Connecting social sector professionals with resources they need

Project Overview

How can social sector professionals better connect with the people and tools they need?


It's difficult for social sector professionals find the people and resources they need to further their mission and work.


Working directly with the Executive Director, I was the UX designer from research to wireframing, mockups and user testing.


A friendly and efficient professional matchmaking experience.


Research participants enjoyed the concise and impactful experience:

I like how simple it is. It's a million times better than DevEx, and ten times better than LinkedIn."

- Collabify user



Social sector professionals face unique challenges.

They are busy, face tough resource constraints and are often faced with a non-collaborative culture.

My client developed a beta product (below) to help match professionals with people and tools they need. However, users were not connecting on the platform, and the product offered multiple features, which made it hard for users to understand the purpose of the product.

Working directly with the Executive Director, I was tasked with designing a simple, focused experience that would foster connection.

Before redesign

User Research

I planned and executed on end-to-end research.

Participant Selection
  • 8 social sector professionals
  • Breadth of potential users by field, networking behavior, and familiarity with product
Interview Script
  • What's the context? Users' day-to-day?
  • How do collaborations happen?
  • How do you network? Find resources?
  • How do you connect online
  • What creates trust and intimacy?
Competitive/Analogous Research
  • How do professional connections happen online and offline?
  • How do online dating sites foster trust and intimacy?
  • How do master networkers and connectors do it?
  • How much information is presented/needed to make a call?


Resource & Time Constraints
Culture of Competition
Dispersion of Resources
"Lean Backers" Need Guidance
Super-Connected Friend
Mutually Beneficial Exchange


Ideation & Prototyping

I ideated and prototyped iteratively, moving from low to high-fidelity.

From paper to Sketch to clickable prototypes. Prototypes iterated with feedback from Executive Director and users. See user testing details below.


Participant Selection
  • 9 particpants
  • Wireframes iterated in 2-5 day sprints between user testsHow do professional connections happen online and offline?
Testing Format
  • 45-60 min, Skype or in-person
  • Clickable prototypes
  • Semi-structured script
  • Content/wording issues
  • Visual feedback
  • Flow & interaction issues
  • Findings discussed with ED

The Solution

Your "super-connected friend" for resources and tools

Visuals strike a balance between friendly and professional, encouraging connection and support, a welcome change from the dry and hyper-professional feel of existing platforms.

Sign-up and matchmaking flows are minimized to the least but most impactful information so that busy users get the most value for their time.

Matchmaking experience focuses on highlighting areas in which matches are mutually beneficial, increasing likelihood of connections.

The Impact

"I like how simple it is. It's a million times better than DevEx, and ten times better than LinkedIn."

Big Value Add

It felt amazing to put out there what we did in that short time period. Donna did an amazing job leading and planning. It was a high point for our team.

Clean Display

I can figure this person out professionally very quickly. I love how it's quick and concise.

Fosters Connection

It does a much better job of connecting and making introductions. I like how it's not just a person who I'd be interested in - but this person also wants something from me. I'm more confident that I can get something from this person because I can provide something for her.