The Homer Fund



Challenge: Work as a team to increase awareness of and drive associate engagement with The Homer Fund, and remove barriers from the donation process.

Role: UX and Prototype Designer

Timeline: Jan 13 - Jan 31, 2020



Project Plan

Team Meeting Facilitator

RACI Task Manager

Screener Survey

Heuristic Evaluation

Current State User Test

Lostness Method Calculation

Affinity Mapping

Design Studio

Information Architecture

Iterative Website Wireframes

Iterative Website Prototypes

Usability Testing

Mock Ups

Presentation Design



Pencil and Paper

Whiteboard and Markers

Google Forms




Project Overview

For this project I worked with a real-world client, The Home Depot, to streamline the donation process for The Homer Fund.* My team of six used qualitative and quantitative data to develop multi-system integration solutions, including improvements to the current website.

The Homer Fund is a nonprofit charity created in 1999 in celebration of The Home Depot’s 20th anniversary and the associates who have made our company so successful. From providing shelter after natural disaster strikes to helping with the cost of burying a loved one, the Fund seeks to truly make a positive impact in the lives of our associates.

*I am not an employee of The Home Depot nor of The Homer Fund.


  • Improve payroll deduction donation process

  • Increase associate awareness of and engagement with The Homer Fund

  • Present findings to The Home Depot

  • Maintain consistency with the existing brand

  • Work effectively as a team



  • Continue to build leadership and project management skills

  • Use web design background and UX research methods to create Information Architecture

  • Develop project prototype in Axure


  • Screener Survey

  • Heuristic Evaluation

  • Heuristic Usability Testing

  • Competitive Analysis

  • Multivariable Testing

  • User Interviews

  • Prototype Usability Testing


  • Lostness Method

  • Affinity Mapping

  • User Flows

  • Design Studio

  • Persona

  • Webpage Consolidation


  • Information Architecture

  • Iterative Impact Calculator

  • Website Wireframes

  • Iterative Prototype

  • Recommended Integrations

  • Style Guide

  • Mock Ups

Screener Survey

To gain insight on how Home Depot associates interact with The Homer Fund, we developed a screener survey of 14 questions. My goal was to understand how people interact with the website, why and how they contribute, their knowledge and views of the fund, and what information they want to receive from The Homer Fund team.


Survey Risks

While analyzing the data from our respondents, I kept in mind that most were UX designers who work on the Corporate Support level. "Front Line Associates," or people who work in brick and mortar stores, make up the majority of Home Depot's 400,000+ employees. My team was unable to speak with these associates due to our restrictive three-week timeline.


Current Site Analysis

After looking over survey results I visited the website to learn more about the history of The Home Fund, as well as the donation process. My background in web design also made me curious about the layout and functionality of the site. The key findings of my heuristic analysis are below.

I also calculated the average "lostness" of five people by asking them to navigate through the site to complete three tasks. While testers general

More Digging


What We Found

  • Overall, The Homer Fund is perceived very positively

  • Visibility of impact is highly requested

  • High participation, but lack of awareness of offerings and how to get involved

  • Users don't know how to change their payroll deduction

  • Users rarely visit the website

  • Users want more payment methods

Our AHA! Moment

At this point my team realized that we were all still focused on solving for the website. But why focus on the website when over half of our responding associates don't visit? How do the associates we didn't talk with get information about The Homer Fund? Yes, the site should still be addressed, but what else could we do? We took a step back.

First we had to figure out the base problem. I walked the team through the SCOPE problem-solving method. We talked about the project situation, our outcomes/goals, and ideas for execution. Then we wrote down a list of problems to see if we could find the underlying issue.


The Homer Fund has a positive image among Home Depot associates with a 95% participation rate. However, our research shows that associates don't have a full understanding of The Homer Fund and its donation offerings and impact.



We propose a three-part solution we like to call The Toolbox that focuses on information architecture, emphasizes The Homer Fund's impact, and includes recommendations for internal communications. We split into smaller teams to work on our three-pronged approach. Christina and I continued to build the IA and site wireframes, Adam and Julie developed a calculator to show the current and potential impact of donations, and Yezie and Kate created tools for internal communications and events.

Information Architecture and User Flows


Wireframes and Prototypes


Once Christina and I combed through the website to consolidate pages, Christina mapped out the recommended IA and user flows. I used the new IA and flows, as well as the sketches from the group design studio and language on the current-state site, to create the first iteration wireframes and prototype. I tested the home page and donation page with three Home Depot associates and noted their feedback.

Key Findings

  • Labels, language, and information on Home Page need to be more clear

  • Testers wanted to know more about Sponsors and Captains

  • Testers expected to be able to donate instantly

  • Donation page is dense and overwhelming

  • Donation tabs help sort the information

  • Testers wanted to use their LDAP, as opposed to their ID number



Based on my findings I added clarifying information, added Adam and Julie's impact calculator, and deleted the confusing call to action. The donation page was a bit difficult to update as I couldn't change most of the existing language. I added icons to break up the text the information more digestible. In order to design the credit card donation panel, I visited other donation pages including Feeding America, Special Olympics, and World Wildlife Fund. I also included a jump link to the donation tabs further down on the page and moved up the tax information for Canadian associates. Lastly, I created the layout for the Sponsors & Captains page because testers wanted to see more information about Sponsors, Captains, and events. I tested this iteration with three people using the same three tasks from the current-state site user test in order to calculate and compare lostness averages. 


Key Findings

  • Average lostness for all tasks was 0

  • Icons on the donation page made page feel more inviting

  • Testers liked the recommended donation amount buttons and credit card payment process

  • Testers didn't notice link to other donation options on donation page

  • Testers were curious about buttons on Sponsors & Captains page

Integrations and Recommendations


© 2019 by Meghan D Joyce.