Research, strategy, wireframes, branding and UX + UI design for an app created to simplify the blood donation process.

Designed with Sketch and Photoshop. Research with Google Forms.

blood donor proj 1.jpg


Every time I donate blood, I walk away thinking the process could be improved. Focusing on the most common donor app: Red Cross’s Blood Donor App, I conducted several different tests to gather user feedback which I used to create a proposal for either UX improvements, or potentially an entirely new app, aimed to help donors quickly and efficiently schedule donations.

Project Goals:

Use qualitative and quantitative research methods to inform design updates to existing app, and mock up interfaces.

Research Methods:

  • Personal interviews

  • In-person usability tests

  • Remote survey

  • Low-fidelity wireframe walk through



I conducted usability tests of the Red Cross’s Blood Donor App, asking 5 separate participants to complete several tasks including finding a nearby donation event, scheduling a donation, and accessing a few other features within the app. Following up the usability test, I asked participants what the experience was like, and the feedback was unanimous: The app did not include features that users expected, nor did they find it particularly helpful.

There seemed to be a disconnect between the functionality of what the app offered, and what users actually wanted to use the app to help them do. For the most part users were interested in 3 different features, 1: Finding donation events, 2: Scheduling donation events and, 3: Learning more about blood donation. The current app includes features that address all of these needs, but it also includes a dozen other features, which translated to a cluttered interface, and a frustrating digital experience for users.

These “extra” features include:

  • Share-a-selfie

  • Social media links

  • Donation teams

  • Donor rewards

  • Donor badges

In short, the app is functional, but unfocused–and more than due for an update.


The next step in my research was to deploy an online survey of 100 participants who had donated blood before, and ask a few questions around their pain points in the process. My goal was to gather information about what were motivators–and even more than that, roadblocks to facilitating them donating. Healthy individuals can donate blood about 6 times per year, yet the majority of respondents to my survey replied that they donated only once or twice a year. Stanford Blood Center reports that although about 38% of the US population is able to donate, only about 10% actually does. So there is about 28% of the US that can donate, but don’t. I wanted to dig into the habits and patterns of active donors, to better understand how they operate.

Here are the most telling questions and responses:

survey results_all.jpg


  1. People are busy.

  2. Convenience is everything.

  3. Staying top-of-mind is key.


Next I mocked up a streamlined version of the app: trimming all peripheral features that distract from the main goal of the user: donating blood. I beefed up the most used features to allow for more fine-tune capability when using the app. Below is my proposed streamlined login, donation event finder, and scheduler flow.



I conducted a walk-through usability test with 3 new users, using the above wireframes as a low-fidelity paper prototype.


  1. People love fine-tuning their search results

  2. Everyone has different notification preferences

  3. Concerning pages and navigation: less is more


features Continued

Getting more into the nitty-gritty, I started sketching product specifications that would likely be included in a new app, including menus, profile page, an educational/resources section, and possible features that would address the issue of donation sites being difficult for donors to access (see research findings). Partnering with a ride share company such as Lyft for discounted or sponsored rides during blood drives, is one way to lower the barrier to entry for potential donors who otherwise could not make an appointment.

wires_final p2.jpg


Finally, I mocked up the following screens for a proposed new app. One encouraging bit of feedback I gathered in the online survey was that nearly all blood donors have altruistic motives; they honestly just want to help. This was inspiration for a name: Give Life, a way to help people share live-giving blood with those in need.



Logo and branding for Give Life


*Project created during the UC Berkeley Extension Program Research Design Course, Summer 2018.