Note: This is one of the GA (General Assembly) projects I did with my team. Brief and the problem are provided by the GA’s team.

Brief: is an app that allows users to send payments to other users for free, and they want to strengthen their brand by offering options for social impact.

What is the problem?

Venmo makes it easy to send payments to other people through their app, but want to expand their services to make a difference in the world. With users accustomed to sending money quickly, Venmo would like to introduce a way for users to send money via their app to causes they care about — whether that be a nonprofit that combats hunger or an artistic endeavor. Venmo would allow user to post their own campaigns to share with their friends.

What is our goal?

  1. Encourage in Venmo
  2. Focus on individuals

How do we design?

We used double diamond as our guild to features in Venmo.

Competitive analysis

In the beginning of the research phase, we looked at other platforms that includes charitable donation features, such as Facebook, and Kickstarter. Competitive analysis allows us to have a bigger picture in how do people make donation via technology.

Who’s our target user?

Not everyone contribute to a cause through technology. We narrowed our target users by using screener survey, including the question like “which of the following payment services do you use?”; “which of the following ways to donate to charities?” And we concluded that people who use Venmo, donated to a charity, and use social media are our target users.

How do we get to our insight?

After we found our target users, we wanted to find more insights into what our users needs and frustrations when donating to a charities they care about via technology. So each of our members did 1–2 research interviews and gathered data together. Some of the questions include:

“How do you usually hear about fundraisers?”

“What motivates you to donate to a cause?”

“Can you tell me about any frustrations with the way you share causes?”

“What would encourage you to create a fundraiser?”

How do we digest our data?

To make sense of all the information we have from research interview, we did affinity mappings, transformed our data into post-it note, and tried to find a pattern and insights by organizing and reorganizing them.

Affinity Mapping Process

Some of our memorable quote from the users include:

“If their story really strikes me, I’ll donate to that cause.”

“I want to be sure the money is going to the cause they say they are trying to help.”

“Sometimes I donate anonymously, because its not about you. It’s about the other person.”


Our insights from the synthesis then turn into our primary persona: Madison. She then turn into our fictional guidance for the following design stage to support our design later.

Problem statement

Align with our persona, the next thing we need to do is to come up with our problem statement to support our design. Driven by the brief and all the insights we gathered from the research, we finally come to our problem statement:

“People who use Venmo and social media are also concerned about social causes and want to contribute to them financially. Madison is concerned about making sure the money she sends to causes is used well and the attention is on the cause instead of herself. How might we provide an easier way for her to find, share, and donate to the causes she cares about?”

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