October 2019 - December 2020


ROLE: Researcher, Analyst, Designer 

Bloodworks NW


Partnering up with a non-profit organization Bloodwork Northwest to improve their user engagement, user experience, and increasing their donor numbers. We work closely with their volunteer services program manager (Naomi Howatt) to understand their operations. Besides that, we obtain the data they provided to seek possible improvements within their organization. 

The Beginning 

To first understand how Bloodworks NW works, my team and I decided to visit their donor site and also pop up buses. 

  • University of Washington (Seattle)

  • University of Washington (Bothell) 

  • Georgetown Morgue Haunted House (1-month event) 

  • 3 Pop up locations (Churches, office spaces, tech companies) 

We believe by observing their operation on site, we could understand the regular behavior of "why" people chose to do blood donations. 

Our Plan

Before we attended their location, we prepared ourselves that we would be interviewing donors who are willing to provide their experiences and understanding their decision to donate blood. 

The following questions: 

  1. How old are you? 

  2. Have you donated before?

  3. Do you plan on donating again? 

  4. Why did you donate? 

  5. What is your opinion on the reasons some people don't donate? 


Due to privacy concern, images were sketched

Sites Observation

During our visit, we notice most of the location set up is similar which donors have to go through multiple procedures in order to get their blood donated. 

The following is the steps: 

  1. Sign in with Bloodworks Ambassador.

  2. Complete the survey provided by Bloodworks to understand whether the individual is eligible to donate. 

  3. Proceed to a quick interview and check-ups with nurses.

  4. The blood drawn process begins.  

  5. After completion, nurses provide advice on possible scenarios for donors.

Survey Aproach

Before and after donors donate, we took the opportunity to approach donors and interview them to understand their reasons for donating. We acknowledge most donors are open to sharing their experiences and reasons. However, people who are not interested in donating are most likely to refuse the interview process. 

Understanding our data

With the data we collected and observed, we acknowledge that there are people who are willing to donate and people who are not willing. Both have very similar reasons and explanations. 

Donors responses:

  • They are regular donors 

  • Peer pressure 

  • Moral because of their blood type

  • Spontaneous 

  • Believing some people who do not donate because of fear of needles, tattoos, recreational drug use, and illness 

Non-donors responses: 

  • Do not feel like it

  • Tattoos 

  • Recreational drug use

  • Fear

  • Illness  

Further exploration 

Our team decided to understand how Bloodworks educates the public in person, advertising, and social media. Therefore, our team went and reach Naomi Howatt and Bloodworks Ambassador. 

Overall discussion 

We quickly realize there are two major improvements that could be done by the organization as their current operating method in showing the importance of blood donations, is not cater to our current society engagement methods. 

Counter Myths Beliefs

In our survey, we found many similarities in reasons of people refuse to donate, such as they have fresh ink tattoos and the use of marijuana within the Pacific Northwest. In this generation, tattoos and the use of marijuana have been more normalized within the PNW which Bloodworks does have the facts to educate these audiences but does not know how to provide this information towards them. 

App user experience 

We took the time to experience the current application Bloodworks NW has available on the app store and google play which we quickly acknowledge the user experience needs to dramatically improve as there were a lot of bugs, the functionality was not as pleasing as regular apps, and design was outdated. 

Suggested solutions 

Educate myth believers

Since Bloodworks does have the facts and knowledge about users consuming marijuana and also regularly getting ink. We decided the best way to bust these myths was to cooperate with tattoo parlors and recreational stores by providing flyers about all these facts and knowledge. We believe this is the best method to attract these audiences and stop the myth about tattoo and marijuana users. 


Fresh ink tattoo within a state-licensed facility can donate just like any regular donors. However, certain state-licensed facility are not recognized by Bloodwork NW 

Marijuana users are allowed to donate after 24 hours, whether if they consume or inhale.

Therefore, the best way to reach out to this audience is to provide these facts in those locations that they will return to. We believe this can be in any small form of flyers in stores and also attracted by using arts and motto to encourage them that they are saving lives. For example: using art to create awareness 

Redesigning Application and Experience

Our team decided the best thing to do was to sketch a completely new UI interface and create a mockup that we believe could attract more people to engage in their app. 

Our focus was to make sure it will be attractive, user friendly, and seamless. 

We acknowledge a user-friendly app can possibly help in various ways, such as

  • making appointments 

  • providing facts and updates 

  • seamless waiting lines

  • stay connected with life updates. 


We took the time to ensure the theme color of Bloodworks NW remains the same but improve the overall aesthetics with more modern designs. 

Stay Connected

Donor Education

Overall Interface

© 2020 By Max

Chart of Marijuana user in PNW