Ruby's Place • UX Research + Design

Non-Profit Website


Ruby's Place is a non-profit based in San Fransisco that provides services to victims of human trafficking and domestic violence. I was approached with the task of redesigning their website. The goal was to inspire more visitors to donate by making the site more intuitive, informative, and emotionally appealing.

For this project, I participated in the initial research and completed the redesign on my own. I set up a premium Squarespace account for the client so they could easily make updates in the future. I also injected custom code written in HTML and CSS.

Research Requirements 
  1. Site audit
  2. User testing of original site
  3. User evaluation interviews
Successful Output

A live responsive website hosted on Squarespace

The Problem

We started off with an initial site audit by performing a heuristic evaluation and checking Google analytics to monitor the flow of traffic and make an action plan for acquiring and retaining more donors and clients. The initial site audit helped us uncover some key issues and opportunities:

  • Some clickable content does not appear as clickable to user (i.e., an image that functions as a button)
  • Oddly placed web design elements
  • Inconsistencies between headers and content
  • Visually cluttered
  • There is little information about what Ruby's Place does
  • More information on front page will index in Google Search

User Evaluation Interviews

We performed evaluations of the website with real users from two core user groups.

Two core user groups who were interviewed

From the interviews, it was found that four areas required more attention than others and were therefore top priority:

  1. Understanding services provided
  2. Donating to Ruby's Place
  3. Applying for job/volunteer role
  4. Attending an event

Original home page design

Key Home page takeaways:

  1. There is a need to more effectively portray: a) The issues Ruby's Place addresses and b) Ruby's Place's statistical impact
  2. Important CTAs (i.e.,donate) are not featured as prominently as other less important CTA (i.e., subscribe to newsletter)
  3. There was too much of an emphasis placed on the new shelter which led participants to wonder if that was all they offered
Redesigned home page
Original Services page

Key Services page takeaways:

  1. There is a need to organize this content as more interactive, navigable webpage.
  2. Participants found it hard to find what they are looking for and were unwilling to read through all the text
  3. The format of the page is "boring" and dated looking
Redesigned Services page
Client Success Stories
Original Client Success Stories page

Key Client Success Stories page takeaways:

  1. Overall visitors enjoy stories that feature real clients
  2. However, there are mixed reviews on the pictures or other identifying information of clients.
Redesigned Stories page


The client was very pleased with the redesign. See it live here↗.