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Volunteering 2.0.


Conceptualize, design and pitch Speakable’s next product.


UX researcher in a team of 3, solo interaction designer & visual designer.


User Interviews, Research Analysis, Personas, Interactive Wireframing, Interaction Design, Visual Design, Product Pitching

Speakable promote social engagement through technology.

For instance, their Action Button, pictured on the left, allows people to instantly take action (e.g. signing a petition, making a donation) right from an article they’re reading.

Jordan Hewson, Speakable’s founder and CEO, challenged us to design their next product. We designed Actable – an app that matches you with volunteering opportunities based on what you care about.

Tell us what matters to you.
Tell us where you shine.
We show you volunteering opportunities that are meaningful to you.
You go out there and change the world.

User Interviews

Our team ran user interviews to understand how people went about volunteering and donating, what motivated them, and their overall sentiment around it. From there, we used empathy maps to capture, categorize and prioritize user needs.

Conveying our findings at a glance

The interviews and empathy maps really helped us get to know our target audience. To help us keep these insights with us through ideation and design, I made these cards to reminds us of the essence of each persona at a glance.

Our research highlighted three main needs.

#1 Clear visibility over how donations are used

What are donations contributing towards, and what impact are they making (e.g. one month of tuition for a young girl to learn how to code)?

#2 More alignment between volunteering opportunities + volunteers

It’s much more motivating and exciting to go volunteer when you know that: 1) it supports a cause that is important to you, 2) your specific skill set is needed (versus just anyone with a pulse). Right? It also makes it less tempting for volunteers to bail on their commitment.

#3 A way for NGO’s to specify what they need

To enable #1 and #2, NGOs need a way to express what they need: be it certain skills for volunteering events, or target amounts of money for donations.

The data validated some of our hypotheses.

Making a donation or signing up to volunteer online is generally tedious

The forms involved are often long and sometimes request information users might not be willing to share. Plus, a lot of us dread having our inbox inundated with newsletters after signing up.

People want to see what impact their donation truly makes

Allowing users to navigate by “cause” (not by NGO) was a good call- we had noted that donation forms might be too long, tedious, repetitive – and that indeed appeared in the research.

Making an impact makes us feel really good

Donating or volunteering makes people feel good about their action, their impact in the world and themselves.

It also highlighted areas we hadn’t considered, or had incorrectly assessed.

Alignment between personal skills + tasks

A feeling of accord between one’s skills and their tasks when volunteering, how about a platform that matches volunteers with events based on their skills and interests?


We focused on the volunteer’s perspective, but volunteering events could benefit from facilitation on the organizer’s side as well.


Giving volunteers direction during events shouldn’t mean they are micro-managed.

Translating these needs into product features

With good starting points from the interviews, I hand-sketched options in quick iterations. As these stabilized, I moved them to Sketch and iterated on interaction, and how the different components would work together.

Refining the interaction

I built a clickable version of these wireframes on InvIsion and used it to connect the screens and consolidate the interaction.


I used  Speakable’s primary colors and tone as starting points to create a visual brand that feels like the Action Button’s sister: related, but different.

Final touches

After applying the new styling to my wireframes, and adjusting where necessary, I finalized the key screens of the flow.

Pitching to Speakable’s founder and CEO, Jordan

Jordan had amazing feedback to share.She loved the donation tracker idea, and also challenged it – how about times when donations go towards NGO’s running costs? Will users get the same feeling of making a difference than if the money had gone towards buying blankets for the homeless people of NY? She also really resonated with the concept of matching of people and causes through skills and interests.

What next?

My classmates and I all shared our artifacts and recommendations with Speakable to support future ideations. I’m genuinely excited to see what they come up with in the near future. And who knows, some of our features might be in there!