Voly is a volunteer and organizer platform that is created with another UX designer on a 5 day Sprint with inspiration from the book, Sprint by Jake Knapp. 


For this personal project, I did user research at local non-profits to understand and synthesize users needs for building mutual connections that led to ideation and design decisions. I also worked on the webpage wireframe and mockups, while my partner worked on the app. 


I created doodles, paper prototypes and wireframes through sketch.



To continue my education in UX, I decided to volunteer for design events and noticed that organizers are really busy by managing the event, food and even the the volunteers. Volunteers on the other hand, want to help a cause but do not get placed in stations they are passionate about. The challenge is to find a balance where organizers can be relieved of the duty to place volunteers and for volunteers to be placed in where they want to be.

"Volunteers want to make an impact. If there's too many volunteers with less to do,
they will not feel needed"

Denise, Teen Director at Chinatown YMCA



I interviewed event organizers and volunteers to learn their pain points and create a hypothesis of how I plan to solve their needs. 

Some key findings that I discovered were:

  1. Organizers don't have time to look for volunteers
  2. They depend on returning volunteers and word of mouth
  3. Volunteers want to be useful and develop a connection through the event
  4. Volunteers expect to be given a task


After the interviews, a hypothesis I had was:

  1. Volunteers want to sign up for the role they want
  2. That can be solved with a platform for event organizers to create volunteer positions so volunteers can sign up directly
  3. This will allow volunteers to choose their roles, read volunteer requirements and sign required documents before showing up for the event
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"As an organizer, I'd be happy to get volunteers for anything, regardless. Since I end up picking up the slack most of the time."

Fong, San Francisco Education Fund Coordinator



I wanted the app to have an introduction for first time users. This gives the user a taste of how the users can adjust their characters to fit their own personality. This also introduces questions and gives the user to answer them later after they have tested the app. 



After testing the paper prototypes, users made it clear that skill swapping may not be the best way to build a mutual connection. I learned that:

  1. Users won't necessarily ask strangers for help
  2. It may be rare to match up with someone that is looking for your help also
  3. Users are suspicious of others expertise in the skill


From the skill swap test, I learned that users would rather get to know one another by talking about a similar topic that are interesting to them. Users get to share their own personal interests and be open to talking about it with others and vise versa. 

With this idea, vulnerability became one sided and the user sharing their interests don't necessarily know who would see it.

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"You have to be genuinely interested in the other person and contribute to the conversation."

Q: How do you become good at conversations?

Dating apps had a big influence on this app.

For example, Tinder connects people through looks, while Coffee Meets Bagel connects user through an algorithm of interests. Based on these apps, users have created their own depiction of what to expect by using these apps.

I wanted Monster to be an app that allows users to be open, vulnerable and safe. That is done by letting users create their own avatar that depicts their style or who they aspire to be. Being vulnerable comes with answering questions in the app knowing that they will be matched with others that have also answered the same questions. It is also safe because once users are matched with one another, they have the option to leave or continue the conversation.






I learned that building mutual connections with strangers don't happen overnight. People like to create their own "online persona" but users become more genuine with strangers as they become more comfortable. People don't feel as comfortable answering deep questions in the beginning. They would either lie or make up something quickly to avoid it.


I want to make the on boarding process easier on users (no one really likes answering a series of questions before fully committing to an app). Also, I want to figure out different methods on breaking down the vulnerable walls through testing and a lot more research before bringing it to a developer.