Suzanne Hillman (Outreachy): Applying for a UX volunteer job

I’m trying to keep myself in the UX game, which is complicated by the grand jury thing lasting through the end of June and making contracting positions difficult to do right now. My mentee (who is really only slightly behind me in her UX path) commented that she’ll be looking to work with non-profits and government sites such to get more experience.

She pointed out and as possible places to hunt through. A quick glance at catchafire when we were co-working to get an idea of what possibilities there were, and I saw something called a ‘website audit’ for the American Cancer Society.

“Huh,” says I. “What is a website audit?”

Looking at their list of needs, I see that they want a report that includes an outline of the organization’s goals for the site, feedback on the current site’s UX in general (they give specifics, but I think my summary is accurate), and recommendations for improvements to help achieve the desired goals.

Looks like UX research!

Ok, interesting. This sounds a lot like UX research, mostly. With some prep work to figure out what they mean by ‘organizational goals’ and who their users are. Given that these goals could as easily mean ‘goals that someone in the organization thinks sounds good’ as ‘goals that were researched throughout various facets of the organization as well as users’, I think that’s going to be one of the first things I want to figure out.

They already have a site and some goals, which at least means that I should be able to work with them to figure out whose goals those are, and how specific they are. I’m not entirely sure what they mean by ‘built out site’, although I suspect they may mean working prototype. I don’t _think_ they mean the existing site?

They specifically list millennials as a target market, and I’m really curious as to what they actually mean by that. They say they want to engage young professionals, which is… rather non-specific, but certainly better than nothing.

What do I want to find out?

I’ve got a call with them Friday morning to see if we’re a good fit, and I’m going to focus on what they mean by organizational goals and who their actual and prospective users are. I strongly suspect that my QE experience will combine nicely with my UX research experience for this particular project, so we shall see. And hey, it’s a good cause!

I’m also noting that they suggest up to nearly half-time work hours for a month and a half. This may be too many hours what with three days eaten by jury duty, but we’ll see.

I do hope it’s not an SEO website audit (which is mostly what google says about websites audits) as I’ve no strong sense of those, but given that SEO shows up nowhere on that volunteer job description I doubt it. Worst case, I adjust my thinking and do some online research to see what’s relevant. This looks useful in that case!

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Original article title: Suzanne Hillman (Outreachy): Applying for a UX volunteer job.
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