Pro bono consulting for Sacramento Area non-profits

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Why are you doing this?
A. I want to support Sacramento-area nonprofits by offering my User Experience Design skills. I'd like to help organizations that are doing amazing work in my community. I believe that a well-designed Web site and organized approach to social media greatly improve an organization's ability to raise money and serve its community. My goal is to improve the quality of life in my community by helping nonprofits become more successful.

Q. How will you help us? What is included?
A. Our work together and the resulting output will vary based on your organization's needs. In general, my focus will be to review and understand your organization's current online presence, communication goals, and audience. I'll work with you to update and redesign (if needed) your Web site, and define your social media strategy. As a User Experience Designer, my areas of expertise include Information Design, Information Architecture, Interaction Design, and Usability.

Q. What won’t you do? What is not included?
A. I typically do not provide help with Visual Design or implementation of your Web site updates or redesign. Though I am not going to provide these pieces for you, I will help manage and facilitate getting them done. Chances are you already have a strong visual identity and approach to marketing that can be used. I can also help provide suggestions for online applications that would be a good fit for the design, creation, and ongoing management of your Web site (i.e. WordPress, SquareSpace, etc.)

Q. What will this cost?
A. I offer my help pro bono – my time donated at no cost to nonprofit organizations. For the parts of your project that I do not provide, I will work with you to find other pro bono workers or low-cost options.

Q. How much involvement, effort, and expertise will be needed from our staff?
A. If your organization needs help managing this project, I can offer those skills along with my design work. If needed, I can help define and manage tasks, deliverables, and timelines.

Q. How long will it take?
A. The length of time that we will work together depends on your needs and the priority of this work within your organization. We might quickly work through some smaller-scale "quick fixes" that can happen in a couple weeks. We might also work on some larger-scale "big picture" projects that could take a couple months. After we meet and identify the improvements that need to be made, I can provide some idea of amount of effort needed and possible timeline.

Q. What is the outcome of our work together?
A. I will provide a plan for making updates and changes to your online presence that will result in an excellent experience for your members, volunteers, and donors. In some cases, I will work with you to help make these changes, and in other cases, you will act on the plan after our work together has ended.

Q. Can you explain Information Design, Information Architecture, Interaction Design, Usability, and Visual Design to me?
A. Sure... An Information Designer takes complex ideas and information, and helps to communicate them with clarity, precision, and efficiency. For example: what is the mission of your organization, and what is the easiest way to explain that mission to a new volunteer? Is that different from the explanation you'd give to an existing member who is considering renewing their membership?

An Information Architect works to define the primary objectives of a Web site, and decides how the site will be organized in order to accomplish these goals. For example: how do users move around your Web site? What is the ordering and naming of the navigation on your Web site? Where should the membership, volunteer, and donation links be in your navigation?

An Interaction Designer creates an engaging and easily understood Web site experience that helps users accomplish their goals, tasks, needs, and wants. For example: if a visitor to your Web site wants to make a donation, do they enter all their information on one page? Or is it a 3-step process? Should you use a check-boxes or radio buttons for a specific piece on a form?

A Usability Tester helps analyze if a Web site and its content are presented in a clear and concise way, and if users are able to easily accomplish their goals and tasks. Based on their tests and findings, they offer up solutions on how to make the experience better. For example: If making a donation is a 3-step process, but many users stop and leave on step 2, why is this happening? How could you improve step 2 to get users all the way through the donation process?

A Visual Designer helps to define the look and feel of your Web site – what colors are used, how your logo appears on the page, what the icons and photographs look like, and what typeface is a good fit. Is the design of your Web site really clean and simple? Is there too much white space, and does a more "busy" design fit with your organization's branding? (See "What is not included" question above")

Contact me if you have additional questions you'd like answered.

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