Thriving Communities

Connecting Australia’s nonprofits to larger corporations so that there may be a more unified front in tackling hardships and struggle amongst Australia’s vulnerable.

Overview

Team

3 UX Design Students

My Role

User research and interviews, Content strategy, Design Studio facilitator, Visual design, Wireframes, Prototyping, Usability testing

Duration

2 weeks

Background on Thriving Communities Partnership (TCP

Thriving Communities Partnership (TCP) is a nonprofit in Australia that works to connect other nonprofits, corporations, and government entities to one another so that they may all share in resources and collaborate to provide essential services to those in need. TCP is overextended in their work due to their members' heavy reliance on their facilitation of and input on collaborative partnerships. TCP needs their members to facilitate better communication and collaboration amongst themselves so that TCP may clear out more bandwidth to focus on larger projects. They also need more paying members to sign on because that is what keeps their agency afloat. My team and I redesigned the TCP website so that it may satisfy the members' communication needs and promote increased membership sign up while staying true to TCP’s mission and values.

Solution Overview

We cleared out the clutter on the home page to better highlight TCP’s mission and the purpose of the website. We created a Community Directory to enable members to have access to one another directly on the website so that they may facilitate better communication amongst themselves without TCP’s help. We helped organize multiple filter functions to provide more efficient use of their Knowledge Centre. Last, but not least, we implemented a paywall for specific features and functions of the website that still allowed access to information for the general public while enticing potential members to sign on as paying members.

Problem & Solution

"Nobody uses our website."

TCP’s small team is stretched thin with the plethora of responsibilities they have of being the glue between many organizations and collaborative projects. They have an online platform and wish their members would utilize it more instead of seeking direct help from them, but their members find the website confusing and difficult to use, so they don’t use it! 

"Show your value!"

We redesigned the website to do three main things: 1) Highlight TCP’s mission by streamlining their priority goals, 2) Improve partner networking and collaboration with new features, and 3) Promote TCP’s value as a facilitator. These solutions ultimately make the website more useful and thus more valuable to TCP’s members and to TCP as well.

Our Design Process

Get to Know the Members

We started off the three-week sprint with 9 partner interviews! Thanks to TCP for setting that up for us. From those interviews, we were able to learn a lot about exactly who TCP is working with and what their specific needs might be when visiting the website. We also got an idea of what is NOT working for them on the website and used all of that to inform our design decisions moving forward.

We're All in This Together!

We understand how important it is to create and design something that stays true to the clients mission, so we held a design studio session with them! This was very helpful in seeing exactly how our clients imagine the website looking and what functions and features they really wished to prioritize. Doing the design studio together not only allowed for an abundance of great ideas to be expressed, it also built trust and camaraderie between our team and the clients!

Let's See if This Works..

Once we completed our initial sketches and lofi prototypes, we put them to the test! We met with TCP’s partners again, this time to ask them what they thought of our design decisions and changes to the website. We had a lot of positive feedback and validations to our suggestions, as well as further suggestions on how we could be even better. The usability testing was highly encouraging that we were moving in the right direction.

What We Implemented

Clear Out the Clutter and Prioritize Goals

Getting rid of anything that isn’t absolutely necessary helps to focus the users attention on your main goals. We implemented a carousel gallery so that they can update whatever they’d like to feature as new stuff comes up. Most importantly, we highlighted the website's three main functions as large call-to-action (CTA) buttons in the center of the page so that visitors can get immediate access to what they’re here to accomplish. Since webinars are a huge draw to the TCP website, we allocated an events column for them. Last, but not least, we allocated a section for their projects and people to be recognized and celebrated.

Enhance Member Communication Features

The original member dashboard page doubled as the forum page with no channels or threads, just one single page for any and all topics no matter a partner's industry or location. By separating and building out each of these functions onto separate pages, we extended the capabilities of both features to allow TCP partners a much richer and more personalized experience. 

Spotlight the Network!

At the end of the day, TCP’s most important asset is their robust community of partners who all work to do good in this world and help those in need. They did not yet have a directory for their partners to easily find and connect with one another, and so we created the Community Directory. Here, anyone can see the partner orgs and individual members of TCP as well as where they work and their role at the company. Once someone’s a paying member, however, they will have access to other members contact info as well and can even message them directly on the platform!

Reflections & Next Steps

They Loved It!

Our clients were so grateful and impressed with all the work that we had done, it was incredibly uplifting and validating to know that we did a great job! My team and I were able to design most everything we wanted for the new website. We left our clients with some suggestions off the prototype for them to consider when organizing information on the new website. The scope of our project was quite large, so we left them with a table of what features to roll out once they hit certain milestones.

Thank you for reading!

Let's be friends.

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