Companies to Classrooms, Duluth logo

Perceptions and Pain-Points of the Companies to Classrooms Facebook Page

A user experience research study to discover Companies to Classrooms (C2C) audience members' goals and frustrations while using the nonprofit organization’s Facebook page.

 

 

This study was conducted as part of the University of Wisconsin-Superior’s Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship program.

Duration

Role

Team

May 2021

(3 mo.) 

UX Researcher

UX Designer

Rachel Prost

Tom Notton

Companies to Classrooms (C2C)

Problem

K-12 teachers generally receive only a small budget to spend on school supplies to enhance their students’ learning. As a result, they usually spend their money on basic supplies like paper, glue sticks, paint, folders, and tape. Companies to Classrooms (C2C) is a Duluth-based nonprofit organization “connecting schools and communities by recycling business surplus into supplies for local classrooms” (GiveMN). However, their online presence consists only of a Facebook page.

 

We live in a rapidly changing digital world, which only increases the importance for organizations to have a functional and aesthetically appealing website. With a unique mission to support teachers fostering our capable leaders of the future, it is paramount for C2C to increase awareness of their organization to connect teachers to the store, activate volunteers and donors, and uphold a credible online presence.

 

I felt drawn to further C2C’s missions and goals because their values align with her passion for ecological sustainability. I decided to conduct user experience research and offer recommendations regarding the Facebook page to further audience goals and minimize their pain-points.

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Proposed Solution

The goal of this user experience research was to understand how the C2C Facebook page is utilized by current users, their frustrations and goals, and develop a solution to ensure audience members have a great user experience.

 

I offered recommendations designed to increase user satisfaction and target the right audiences by transforming the C2C Facebook page into a marketing platform and creating a website to serve as a centralized information hub.

Methodology

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Overview

I interviewed and surveyed people who fit the organization’s current target audience. Each interview consisted of 20 open-ended questions, lasted approximately 15-30 minutes, and were conducted via Zoom.

Interviews

Interview Question Types:

  • Habits: Hobbies, commonly used websites/apps, social media usage.

  • Perceptions of C2C: motivators, shopping frequency, degree of satisfaction, what the shopping process entails.

  • Perceptions of the C2C Facebook page: attitude toward pictures, color, and style, frequently sought out information, overall likes/dislikes, user-friendliness.

Surveys

44 teachers completed an online survey powered by Google Forms, which asked them to think about C2C as a whole and recall the design/ease of using the C2C Facebook page when they interact with it.

 

Survey Question Types: 

  • Open response.

  • Multiple Choice.

  • Likert.

  • Rating Scale.

Summary of Participants

I wanted to receive input from C2C’s current teachers, volunteers, and donors. However, the primary audience this study focuses on are the current teachers.

 

In total, I interviewed three people, and 44 people completed the survey. Two interviewees were female teachers, and one was a female C2C volunteer. From the data gathered in the survey, I discerned the pool of participants broadly comprised of Caucasians (84%), middle-aged (35-54 years old), and older adults (55 and older) who possess at least one advanced degree (beyond  the bachelor's).

 

All the survey participants were teachers, and the majority (81%) were female. Those who were unfamiliar with C2C’s Facebook account were screened out from participating in the survey. 

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Analysis Methods

After conducting the interviews, I transcribed the audio recordings in Microsoft Word documents to analyze the conversation. I also studied the data using a thematic approach to identify similarities, differences, and patterns. I established codes, which represented meanings, and identified words and phrases to illuminate themes from the interview transcripts and open response questions.

 

I used a digital whiteboard program, MiroBoard, to copy and paste the individual responses onto a “sticky note” (see Figure 1). Then, I organized the “sticky notes” in groups based on their similarities to generate overarching categories to interpret and derive meaning from the data.   

Participant Data Summary

I identified seven themes from the stakeholder feedback. Those themes are:

  1. Teachers need classroom supplies but do not want to spend their own money purchasing them. Therefore, they are very appreciative of Companies to Classrooms (C2C) as a resource.
     

  2. Teachers perceive the C2C staff and volunteers as incredibly helpful, friendly, and enjoyable to interact with.
     

  3. Teachers stay connected with C2C via email newsletter and Facebook posts which appear in their feed, but they rarely visit the Facebook page itself.
     

  4. The C2C Facebook posts meet teachers’ needs, but they could have more information on them.
     

  5. Teachers desire more frequent Facebook posts displaying current inventory and new donations.
     

  6. Teachers want to find the shopping sign-up link easily and quickly.
     

  7. Teachers are more likely to visit a website than a Facebook page.

Findings

  1. Teachers cannot or do not access Facebook.
     

  2. Audience members scroll through old C2C Facebook posts to find relevant information.
     

  3. Lack of information about current supplies and donation guidelines.
     

  4. Audience forgets about C2C as a resource.
     

  5. Busy schedules makes it challenging for teachers to make the time to shop.

Recommendations

  1. Launch a C2C website designed to fulfill audience and organizational needs.
     

  2. Create clear and noticeable call to action (CTA) buttons.
     

  3. Provide accurate and updated content to educate audiences.
     

  4. Use relevant and active hashtags when writing Facebook posts.
     

  5. Increase frequency of visually compelling Facebook posts to create an opportunity to spark dialogue and increase audience engagement.

Discussion

The data suggest that teachers who are in the know about Companies to Classrooms (C2C) have sufficient information to shop at the store because they are familiar with the organization. Still, they individually reach out to C2C staff/volunteers with questions. However, a prospective audience may struggle to conduct an information search to learn more about C2C due to the lack of public-facing information sources available. How many more teachers out there are potential C2C shoppers, but they are simply not aware of the store's existence?

 

The results suggest that current teachers and prospective teachers, volunteers, donors, and community members will benefit from C2C expanding their multichannel communication methods by launching a website. These audience members will quickly access the shopping sign-up link and easily digest information about what C2C is, what they do, how they can support them, and who to contact with a question. Additionally, C2C will have another platform to share the organization's story and the impact of their work in the community. 

Personas

To create appropriate personas, I conducted three interviews and received 44 survey responses to grasp demographic information of C2C’s target audience. Collecting information about teachers' hobbies, internet usage, and a day in their lives helped her identify behavioral patterns and background information to create a more well-rounded character and empathize with those who will use the product in the future. The names, characters, places, and situations are either products of my imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

 

Accordingly, I decided on the general background of two personas: one elementary school teacher and one middle school teacher with varying confidence in completing online tasks.

User Journey

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Overview

To understand the C2C personas' user journey, I incorporated the current teacher's frustrations and goals while using the Facebook page to reimagine how they could achieve the same goals with a website.

The user journey will help explain how a proposed website will help the personas complete website tasks, remove pain-points, and meet their goals.

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Donna

As a Duluth elementary school teacher, Donna creates a positive learning environment for her students. She wants easy access to materials to outfit her classroom with decorations and provide students with art/crafting supplies.

 

Donna wants to stay updated with current/new supplies available at the C2C store to create an engaging learning environment for her students.

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Jennifer

As a Hermantown middle school math teacher, Jennifer develops creative and engaging lesson activities for her students. She wants to save money on tape, pencils, file organizers, and notebooks for herself and her students.

 

Jennifer wants to find relevant information quickly and make a shopping appointment easily to have a little extra time in her day.

User Journey of a Companies to Classrooms, Duluth persona

To create an effective sitemap for the C2C website, I considered both audience and organizational goals to ensure the website’s structure will reinforce and help achieve those goals.

 

Consequently, I minimized the number of clicks someone must take to get from point A to point B. This sitemap will be a useful planning tool to organize and clarify the importance of content, which needs to live on the website.

Sitemap of Companies to Classrooms, Duluth website

Sitemap

Wireframes

To design appropriate wireframes, I took the project goals, target audience, and their frustrations using the C2C’s Facebook page into consideration to create the structure of the proposed page design. As a result, I designed an early interface, which addresses the audience's pain-points and approximates what future website users may see.

 

These wireframes will determine if the design is user-friendly, visually appealing, and solve the right problems C2C audience members have. Additionally, they will guide the development of the final website.    

Outcome

Companies to Classrooms (C2C) is in an excellent position for growth and expansion. Merging C2C’s strong social presence of Facebook and enhancing their digital presence with a website will increase their ability to meet their audience where they already spend their time online. The recommendations are designed to leverage Facebook as a promotion and brand awareness tool and allow the future C2C website to serve as an information hub for easy navigation, fundraising efforts, engagement, and advocacy.

 

This social media and website strategy shift will advance C2C’s organizational goals to support more teachers, students, the future of education, and the planet. Prost arrived at these recommendations through a thematic analysis of the qualitative and quantitative data extrapolated from three interviews and 44 anonymous survey responses. C2C could significantly improve their audience’s experience with the Facebook page and the future website upon launch by considering these recommendations.

 

This research was the first phase in a more substantial creative undertaking for my communicating arts senior capstone project. I used these research findings to guide the development and launch of a new C2C website complete with relevant photography and videography.