talk to 2 of your friends, that works much better than if I talked dot 2 of your friends.

The more I can say that I know people very specific to an organization, the more I'm invested in it.

"

"

"

USER PERSONA

Personalizing our insights

I hardly ever go to the website... there's probably stuff on the website I'm missing but I don't know.

"

Desktop - 8.png
 

DESIGN

Connecting insights to creative execution

Their website hasn't been updated since 2016 and received plenty of critiques regarding overwhelming industry jargon, stale colors, and no clear sense of the purpose of the organization. So, we started with the header and the homepage.

Since the header is the first thing every user sees and the most frequently used tool throughout the design, we wanted it to feel familiar and new at the same time. Through Usability Tests, we found which words and verbs were most widely understood.

Current

Prototype

Re-design

HOMEPAGE

Making a strong first impression

As a nonpartisan nonprofit organization, we felt neutral yet vibrant colors like blue and orange would leave users with a refreshing and enthusiastic impression.

 

In addition to adding actionable items like Events and Blogs, we added a section for the programs offered and a carousel with the company members, which we later found out through testing was a useful tool for enticing other organizations to join.

This (ATA Company Members) is helpful as well if I am a government affairs professional... one of the ways I can pitch to my boss that this is an organization we need to be involved in is I can point to peer organizations that are also involved.

"

EVENTS 

Connecting the community

Based on the insights and the client's goals, I designed this page to increase the user's ease of navigating within the page by adding filters and sorting features. I minimized the size of each event so the user has increased visibility viewing more events at once while minimizing the scrolling.

Events sketch2
Events sketch2

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IMG_6998_edited
IMG_6998_edited

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Home - Events
Home - Events

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Events sketch2
Events sketch2

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FINAL DESIGN

Turning lead into gold

Home
Home

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About with history
About with history

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new Blog
new Blog

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Home
Home

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Below is my own redesign of the homepage, created and delivered after the contract

had ended.

Home_redesign_1
Home_redesign_1

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Home_redesign_2
Home_redesign_2

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Home_redesign_3
Home_redesign_3

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Home_redesign_1
Home_redesign_1

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1/3
 

REFLECTIONS

Future features and conclusions

  • Create a membership portal to increase interaction with other members.

  • Incorporate public volunteer opportunities sign-up list.

  • After going through an onboarding process with a volunteer COVID project with over 600 volunteers, I've realized how much we lacked a real structure and foundation for the project. Our method only worked because it was 3 people on a team and really made me question whether we created the best practice for a larger team with multiple roles outside of UX. It was fragmented and shallow in the sense that we just followed the "process", overlooking the value of the Agile methodology of individuals and interactions, and responding to change over following a plan. There was a lack of a Style Guide & UI Components, which is critical for the handoff to the client's developer, as well as stronger documentation.

Thank you my team members and to our participants who helped shape a thought into a design.