Oakland Nonprofit Design Agency
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BRIDGEGOOD is a nonprofit design agency based in Oakland, California. The organization provides accessible design resources for creatives including a portfolio builder, job board, apprenticeship program, creative community, VIP events and more.
As the nonprofit continues to grow in influence and recognition, BRIDGEGOOD works to expand their brand to #DesignForSocialGood beyond the Bay Area.
Design a completely new product — BRIDGEGOOD.app for desktop, tablet and mobile screens in three weeks
Role & Tools
•   Team Lead, UX/UI Designer, UX Researcher & Strategist
•   Miro, Trello & Adobe XD
Krishelle Diaz, Maritza Marin & Sophia Valdez
Shaun Tai - Product Lead & Executive Director
Yudy Herrera Orellana - Program Manager
Elisa Feng - Program Coordinator
Our Users
We began our design sprint by conducting user interviews to identify key pain points in the growth trajectory of entry-level designers.
Through these discussions, we could better understand what designers need to gain the confidence and skills to advance in their careers.
14 Surveys
6 Interviews
Key Insight
As young designers ourselves, we spoke with fellow creatives and discovered that there is a lack of access to design communities and ways to connect with other designers.
And by young, we don’t mean in age but in experience. So this includes people of all ages who are just getting started in design.
We combined user data to create a persona that reflects our target audience, young designers at the beginning of their careers. We also created a secondary persona for career switchers.
Then, we interviewed key stakeholders to discover business goals and ways our product could benefit BRIDGEGOOD with minimal cost. We learned that BRIDGEGOOD wants to expand the organization beyond Oakland.
Following both sets of the interviews, we were able to target the right balance between user and business goals.
They align in the community-building aspect.
Problem Space
Our problem space was defined by the current obstacle for young creatives to network with people in the design industry.
This means they struggle to find a community to foster career growth.
There’s an opportunity to help designers connect, and thus improve networking and community building among users.
So this led to us asking …
How might we create a space that specifically fosters networking between designers?
Our Answer:
By facilitating virtual coffee chats with fellow designers.
Finding the right solution for young designers presented a bit of a challenge.
We started broad and realized that while we want to be able to address every single pain point young designers have, we have to tackle them one at a time.
So we narrowed our focus down to 1-on-1 interactions for creatives to build their network.
We used our personas to craft Crazy 8's. These sketches allowed us to quickly visualize potential solutions for our users' pain points. These Crazy 8's led us to ideating our core feature.
Our Crazy 8's led us to ideating our core feature.
Core Feature
When pinpointing our core feature, we started broad. Initially considering forums and design activities for creatives to participate in a build their community.
However, after going back through our user interviews, we discovered that young designers want to hone in on their individual connections with designers.
Core =
Building an Inclusive Community
Feature =
Social Network
After we finalized our core feature, we conducted another round of Crazy 8's to get our team on the same page visually. Once we had a rough visual of our product, we began to build it.
Information Architecture
As a team, we created a rough draft of our sitemap.
We started by focusing on pages the app needs to function and worked outward to understand how they would relate.
Next, I finalized our sitemap to include each page and its interactions. This established our app's navigation for the remainder of the sprint.
Hick's Law
Fitts' Law
White Space
Mission & Focus
After solidifying our sitemap, we moved to Adobe XD to create wireframes and transition them into a lo-fidelity prototype.
We started by building our core feature: The Network Page and worked our way out to ensure a cohesive and understandable flow.
Once we finalized the general interface of the product, we began adding visual assets and components inline with our design system.
We also had the opportunity to present and walkthrough our product at Twitter HQ - San Francisco for feedback.
Our audience appreciated the simplicity and direct mission of our product.
"I don't see why someone wouldn't implement a product like this." - Twitter For Good Lead
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Meet Brian Zapata
Brian Zapata is a 21-year-old graphic design student at San Jose State University.
He’s in his fourth and final year, and he’s interested in growing his network before he jumps into his career.
Watch the video below to see how BRIDGEGOOD.app can help Brian achieve his goal.
By expanding BRIDGEGOOD beyond Oakland in a sustainable way, we successfully targeted both our user and business goals.
But what does it mean to expand in a sustainable way?
Users can connect with people no matter where they are, which eliminates costs to physically expand and keep up with multiple locations.
Measuring Success
In order to see our product's growth and impact, we worked with our Product Lead to create trackable success metrics.
1. Expand to two states in the first year, increase 5% year over year
2. 1,000 users on the platform within the first year
3. Launch eight Coffee Chat meetups in the first two years
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Following a successful design sprint, I've had time to reflect on my role as team lead. I had to really understand our individual strengths to ensure optimal productivity and progress.
I was able to realize that the difference between a good leader and great leader is not only judged by organizing the team and delegating tasks, but how they uplift the voices of each team member and really hone in on the variety of skillsets within the group.
Given the three week time constraint on our sprint, we didn't dive deep enough into usability testing and feedback from users.
Prioritizing time for user testing sessions is something I would implement next time.
Overall, my team was able to create a complete product that met user's needs reflected in the interviews conducted early on and it really showed the value of research.
Throughout the sprint, we were able to validate and improve on our decisions based on the initial research gathered but also research conducted throughout. It really showed us that the design process is not linear but an always evolving concept.
Having the opportunity to design a new product without any foundation or specific prompt highlighted the creativity and intelligence in our team. We learned what it means to design with community in mind.
"I am ready to take this knowledge with me into the tech industry to continue designing for inclusivity..."