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Passion Projects

Initiated and participated in two philanthropic passion projects that aim to democratize giving, with the belief that everyone can be a philanthropist and that even a small donation can make a difference.

Timeline: Feb - September, 2021

Role: UX/UI Designer, PM, Charity Outreach

Tools: Paper, Pen, Sketch and Adobe XD

Project Four_Overview


As a dog lover, I believe that all dogs deserve love, care, and a chance at a better life.


However, a negative experience with a potentially fraudulent charity organization left me feeling hesitant to donate my hard-earned money. This realization struck me deeply, as it made me aware of the lingering impact of one bad giving experience -- it can make people fearful and hesitant to donate again, even if they deeply care about the cause. But, it was not until I spoke with others that I discovered just how widespread this issue is. Shockingly, 13 out of the 16 people I interviewed had experienced or heard of similar stories that made them wary of donating and even turn cold towards charity-related topics. I was disheartened to learn that many people share my feelings of mistrust and skepticism. This problem is especially prevalent in Taiwan, where charity groups often solicit donations on the streets, some of whom have ill intentions and use sympathy to gain money.


That's why I am determined to provide a solution that introduces transparency and allows people to donate with confidence, knowing their money is going directly to helping dogs in need. 

// Side Note //
You can click here to skip directly to learn more about the HK-based charity project that I participated in.

Project #1

The Problem

The issue of stray dogs in Taiwan is complex, with pet abandonment and ineffective spay and neuter programs being among the contributing factors.


Two solutions are necessary to address the problem:

1. Reducing the number of dogs entering the system and

2. Finding homes for those currently in shelters.


However, the hasty passing of the zero-kill bill without proper infrastructure and community education led to overcrowded shelters and a decrease in adoption rates, resulting in a tragic increase in the number of dogs dying in shelters.

Thus, I choose to focus on supporting charities that train dogs, prepare them for adoption, and help them find forever homes.

Notebook_Problem Overview

Deep Dive


The objective of this research is to gain a better understanding of individuals' attitudes and behaviors towards animal charities, with a specific focus on the issue of stray dogs in Taiwan. The aim is to identify the factors that influence their decision to donate or not, in order to gain a clearer view of how best to promote and encourage donations for this cause.


I conducted five in-depth interviews with friends aged between 21 and 28, who share a similar socioeconomic status and have the financial ability to donate consistently if they feel passionate about a cause. My main assumption was that charities would prefer a steady stream of donations rather than one-time contributions.


Furthermore, I took advantage of every opportunity and informally asked 11 other individuals (7 Uber drivers and 4 people at restaurants/cafes) for a total of 16 participants (7 male, 9 female).

Interview Findings 


Established Charities = Trustworthy

People prefer to donate to charities that are well-known and have a track record of success. This is because they feel more familiar and trust these organizations to use their donations effectively.


Only two out of my 16 interviewees have donated to smaller grass-root charities, the rest report to only have donated to large charities like Tzuchi, World Vision, UNICEF, etc. 


Stray Animals: Younger Gen's Cause

Stray animals are a top concern for people under 28, while older age groups are more likely to donate to causes related to healthcare, education, and child welfare.


All five of my interviewees in the age group of under 28 reported to care about stray animals. However, interestingly, four out of five people were unaware of the stray dog problem in Taiwan.


What Financials? 

Most regular donors do not typically check the financials or newsletters of the charities they contribute to, and many of the interviewees I spoke with were unaware that this was even an option, let alone one-time contributors. 


None of the six self-reported regular donors check financials and three of them were not aware and even questioned the purpose of doing so.


Convenience is Key

People prefer to donate in cash or in-person because it is quick and convenient. They may come across a donation box while out and about or feel compelled to give when someone approaches them directly.


All of my interviewees have donated in cash. Only four have donated through a website (and noted that it requires "more" for them to want to donate.)


Stories & Personal Connection Matter

Positive donation experiences were mostly linked to specific cases or individuals in need, rather than generalized causes or charities.


Two interviewees who had experience donating to a specific cause or directly to someone in need (e.g. GoFundMe) were able to detail and recount a meaningful giving experience.


"What is the Point?"

Donating can be a taxing and unrewarding experience that can leave people feeling disillusioned and demotivated. Eventually causing them to give up altogether and not even attempt to help.


As nine interviewees have reported, they have not donated in over a year since they didn't see the point and believed they could make better use of the money.


Donation fatigue and loss of faith.

Donors may become fatigued and lose faith in the process due to the perception of an endless, insurmountable problem.

To combat this, it's essential to break big issues into achievable goals and celebrate small wins to maintain motivation and a sense of progress.

Concentration of donations in big charities.

Most donations go to big charities, leaving small and medium-sized organizations struggling to survive. This results in an unhealthy ecosystem in which large organizations get larger, while small ones get smaller, and there is no room for disruptors to challenge the status quo.

To create a healthy ecosystem, donations should be distributed more evenly, and small organizations should be given a chance to grow.

Design Challenge

HMW... design a donation platform that cultivates trust and celebrates the impact of small donations, in order to effectively and sustainably support small and medium-sized charities focused on finding dogs a forever home?

Project #1



01. Browsed Through Facebook Fanpages I was In

       To get a better understanding of how these small & medium sized charities and shelters were using this tool.

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02. Brainstorming & Quick Sketches

       I explored various approaches to establishing a connection (emotional tug) between donors and dogs in need of help, in           hopes of instilling an immediate sense of taking action. These approaches include using a traditional shelter layout or          the concept of fate / destiny, similar to a chance encounter with a dog in need of help on the streets.


My Hypothesis

By creating a donation platform that utilizes serendipity to connect donors with individual dogs in need, while sharing each dog's unique story and breaking down big problems into specific, attainable goals. This fosters a positive loop of emotional investment and ongoing progress, and then I believe it is possible to establish a sustainable cycle of support that generates a lasting impact for both dogs and donors.

Serendipity: I want to make donating feel like an adventure by introducing an element of chance, where someone can click a button and discover a furry friend who needs their help.

Storytelling: I believe that every dog has a unique story to tell, from their name to their personality quirks and the challenges they face. Through stories and engaging content, we can establish a deeper connection that tugs at the heartstrings of our audience.

Attainable Goals: Saving the entire stray dog population may seem like a daunting mission, which may make people less inclined to donate. However, helping individual dogs with specific needs, such as medical procedures or travel expenses, is more achievable. I believe donors need to see the tangible impact of their contributions and be reminded constantly of the positive impact they have made on a dog in need.




Final Prototype


With Who?​ 

In order to test my minimum viable product (MVP) with charities, I contacted five small to medium-sized organizations and asked if they were interested in learning about my platform. However, two of them declined, and two did not respond. Furthermore, an animal shelter that I visited also declined to comment, stating that they were too busy and didn't see the need for a new tool. Luckily, a charity I followed on Facebook agreed to meet with me and even invited me to shadow her day, which included a hospital visit and sending four dogs off at the airport.

Process & Feedback

During her quick 10-minute lunch break, she respectfully listened to my concept, although she was clearly preoccupied with the 11 new rescues at the vet. I explained the problems that I had identified, my vision for the platform, how I envisioned it working, and why I believed it had a chance to solve the problem.


She replied that the problems I mentioned were real issues that they faced, such as a lack of exposure, the inability to grow, and being stuck in a bad cycle. And that was why she agreed to meet with me, but she also felt that I had overlooked another major problem: the lack of manpower, time, and additional resources. 

However, she was still open and willing to try a partnership with me, on the condition that I would gather and write the content needed for my donation platform.

Final Thoughts

Two-Sided Network

During the design process, my focus was on finding ways to create a positive giving experience and increase donors' connection to the cause to encourage consistent donations, leading to a positive feedback loop. However, I overlooked the challenges that charities face in creating content to showcase their dogs in need. Though I did survey the information provided by charities on FB fan pages and sought to replicate it in order to ensure that adopting my tool would not add to the already difficult task that charities undertake of saving dogs. But, I didn't consider that taking pictures and videos of dogs in need is a time-consuming task that smaller charities cannot afford. This was a valuable lesson for me: true understanding comes from trying and experiencing it firsthand.

Project Update

The charity founder and I agreed that I would assist at her facility to gain a deeper understanding of its operations and identify new insights to improve my solution. We decided to start with creating profiles for eight dogs that needed medical and airfare assistance to test my concept. Additionally, I secured a meeting with Taiwan's social innovation lab to explore potential resources and guidance. However, due to the COVID-19 lockdown in Taiwan, all of these plans are currently on hold.


Taking a step back from the project made me realize the amount of learning still required to develop a solution to a problem of this magnitude.

Project 2

Project #2: Mia Project


I had the opportunity to participate in a HK-based charity that sought to democratize philanthropy by being radically transparent. My contribution and impact include: charity outreach, designing newsletters and impact reports, and presenting a website redesign proposal for our landing page (though unfortunately, this project is currently on pause thus the website redesign is still pending).

Design #1: Newsletters and Impact Reports

My main assumption is that people tend to only give newsletters and impact reports a quick glance. However, as you can see from the image below, the current design makes it difficult to read and understand the information presented.


Some of the issues contributing to this problem include: the use of background visuals that make the text illegible, poor choice of colors and font, and unclear hierarchy of information and data layout.


Design #2: Charity Landing Page Redesign

As a new charity striving to make an impact and gain traction, having a website is crucial for building credibility, establishing trust, and encouraging contributions. However, our current website, as depicted in the image on the below, needs significant improvement to effectively convey our mission.


While the website contains all the necessary content to convey a clear message, the presentation could be greatly enhanced. The font choice, size, color, and layout of each page lack hierarchy, which can be confusing and make it difficult for visitors to focus on the content. This increases the mental effort required from visitors to understand our message.

Mia_Current Designs and Issues.png

The need for a redesign became apparent after we ran a successful campaign and started recruiting school ambassadors, which increased traffic to our website. Therefore, we wanted to quickly redesign our website to build on this momentum and communicate our mission even more effectively.


As a team, we all agreed that the focus of this redesign should be on improving the clarity of our message and addressing the specific issues that I've listed above. In this moment in time, we are not planning on rebranding or making major changes to the user interface - our goal is simply to make it easier for people to understand who we are and what we're trying to achieve.

Final Design:

Mia_Website_Main Frames.png

Final Prototype:


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