User Research, Design Thinking, App Prototyping


Keeping the giving going by helping Gen-Z donate to charity with every purchase they make.

the challenge

Design an iOS app and business model for a new FinTech/charity startup idea.

the outcome

Dove deeply into the needs of my target users, creating design requirements that addressed their needs.

Created mockups that incorporated these features into an elegant and robust iOS app prototype.


Why donations? Why now?


Media coverage and journalism during the first half of 2020 highlighted the atrocities of society in a way I hadn’t seen in before in America. Constant streams of negative information left me feeling helpless to make change.


Despite significant efforts by Stanford’s student body, there still wasn’t a centralized location for mutual aid, whether for BLM, Covid-19 relocation + safety, or other causes affecting students on campus.


Social media during the first half of 2020 became filled with donation campaigns, mutual aid funds, and other ways to support nearly constantly-evolving causes. Linktrees provided some centralization, but Venmo and GoFundMe reigned.

user research: building empathy

Preliminary Stakeholders & Initial Insights

gen-z social media users

I interviewed three average users of social media from various educational and socio-economic classes. Findings from these interviews informed the user experience and product-market fit for my application.

“I didn’t have the income to match $50 donations but wanted to help...”

Charitable organizations
& fund organizers

I interviewed two organizers, one who had organized a mutual-aid fund, and another who ran a 501(c)(3) non-profit.

“I wish I could know how much money we’ll have in a month, two months...”

social media influencers

I interviewed three visual artists who run non-profit businesses on Instagram. Their business model focused on “active donating”, or donating money collected from the exchange of products or services. Customers chose artists based on desire for their products, and weighed the quality of the art against the charity or non-profit that their money would benefit.

“I don’t feel comfortable moving such large amounts of $ into my personal account...”


I spoke with five competing platforms to understand the existing charitable giving landscape, particularly focusing on companies that harnessed a “passive donation” model. These five competitors ranged from iOS apps to web platforms to services leveraged by existing businesses.

"There is a 3-part motivational divide in our users: harnessing synergy of social giving, sustained giving client-side, and B-to-B interests often conflicted..."

user research: navigating ambiguity

gen-z social media users...


Need access to financial resources.


Need to feel like they are connected & contributing to the cause.


Need to do so through a socially-acceptable or "trend-oriented" channel.

charity organizations & organizers...


Need sustained donations & contributions.


Need long-term stability through financial means.


Need to project & plan over time, maximizing impact.

Ideation: how might we...

How Might We... Statements

how might we...

help Gen-Z gain access to otherwise-inaccessible financial resources?

how might we...

reduce the burden of money collection for non-profit businesses?

how might we...

make donating to charity feel like buying your favorite product(s)

ideation: feature brainstorming

Turning Needs into Actions

Initial features:

"Giving Wallet"
Round-up aggregator for all charities of interest.

Social Donation
Group donation aggregator with share-ables to social media.

Donation Analytics
Show growth of the rounded donations over time via graph.

Initial features:

Verified Charity Search
Learn about the charities you are donating to by checking EIN info, comparing donation breakdowns, and more.

Sustained Giving
Benefit from "set-and-forget" passive giving by accruing donations away from the point-of-sale.

v2 features

Distilling Feature Requests

set & forget with transaction round-ups

Raising money for your favorite causes is as easy as linking your bank to twoBirds. Then simply use your debit or credit card normally - purchases will be rounded up to the nearest dollar and aggregated within the app.

Customize the minimum dollar amount at which your funds will be donated, and see your contributions grow - no intervention required!

create custom, share-able fundraising challenges

Here at twoBirds, we understand the importance of synergy in the fundraising process.

Share your fundraising successes with friends on your favorite social media platforms. Choose from customized story content in-app, and set social fundraising goals with up to 5 friends. Harness the power of social awareness and reach your goals faster!

find reputable charities without the hassle

Social media is a great way to spread awareness about social issues, but after the viral trends have died off, organizations on the ground still need our help.

twoBirds sustains investments over longer-term horizons, allowing users to meaningful contribute to causes over time, while helping 501(c)(3) organizations and charities to project donation income further into the future.

low-fidelity prototyping

Putting It All Together

wireframe features
home screen

wireframe features
donation wallet

the pizzazz

What Makes twoBirds Different

Unlike other competitors in the charity donation landscape, twoBirds meets the unique needs of Gen Z users and charities:


Searching, aggregating, & vetting charities – without ever leaving the app.


Invitations for friends to join and contribute to causes you all care about, through the social network of your choice.


Aggregating your passive donation change to make a big impact – with positive tax implications.


Giving Wallets suggest similar charities to those already in a user's donation flow.


No need to actively fundraise – passive donations are set-and-forget for users.


Boost your donations with positive reviews and money allocation on charity review sites.

medium-fidelity mockup

Home Screen V1

high-fidelity mockup

Home Screen V2