For my capstone project for my UX Design bootcamp at Springboard, I chose a new business idea for a crowdfunding birthday gifting app. The initial concept for the idea features a self-hosted birthday wish.

I knew that people are willing to contribute to a crowdfunded gift, but I was not sure if they'd contribute to a campaign that someone ran for their own benefit. So let's go build an app.... oh wait, first let's conduct some research.


Conduct secondary research for initial validation.

Run a screener survey to discover key individuals for interviews.

Interview 3-5 participants.

Summarize Research findings.


I interviewed 4 individuals for my initial research to validate whether or not people will donate to a campaign that is promoted by an individual indicating what birthday gift they'd like to receive.The results we're unanimous.

- Individuals are not willing to donate to an individual that wants a gift for themselves.

See Research Summary here.

Empathy Map here.


Knowing that users are not willing to donate to a self-promoting campaign, the original app idea was a bust.

However, the practice of conducting User Interviews gave valuable insight into the Users pain points:

All interviewees expressed frustration with campaign delivery times, how often they received updates from the team, and how honest the teams are about the status of the project.


I created a User Persona based on my research and user interviews of those that experience the frustrations of a lack of transparency from crowdfunding campaigns.

"I really like being apart of the community of creators. Getting monthly updates from the projects I've backed gives me confidence to support future projects."


  • Age: 28
  • Occupation: Product Developer
  • Status: Single
  • Location: Salt Lake City
  • Tier: Early Adopter
  • Archetype: Creator


Randall is a product developer that loves to support crowd funding projects and is an early adopter of new innovative ideas.




  • Help support other entrepreneurs
  • Have latest and greatest tech
  • Test new products on the market
  • Frustrations

  • When campaigns are not transparent with delays or issues
  • Delivery timeline is behind schedule
  • Not hearing from campaigns as often as I'd like
  • Goals

  • Be apart of helping the project be successful
  • Receive Rewards within a reasonable timeline
  • Get innovative new products earlier than most

  • Rather than running forward with building a prototype to gather additional market validation, I decided that quickest/least expensive way to do this would be to survey actual users that have experienced this pain-point.

    In order to do this, I needed to leverage a colleagues campaign to get access to the users. I explained the value of the survey and that they would receive the shared data. They agreed and posted my survey on their next update. See the results below:


    To gain confidence and validation on the need for a communications tool, I conducted a survey of backers from a recently completed crowdfunding campaign.

    "The updates make me feel a part of the creative process, keeps me involved, and my expectations realistic".

    Giving updates every 2-4 weeks is the optimal or as often as there is big news.

    "Backers are way more understanding when things go wrong if they are not kept in the dark".

    The majority only wants to receive updates on the high-level items, however a strong enough number of users would like more details, so we'll target to accommodate both.

    Seeing this gives validation to providing access into the project milestones.

    For backers that back many projects, it was confirmed that they'd like to track them all in one dashboard. Full Survey Details here.


    To help me sort out the details of the app, I ran a Card Sorting activity to understand better how users think about the feature set. My key learning was that communication needs to be core and central to the apps functionality. It cannot be a secondary feature.

    See full Card Sort here.


    Sketching is the least expensive way to work out any UI/UX issues, and my experience here with the Ganttrack sketching was no exception.

    Full UI Sketching report here.


    Below are screenshots showing my high fidelity prototype that I created for User Testing:

    This landing page allows the user to drop a project URL in to create a new account.

    To save the User from entering a bunch of details, our app will scrape the data for them.

    To Skeleton Loader page will animate to help cut down the appearance of time to load..

    The dashboard supports factors that will help the team alleviate the Backer's pain points.

    See the full click-through prototype here.


    User Testing was positive! I gained validation from an actual User, and they provided additional insight into how we can target the Backers to help gain traction with the campaign teams that need to use the tool to make the bakers happy.

    See the full User Testing plan here.


    The results of my User Testing validated that the feature set would be useful to a team that Crowdfunded a project. Although the biggest learning that I gained from the User Testing session taught me that the best strategy for launching this product would be to provide a free product to campaign backers. The app could be used whether or not a project team was using it, and would actually encourage the team to start using it. You can see the full report here.

    The End

    Designed and hand-coded by David Tanner 2018

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