Nonprofit UX Research Services
Need to conduct usability testing on an association website or advocacy platform? Need to run user research with members, donors, staff, or other audiences? Our small research agency has deep experience working with a wide range of nonprofit organizations, including:
- Educational institutions like Smithsonian and PBS
- National associations like AARP and NAACP
- Mission-driven organizations like PetSmart Charities
- Global NGOs like Rainforest Alliance
Nonprofit User Research Projects
PBS — Prototype User Testing
Prototype user experience testing with 12 pairs of parents and young children, focused on digital account usage and login flows. Facilitated a remote workshop with project stakeholders to analyze and act on user research. Learn more: Prototype UX Testing with Kids & Parents for PBS.
PetSmart Charities — Research Program
Built and operationalized a recurring user research cycle. Each quarter we conducted usability testing, quantitative analysis, and A/B testing of a different application flow or content area. Learn more: How PetSmart Charities Combined Usability and A/B Testing to Increase a Signup Rate from 27% to 71%.
Accountability Framework — UX Testing
2 rounds of remote moderated usability testing of a web platform to support ethical supply chains — backed by Rainforest Alliance, Nature Conservancy, WWF, and other environmental nonprofits. Led 2 research analysis workshops. Learn more: Usability Testing of a Platform Supporting Ethical Supply Chains.
Smithsonian — Navigation Testing
Navigation tree testing during a redesign of Smithsonian’s Global website. Research showed that users failed to find content on 50% of key tasks — and informed an overhaul of the information architecture while it was easy to change. Learn more: How the Smithsonian Improved Content Findability with Tree Testing.
NFPA — Iterative Usability Testing
2 rounds of remote user testing and workshops for this 50,000-member global nonprofit. Tested a new web-based application that helps engineers learn about fire codes and standards for their projects. Rapid design changes in between rounds. Learn more: Iterative Usability Testing of NFPA’s Web Tool for Building Engineers.
Banner Health — Research Program
Multi-year user research program to drive UX improvements for the Banner Alzheimer’s Institute’s registry portal. Ran monthly analysis workshops where stakeholders reached consensus on UX problems. Learn more: How Banner Health Reached Consensus on Design Decisions with Recurring Research.
AARP — UX Audit & User Testing
Qualitative usability testing for a new AARP web property — with a mix of desktop and mobile users. Supplemented with a heuristic evaluation. Identified and prioritized 24 UX issues, and provided solution recommendations for each. Learn more: Usability Testing with Older Adults for a New AARP Digital Platform.
SIYLI — UX Audit & Content Strategy
With the help of our UX audit and content strategy recommendations, this educational nonprofit achieved a 100% increase in B2B leads for enterprise training. Learn more: UX Audit for Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute.
NAACP — Content Research
Multiple rounds of content testing for the NAACP Black Voices Change Lives website, in partnership with Provoc. This voter engagement program focused on increasing participation within the Black community in the 2020 election.
March of Dimes — Journey Mapping
Qualitative research, journey mapping, and service design with this 80-year-old nonprofit to address maternity care deserts. Learn more: Helping March of Dimes Understand the Journeys of Women with Low Access to Maternity Care.
Gates Foundation — Message Research
Early in the pandemic, we partnered with Provoc and others to support a Gates Foundation study related to COVID-19 treatments. Our focus was creating and optimizing digital content based on in-depth user research.
Humentum — Persona Research
One-on-one remote interviews with country managers and directors of large global NGOs — along with observation of users interacting with online content. Facilitated a stakeholder analysis workshop and a persona-building exercise.
“Great insights based on convincing user data. Loved the process and outcomes, despite the brutality of hearing some of the feedback.”
Our Process for Nonprofit Projects
While our consultants customize each project, many of our nonprofit user research projects follow this 5-step approach.
We reach alignment on your project goals, research questions, audiences, KPIs or OKRs, and logistics.
We deliver a summary report with all analysis findings, solution ideas and research recordings.
We facilitate a 1-day remote workshop with research observation, analysis, and ideation.
We conduct a rigorous recruiting and screening process to find representative users (e.g. members, donors, etc.)
We moderate 1:1 research sessions, and sometimes supplement this with quantitative research.
“Your team clearly did your research on NFPA and its products/solutions. This isn’t easy stuff and can be confusing. You instilled confidence.”
Why Nonprofit Teams Pick Marketade
We’re small … and love big challenges.
As a nimble team, we’re a great fit for nonprofit teams facing bureaucratic hurdles or a slow-moving culture. While some agencies complain about these challenges, we embrace them. We adapt our process to meet your constraints and collaborate to find solutions or workarounds.
We take PII seriously.
Through our work with teams in nonprofit, government, healthcare, and financial services, we understand the importance of protecting PII and user/member privacy. We have integrated key steps into our recruitment, research, and reporting processes to meet the requirements of most nonprofit organizations.
We drive alignment.
Associations, NGOs, charities, and foundations are among the most siloed types of organizations. When teams lack alignment, research gets ignored by those who don’t like the conclusions, and fails to drive change. Our “team sport” approach brings a diverse group of stakeholders together to observe and analyze research. This process works wonders at building alignment on your biggest problems and opportunities.
We love complex products.
If you need research related to complex nonprofit software or applications, you’ll be in good hands with our consultants. We roll up their sleeves every day to interview users and moderate UX testing of complex digital products. We also write research plans and recruit niche audiences for nearly every project we lead. You’ll benefit from all this experience throughout your project.
“I saw a lot of behaviors in our users I never would have predicted.”