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November 24, 2019

New York Cares – Redesign

We’ve created a new branding system and redesigned the website as a platform for both desktop and mobile.


Enhancing the experience of using the New York Cares website by improving discoverability and search functionality.

  • Strategy

    Brand Strategy, UX Strategy

  • Design

    UI/UX Design, Art Direction

  • Client

    New York Cares

About our client

Envisioning a city where all people can volunteer and have equal opportunity.

New York Cares is a non-profit that “meets pressing community needs by mobilizing caring New Yorkers in volunteer service.” We envision a city where all people can volunteer or give back to their community in some way and have equal opportunity to improve their lives. We emphasize community-driven solutions.


An identity that humanizes the Big Apple.

We redesigned New York Cares’ identity to approach a contemporary, energetic volunteering concept. The identical apple shape represents New York City. A new logo and color palette to bring a more vibrant look. Emphasized visuals with image cards, bold icons, and buttons to further catch users’ attention.

Before After

What we do

Ask the people. Conduct user research.

We conducted interviews, surveys, and observations with different people who fit into New York Cares’ target audience.

New York Cares Orientation
New York Cares’ Team Leader
Pratt’s Community Engagement Board

We did field research and interviewed people belonging to these groups, since they will be our primary target audience.

Say hello to our persona, Jenny!

Jenny is the integrated persona of the majority of our interviewees. We concluded common information from 8 personas and combined them.

How are our competitors doing? We evaluated 6 major competitors from a list of 30 related service providers and evaluated them in the following 10 dimensions.

Our research shows…

Homepage needs to have clear navigation bar
and avoid unclickable images
Navigation bar should preferably be static
and not include too many menus and submenus
Search bar should be fixed and include areas of interest
Text should be concise , easy to read, and visually appealing

Next steps

To craft a better information architecture and prototype...

A card sort was created comprised of unique information found on the New York Cares website, with total 41 cards. Studies were conducted both remotely and in-person.

Some of the labels were changed for greater clarity. Tested using a tree test, which reflected an improvement in discoverability and provided insights to help create a new sitemap that emphasized ease of navigation.

We created a Lo-fi Prototype for web and mobile-based on the results of primary research. Two tasks (Find & Register events) were asked to complete.

We managed to reorder contents on the Homepage and rearranged menus on the navigation bar based on the user’s feedback. We also organized the layout of volunteer activity lists.

Key features

Introducing new features that enhance the web experience.

We made great progress in enhancing the web experience of New York Cares. We implemented many useful functions for our target audience.

Optimized UI

Dedicated mobile experience.

All pages are redesigned and optimized for smartphone screens. Use it like a dedicated App.

I’m impressed of the filter and the branding!
UX team @ New York Cares

The experience is seamless! It feels like booking a guest house, and the filter is super easy to use.
25, Volunteer @ New York Cares

I feel easier to send messages to my participants using the messenger.
37, Team Leader @ New York Cares

To be continued

Conclusion and our next steps.

The research conducted over 4 months has led this team to recommend the aforementioned changes to the search, volunteer, and registration processes.

This model has not been widely tested with users and focuses largely on the tasks of finding and joining volunteering activities.

Further research can be done on tasks such as donation, making the website accessible for nonprofits, etc.

thank you

We craft a better
future for volunteering.