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Volunteer Activity

Benevity Mobile App / 2022

Volunteer Activity.png

The Benevity app allows employees to make charitable donations and sign up for volunteer opportunities. Our users were finding it difficult to find upcoming volunteer commitments and track their volunteer time. This project aimed to make a seamless volunteering experience from sign up to volunteer time approval. 

My role: I was the sole Designer on this project. I collaborated with my Product Manager, Software Developer Manager and 4 Mobile developers.


Users can't find upcoming volunteering

Problem #1: The path to finding upcoming volunteer commitments is long and unclear.

Ever since the launch of the app, the Mobile team has received feedback from our users and clients about the long and confusing path to finding volunteer commitments. 

Completing a task analysis helped show just how long this path was. If a user were to check their volunteer shift details or track their volunteer time it would take 6-9 steps!


On the app it would be helpful if our commitments were shown so it would be easier to enter hours in on opportunities signed up for.”  - User, taken from Aha

Task Analysis completed on viewing upcoming shifts [Select the image to enlarge]

Problem #2: The ‘Track Volunteer Time” button is for external shifts but users are tracking time for internal shifts. The Benevity app allows users to track volunteer time for commitments outside of the platform. However, many of them were using the CTA to track time for shifts they signed up for in the platform.


I knew that this button was not clear and had to make sure there was a clear difference between this action and tracking time for a work opportunity. 

Screenshot 2023-07-31 at 11.57.46 AM.png

The "Track Volunteer Time" button wasn't resonating with users.

Journey Mapping: Where does the volunteering journey begin?

To better understand the volunteering experience for an employee, I created an in-depth journey map based on previous feedback. Benevity Spark is offered in both mobile and desktop platforms so this helped me outline “Bouncing” points - where the user would become frustrated with the mobile app and bounce to the web platform. It was clear that pain points were most prevalent when a user is searching for opportunities, checking their shifts details and tracking volunteer time. 

Journey Map Small.png

Outlines the user's volunteering journey from discovering content to tracking time
[Select the image to view an expanded version]


Testing the new experience

To ensure I tested any assumptions, I completed 8 usability tests with Benevity users who had not used the mobile app before. Using the current version of the app, I had them sign up for a volunteer opportunity of their choice, check their shift details and track their volunteer time. After synthesizing the data, it was clear that our “assumptions” were correct and their largest pain points were:

  • Finding an opportunity

    • “Wow, this is a LOT to read on a phone, and I'm definitely not going to do that.” - Participant 2

  • Checking shift details

    • “I was expecting something to show up on the homepage.” - Participant 8

  • Tracking time

    • "Tracking External Volunteering is kind of throwing me off, because I'm wondering if I should be doing that to log internal.” - Participant 3

Screenshot 2023-07-31 at 11.44.50 AM.png

Organizing the research data into What do the users...(say/do/feel/think)?


Introducing: Volunteer Activity

With all of my in-depth discovery work completed, it was time for wireframing. One of the main pieces we pulled from the usability testing is that after signing up, users would go back to the Homepage to see if they had any updates. To match the user’s mental models, I started designing a “Volunteer activity” section that would show on the Homepage where users could more easily check shift details and get reminders to track their volunteer time.

Screenshot 2023-07-31 at 1.45.28 PM.png

First iteration of my wireframes


Considering donation-only users

After rounds of feedback sessions, design reviews and technical meetings, I uncovered some design decisions that could be improved. Both the Upcoming and Track Time sections were very large and took up a lot of the Home screen. As well, for users that donate more than they volunteer - did it make sense to leave the volunteer section on the Home screen even if there was no activity? 


With these pieces of feedback in mind, I decided to make a combined Volunteer Activity section highlighting the most upcoming opportunity and trackable shift. If the user is a volunteering champion and has several shifts, they can view it within the “View All” tab that is organized by date or ongoing. As well, for our users who are more focused on donating, this section won’t be persistent - helping them avoid feelings of FUD (Fear, uncertainty, doubt). 


With this work, I was also able to update a button styling to accommodate the “View All” button in the header, as well as update the “Track External Volunteering” button to help with the confusion our users were feeling.

Screenshot 2023-07-31 at 1.59.22 PM.png

My iteration with large upcoming/track time sections vs. the final version with a condensed Volunteer Activity section.


Consider All User Actions

This project taught me that even when you are focused on a specific user action (such as volunteering) it’s important to consider the users who have other preferences and may not partake in such actions. If we have a user who is a busy parent, working full time perhaps volunteering does not suit their needs so why push volunteering content on them? (For example) 


In a future state, I would love to tackle the issue of easily finding volunteer opportunities (which was not in scope of this project). Not every user already has a list of their favourite causes - volunteering would be more accessible if the platform could provide them with smart suggestions based on interests or what is popular amongst coworkers. 

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