Motivating LifeBlood donors to increase blood supplies by creating communities — UX Case Study (2023)

Motivating LifeBlood donors to increase blood supplies by creating communities — UX Case Study (1)

LifeBlood is a branch of the Australian Red Cross who are the sole organisation responsible for the supply and delivery of blood and biological products in Australia.

Since the pandemic, Lifeblood has seen a dip in regular blood donation rates, compounded by 1 in 5 donors canceling their appointments. This has largely been attributed to the lack of COVID safety information, social fatigue and the restrictions imposed by the Australian Government which made it difficult for donors to get around.

Despite that restrictions have now been lifted and people are adjusting to living with COVID, regular donation rates still haven’t recovered to pre pandemic levels. To keep up and meet the demand in 2022 and in the future, Lifeblood needs 140,000 more blood donors.

This project was a component of the User Experience Design Immersive course at General Assembly. The project ran for fourteen days and was completed by myself and two other designers: Jennifer Gu and Michael Khoo.

Defining the goal

To recruit an additional 140,000 regular blood donors, Lifeblood want to improve the digital experience to encourage people to donate and to book more often.

The client needs to increase their rates of regular blood donations to meet the ongoing demand.

Our assumptions

  • Users are afraid of donating blood due to ongoing COVID misinformation/ disease
  • It takes too long to donate blood (booking, queue etc)
  • Users are too busy and not prioritising this, as it is a rather big commitment (things to prepare beforehand and after)
  • Some users are scared of the process
  • Users are ignorant about blood donations
  • Users want to be rewarded for their donation in some way
  • Users feel good after they donate
Motivating LifeBlood donors to increase blood supplies by creating communities — UX Case Study (2)

Where to begin

After discussing the brief with the team, we all wanted to understand the user’s relationship with blood donation and charitable behaviours generally. We agreed our key goals were to identify what motivates users to donate or volunteer, what their barriers are to being charitable and how users engage with charities.

Once we had some context from market research into Lifeblood’s current process and how other programs across the world approach blood donation, we finalised a discussion guide and went out to several Lifeblood clinics for some contextual inquiry and to begin our interviews

What do we need to understand

  • What motivates people to donate
  • People’s barriers are with donating blood
  • How people engage with the service
  • What the blood donation market condition is shaping over the recent years

How are we going to find out

  • Market Research: To understand the current blood donation narrative, both locally and abroad, as well as identifying trends.
  • Task Analysis: To understand how a user currently organises appointments across LifeBlood’s digital platforms
  • Contextual Inquiry: To understand what the user experiences when they go into a Lifeblood clinic to make a donation and to see what information is provided to users who haven’t donated before and are seeking more information
  • User Interviews: To build a deeper understanding with qualitative data that will detail the user’s behaviour, motivations and barriers to blood donation and giving to charities more broadly. We recruited 14 people from our own networks and a Salvation Army Salvo’s Stores Manager.
  • Survey: To supplement our research with some quantitative data into people’s relationships and knowledge about blood donation.

15 people interviewed — 21 survey responses

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Motivating LifeBlood donors to increase blood supplies by creating communities — UX Case Study (3)

Defining the problem

Once we had gained a broad understanding of the global market with our market research, mapped the blood donation process through task analysis and contextual enquiry and completed our user interviews, we began to synthesise our insights and observations to establish common themes within the data.

Here’s what we learnt.

Users have a positive attitude towards blood donation and charity generally

Knowledge drives user’s confidence

Users consider rewards and incentives when being charitable

Users are motivated to do things that involve people they know

The power of hindsight — Student reflection

Looking back now I would have approached our synthesis differently. Rather than completing the affinity map collaboratively, we completed sections individually and compared notes. This resulted in our team losing its focus on user behaviour which in turn slowed down our process and ultimately effected the direction of our solution.

Next time I would work collaboratively from the beginning on the affinity map so we could collectively form groupings with behaviours in mind.

Who is the user

Now we knew how our user feels towards blood donation, we began to shape a persona to humanise our data. Using “I” statements generated from the trends on the affinity map and plotting them on an empathy map we created Emily, a time poor, career-driven, 30-year old who wants to start donating blood again.

Motivating LifeBlood donors to increase blood supplies by creating communities — UX Case Study (4)

Emily’s Goals

Wants to be an active blood donor donating whenever she’s eligible.

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She needs guidance and support from people she knows to enable her to take action

She needs to see how her contribution has made a difference

Emily’s Frustrations

She isn’t sure if she will be eligible

She has doubts about the process and how long it will take

She doesn’t know where her nearest Lifeblood clinic is located

She feels guilty when she knows she could have done more but didn’t.

She feels like she can’t participate in the conversation

Pinning it down

Having established our user’s goals and frustrations, we needed to focus on one user goal which would not only address the client’s need to increase their rates of regular blood donations, but enable the user to donate blood.

Emily needs to be supported by her social circle so that
she is motivated to donate blood.

We believed that if we could solve this user’s problem, we would not only be able to motivate users to donate blood on a regular basis, it would also enable existing users to recruit others in their social circle.

Motivating LifeBlood donors to increase blood supplies by creating communities — UX Case Study (5)

Mapping the journey

Using the persona we had created from the insights and the task analysis from our initial research, we could hypothetically map Emily’s experience through the process and emotions from considering donating blood, booking an appointment, making a donation and post donation. This tool allowed us to see opportunities for potential solutions and where they could occur in her journey.

Preparing for Ideation

Now that we had a problem statement and a journey map, we needed to reframe the problem through HMW statements before we began to ideate. This technique allowed us to approach the problem from different perspectives.

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HMW use Emily’s friends and family to support her blood donation cause?

HMW make Emily feel less isolated when donating blood?

HMW create communities to support donors?

Rapid Sketching

At this point we were just over halfway through the process and we needed to generate as many ideas as we could before we settled on one to develop.

Motivating LifeBlood donors to increase blood supplies by creating communities — UX Case Study (6)

After 9 rounds of Crazy 8’s, we presented our sketches to each other, we began to see common themes around social/community involvement, rewards and incentives and gamification. It became clear to us that the solution would take the form of some kind of team function Which could include all of those elements.

We already knew there was team functionality already having seen leaderboards in the clinics when we were conducting site visits and and finding a team ‘Donate as a Group’ page on the Lifeblood website, but it was buried with in IA and seemed more targeted to large organisations rather than small groups of family and friends.

Narrowing it down to one

When picking an MVP, we used the prioritisation tool above to decide what core elements we needed for our solution to solve our problem statement. We knew we needed to give the existing teams function more visibility, onboard users who don’t know about donating as a group and make it functional within the app so that a team can track their own progress and keep each other accountable.

Motivating LifeBlood donors to increase blood supplies by creating communities — UX Case Study (7)

From this point, we started to consider how the screens would look within the existing app and where we would locate these features through a wireflow before beginning paper prototyping.

Too keen — Student reflection

At this point, I now see that we stepped into Figma too soon. We felt like this would give us a head start into developing our high-fidelity prototype, but it actually slowed our process down at the critical end of the project. Next time I would begin testing with a paper prototype to speed this process up and settle on a layout before going into Figma.

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Motivating LifeBlood donors to increase blood supplies by creating communities — UX Case Study (8)

Usability Testing

We needed to start getting user feedback so we built low fidelity wireframes in Figma and created a prototype for users to test.

Our goals were to assess the prototype’s functionality and to see if users were efficiently onboarded to use the teams feature. To do this we instructed the user to find out more about the feature and join your friend’s team, either with a prefilled referral code or via the team search menu. In total, we ran 3 rounds of testing with 5 users.

From our initial testing, we found:

The onboarding was too long. Would often skip through the last few screens.

The text in the onboarding wasn’t legible.

Users weren’t sure about how to find a team to join through the referral code or search function.

Based on this feedback we made the following changes to our high fidelity prototype:

  • Reduce the number of screens in the onboarding section to maintain the user’s attention and engagement
  • Edit the UX copywriting across the onboarding to maintain the user’s attention and engagement
  • Reduce the amount of copy on the onboarding pages by replacing text with icons
  • Revise the UX copywriting across the buttons to maintain consistency
  • Revise the typeface and colour of text to increase legibility
Motivating LifeBlood donors to increase blood supplies by creating communities — UX Case Study (9)

View our last prototype iteration here.

Next steps

We were on our way to solving the problem, however our solution needs a lot more usability testing to refine the onboarding, interface of the team dashboard and rework the UI to keep it on brand with the existing app whilst considering the accessibility of the tool. We also need to consider how we would measure the success of our solution if it were to be launched.

Final learnings and reflections

  • Get comfortable with the chaos and the imperfect. I have a natural tendency to make everything fit perfectly and look nice. This trait doesn’t work in this process. The Nielsen Norman process templates are ugly, but they work!
  • Adapting to people’s communication style, managing the team dynamics and everyone’s expectations is key to a functioning and efficient team. It is also far more enjoyable to participate in!
  • Don’t over engineer solutions to validate your own purpose. I feel like our MPV could have been reduced down further into a simpler intervention, but I think we were considering how the solution would present to as a case study over actually talking to the brief.

Visit my website if you’d like to reach out or view more projects.

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How do you promote blood donation in your community? ›

Encourage your friends and family to become regular blood donors. Volunteer with the blood service to reach out to members of your community, provide care to donors, and help manage blood donation sessions/drives. Find out your blood type and register as a blood donor. Participate in local World Blood Donor Day events.

How do you motivate blood to donate? ›

Altruism and concern for others are the most important factors for blood donation [17].

What is considered the best type of blood donation where a motivated human being gives blood in an act of selfless service? ›


The blood can be used for any patient even without divulging the identity of the donor. This is the best type of blood donation where a motivated human being gives blood in an act of selfless service.

In what way do you create the awareness of blood donation? ›

Organize a blood drive in your community, at your library, workplace, religious organization, kid's school, gym or another place convenient to your group. Talk about the importance of donating blood with your family and friends and your reason for giving the gift of life! Follow us on social media!

How does donating benefit the community? ›

It may seem obvious, but by donating regularly you help support charities in their mission to aid people and animals in need. You are directly contributing to the growth and development of your community by donating to and supporting charities in your area.

Why is donating important to the community? ›

Helps Build Community

By contributing to a cause, you are working towards making the world a better place. The donation of your time, money, or items goes to those who need it most. You can increase your impact by encouraging your friends, family, colleagues, and networks to give as well.

Why is donating blood good for society? ›

Why should people donate blood? Safe blood saves lives. Blood is needed by women with complications during pregnancy and childbirth, children with severe anaemia, often resulting from malaria or malnutrition, accident victims and surgical and cancer patients.

Should blood donations be encouraged? ›

Fourth, programme managers, educators and civil society groups should increase awareness of the benefits of regular blood donation, especially among youth, who should be encouraged to make blood donation a habit. Every blood donation improves or saves lives and enhances social solidarity.

Why does the government encourage blood donations? ›

7719, also known as the National Blood Services Act of 1994, promotes voluntary blood donation to provide sufficient supply of safe blood and to regulate blood banks.

What blood type is in most demand for donation? ›

Types O negative and O positive are in high demand. Only 7% of the population are O negative. However, the need for O negative blood is the highest because it is used most often during emergencies. The need for O+ is high because it is the most frequently occurring blood type (37% of the population).

What is the most helpful type of blood donation? ›

Whole Blood

O-negative is the universal blood type, meaning that anyone can receive your blood. And O- and O+ blood are both extra special when it comes to traumas where there is no time for blood typing. Whole blood donors are eligible to give blood every eight weeks.

How do you promote a blood drive? ›

Three weeks prior to the blood drive, use your newsletter, newspaper or website to promote the blood drive. Two weeks before the blood drive, keep everyone updated with announcements, texts or emails. In the days prior to the blood drive, make calls or emails to remind donors of their appointments.


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