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Lead Together

UX Design | 4 weeks

Lead Together Hero Image.png

A public page for community advocates to build their network and share funding resources


My clients were leaders of eight progressive advocacy organizations, and Hester Street, an urban planning non-profit. The aim was to provide a national platform for advocacy groups to share tools and resources that support communities, advance economic justice and racial equity, and effectively use the ARP's State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds.


Synthesis | Wireframe | High-Fidelity Prototype | Information Architecture| Developer Hand-off

I was working at Hester Street, an urban planning nonprofit that empowers communities to shape their own neighborhoods.


UI/UX Designer

Product Lead



The goal was to identify knowledge gaps regarding the State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) program and to determine the most effective ways to support the network of nine organizations. The SLFRF program aims to stimulate state and local economies and distribute resources to households, businesses, and nonprofits in areas hardest hit by the pandemic. By collaborating and building a strong network, organizations can share resources, increase advocacy efforts, and allocate more funds directly to their communities.

User Interviews

The product lead and UX Designer in my team facilitated focus groups with organizers from nine grassroots organizations of various sizes. These organizations have connections with smaller grassroots organizations and advocates in every state.


I made a user journey map to identify the different tasks the nine advocacy organizers (presented as a person named Andrea) would take to share a resource. I found out that Andrea wants to build her network, rather than limiting herself to her current contacts. I created an empathy map to organize Andrea's thoughts and feelings and discovered that Andrea typically shared resources through back-to-back email conversations.

Click and expand on the photos for more details.


Excited for opportunity

Organizers are excited to take advantage of this opportunity because of the flexibility provided under the rules for SLFRF funds. They want to ensure that their community needs are identified and met. They not only want to learn from their current network but also organisers new to them.

Professional Woman

"I want to gain insight from another community. Maybe where we can spend in ways we aren't thinking about. A network like this can only make us stronger."

Image by LinkedIn Sales Solutions

"How do I get started? I'm not sure what steps to take to advocate for funding. It's all overwhelming."

Image by Abstral Official

"There's expenditure trackers at the county, state and national level and even that does not seem accessible to people like me."

Transparency & Accessibility

Many organizers have bits and pieces of information regarding the funding on multiple platforms but they want to have a central space.

The platform needs to be decentralized as this is a joint effort. There would be multiple individuals maintaining the submissions.



Define & Ideate

The design aimed to facilitate connections and coordination across states and enable a movement for change, by providing organizers and advocates with information and resources related to SLFRF funds. To achieve this, the design included keeping submission forms simple, decentralized maintenance without password-protected websites, and showcasing successful case studies to inspire other community organizers.


Information Architecture

Site Map

The Lead Designer built a sitemap to show the structure of the website. The submission forms I worked are in yellow.

Lead together - Sitemap
Database Architecture

I drew a database architecture diagram to show the back end of how all the forms would relate to each other. This is key to not needing a password-protected site, but having a database of organizations.

Lead Together Database architecture

Since I primarily worked on form pages, one of the key aspects was to think about the Taxonomy. I had to design the required and optional questions. From user research, the lead designer formatted most of the taxonomy to make form design faster.

Lead together taxonomy

User Flow

I drew the user flow that shows the steps to submit a new resource. As explained later, the flow had slightly changed during the development hand-off.

Lead Together - User flow.png




Main Feedback

Lead Together Medium Fidelity feedback
  1. The first cards of resources stacked vertically had too much information and overwhelmed users. They wanted basic information including title, description, and the type of resource.

  2. The Location question was a little tricky because not everyone comes from a specific location or the location of the headquarters did not reflect the work that they do in a certain community. In addition, typing in an address that could be auto-filled could not work because the organizations can come from different geographies, such as a region or a state. This needed to be reflected in the form submission.

  3. Most Users ended up going more toward the "Add New Organization" page rather than using the overlay.


Grid style cards

Resources are in cards in gride style and also tagged in different colors of pills to indicate the type of resource.

Resources page medium fidelity wireframe
Resources page final changes

Adjusting questions

The wording of the address question changed from “Organization Address” to “Organization Location” and added subtext so they add city or territory. This gives more flexibility to the users of their locality as some users were unsure how to answer the question. Another question I added was “Is this a national organization?” to provide further context about the organization.

Or Users can add a new organization on the submit resource form with the only required questions. This would be a shortcut, and their organization would populate in the drop-down after they save. This organization information is saved in the backend and can be reused for any additional resources that are submitted in the future.




With my background in data collection, I was able to translate to the developer how each form would connect with other parts of the webpage. I had experience with SQL databases in my previous jobs, so I drew a quick diagram of database connections that I could then discuss what is feasible for the developer in such a short amount of time and grant money. Although not everything was possible in the live production, I was able to successfully communicate how this would be easily accessible for users AND also easy for data collection purposes.

Lead Together is now live. There are about seven case studies shown on their website, and now 31 organizations that are highlighted on the page.


If more time was allowed, I would have been able to ask more questions that would have been important for the form submission requests. I think that although I was focused on the submissions pages, I still need to have better context and be included early on as a UX designer. I also think this is the same for any designer or developer.

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