Human centered design for a Non-profit



Over a six month duration, my team Ideation League worked with Out Youth. A non-profit organization providing LGBTQ+ youth from ages 13 to 23 counseling services to support their development. Some of the services we provided are extensive research, heuristic evaluation, and a report of findings. 

My role as a UX Designer was to research organizational needs and design solutions to propose to board members. I collaborated with a Visual designer and UX researcher. 

Covern outyouth.png


Utilizing people that want to help

Out Youth has a challenging time managing their 1,000 volunteer base. They need a way to organize and onboard their pool of volunteers. This will help understaffed areas of the organization.

Main constraints were:

  • Privacy, due to the sensitive nature of working with individuals under 18
  • Low cost solutions to fit within the nonprofit’s modest budget
  • Sustaining their youth centered culture

Graphic that illustrates youth as our central focus and the areas supporting them



Tackling research through all perspectives 

We needed to gather insights in all the areas that contribute to youth needs and their development in the program.

We applied human-centered design practices such as contextual interviews, field observations, journaling, concept provocation, act, ESRI geo data analysis, and youth research activities. 

By studying the organization from different perspectives, we were able to learn the requirements, challenges, and needs for youth, staff, volunteers, clinical care, and Alumni. 

Some of the research practices we used such as journaling, ESRI mapping, and gathering insights with the team



Defining an impactful low cost solution

Feasibility Map

During divergence we generated ideas and converted them into actionable opportunities. We focused on what we could implement by pin pointing low cost opportunities serving high impact. A volunteer solution had the highest potential. 

Structure Map

Mapping the organizational structure showed us the interconnections between different organizational touch points. Most importantly the structure map highlighted the volunteers silo from the rest of the organization further validating our use case for volunteer solution. 


Graphic of the feasibility and structure map


Strategy & Structure

Designing a volunteer experience 

We developed an in-depth volunteer strategy divided into three stages designed to connect with a volunteer category fit to their skills and commitment level. 

After a yearly period, the system would loop and become self-sustaining using star volunteers with low administrative management control. 


Graphic of a 2x2 matrix for assessing volunteer placement and the volunteer system loop


Report of findings

Our report of findings gave Out Youth a way to share organizational insights in a clear and transparent way for staff, board members, and funding efforts. 

The document was structured by color to highlight central areas to sustain, grow, and change followed by strategies to build upon them.

The volunteer strategy bridges the silo to the rest of the organization further supporting all other strategy efforts such as a transportation initiative, alumni network, and school outreach plan

Link to full presentation slides and deliverable


Report of findings booklet