Giving Compass' Take:

· With a growing prioritization of user experience in the for-profit sector, Jessica Nieves explains how this is relevant to the nonprofit sector as well.

· How can nonprofits prioritize user experience and engagement while focusing on their mission? Why is user experience so important?

· Check out this new model for non-profits interested in community engagement and user experience.

Sitting on a 1960s couch with jazz playing in the background, I peppered my cousin-in-law at a family holiday gathering about her job as a UX Designer. There has been a growing shift in companies to prioritize the lived experience of their consumers. Consequently, a whole new field of UX Designers (User Experience Designers) has erupted. Their purpose is to understand the perspective of consumers and make sure those perspectives are heard by product engineers.

There has been a growing realization within for-profit sectors that the design of products and services should be shaped by those who use them. This is a universal truth that is relevant to the nonprofit sector as well. Whether it’s designing a new plane, building wells in Africa, or passing education legislation in Washington State — those who are directly impacted by the work need to be a part of the planning process because their insight will lead to the best solutions.

Early in my career, a colleague shared a story that completely transformed his perspective on how nonprofits should operate. He and his team visited a tiny rural community in Ethiopia and quickly noticed that they didn’t have easy access to clean water. Women would walk two miles to the nearest river, fill their containers with what they needed for the day, and then haul the weight back to their homes. A well would save the women time and spare them the grueling task of carrying the water each day. The nonprofit surveyed a perfect location, built a well, trained the community on how to fix the well if it broke, and then left with the positive feelings that come with helping someone else. Funders were thrilled.

Read the full article about user experience in the nonprofit sector by Jessica Nieves at Medium.