Catchafire Onboarding:
Curb Volunteer Drop off

Ux Design, Web design
Problem Statement
Catchafire organizes a community of individuals seeking to support and strengthen the social good sector. They do this by facilitating connections between professionals who donate their time and talent through virtual volunteering with nonprofits who need their skills and talents.
There is a large drop-off in registration by volunteers who apply directly to projects—critical objectives for this project.
  • Work with the product manager to identify where and why drop-off occurs.
  • Balance the needs of the Volunteer Managers with the ease of applying for the Volunteers.
  • Deliver a solution that will increase the number of completed volunteer applications.
Speakout Redesign Concept
Roles & Responsibilities

The team consisted of:  
Product Designer - Design concepts to make onboarding for new volunteers more enjoyable. These designs can be insignificant functional changes to the flow.

Project Manager - Who collected metrics and identified where the drop-off was occurring. PMs also are charged with copywriting.

Front and Back end Developer - Take my designs and annotations to update and translate those into a working page.

Quality Assurance - Made sure tagging and backend coding met internal standards. Director of User Experience - Oversee my designs and logic.


New Volunteers

Volunteers who have come to the platform many are looking for ways to contribute while on lockdown in search of projects that meet their skills.

New Volunteer persona

Volunteer Manager

Managers of the Volunteers need to have enough information on their applications to make an informed choice as to who to move forward with.

Volunteer Manager persona
Scope & Constraints

This project is part of a larger initiative to bring more volunteers to the platform. After the initial pandemic started, Catchafire experienced a massive surge in new volunteers that applied to the platform. A year later, metrics indicated a decrease in applications, returning to pre-pandemic numbers.

This project is a first step into correcting our onboarding flow to make applying to projects easier, therefore retaining new volunteers.

Workflow identifying drop-off points

I researched our competitors' flows for onboarding new volunteers or applicants. My findings showed that their applications were shorter and more inviting. One key issue was their Login / Sign up screen did not have a welcoming tone. It did not take advantage of our most used login method, the Linkedin Button. Metrics showed that over 50% of our registrations used Linkedin to signup. Highlighting our Linkedin integration and reassuring users that they are helping nonprofits would be a priority.  Our internal page layouts used a single-column format. These layouts last updated several years ago and do not follow current UX best practices and principles. To that end, I used the following principles to guide my designs.

  • Aesthetic and Minimalist design I was referring to the consistency of style and appearance. This enhances recognition and sets emotional expectations.
  • Content Chucking A technique of combining many units of information into a limited number of chunks so that information is easier to process and remember.
  • Performance Load The greater the effort to accomplish a task, the less likely the user will complete the task.
  • Highlighting A technique for fetching attention to an area of text or image.
Images of similar platforms to understand best in class patterns
Modal sign-up concept

After connecting with the development team, this process would be pointed to medium difficulty. Not impossible, but some work because it was divergent from our current flow.

Our Project Manager recognized the use of modals but, at the same time, reminded me of our constraint—small design changes with no significant new components or modifications to the current flow. The modals are to be revisited at a later date.

Concept designs
Updated Layout

Removing the blurred hero graphic and placing that information (Project Type and Organization name within the white header.) lifted the page height and lightened the overall feel of the page.

Language is essential for a brand. It sets the tone for all interactions with users. So changing keywords like Prerequisites to Project Requirements is necessary. It’s better to be precise with two words than a single one.We also used Yes and No statements to distinguish if a volunteer meets the qualifications or not clearly.

Data relationships between old and new concepts

After three weeks, there has been a small increase in registration completion but not enough to mark this effort as a success. Our follow-up will be to attempt a more drastic change in our registration flow. We will be investing in user testing a shorter flow to see if that makes a dent in our volunteer drop off rate.

Updated onboarding flow

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A mixture of all the Ninja Turtles 🐢 into one. Suffering from an addiction to coffee, cookies and zombies 🧟. Team player, a negotiator with developers, product owners and stakeholders.

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