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Spark RMS


Gracepoint is a non-profit I work with that puts on events several times a week.  Equipment is stored in several garages, trailers, homes and apartments across the Seattle Area and is often used by the 70+ volunteers multiple times a week.  Many volunteers are often calling one another to locate equipment for the next big event or unaware of where to return items.

Spark internship was an organized program that utilized students from the University of Washington in the disciplines of product design/UX, data science, computer science, and project management to create an app to create a resource management app from scratch.  As the lead product designer for this program I led design and research efforts and promoted collaboration within the team.


Lead Product Designer


Esther Cui

Yohan Choi

Cynthia Zhang

Susanna Liu






6 Weeks

0.0 Overview

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In an effort to improve resource management, previous volunteers had attempted to create a management system residing within google docs.  Volunteers quickly abandoned the system as they found it difficult and inefficient to use.  We saw it as an opportu ity to create a content management system that could be used in other contexts as well.



With a large catalog of items, stored across 10+ locations there is a serious need for a way to manage it as it passes hands between several volunteers without going missing.





We started off our research looking into current solutions for resource management in Gracepoint to understand the complexity as well as guide our future research.

1.1 Current Solution

Previous solutions have been the RMS google sheet system, which utilized barcodes to scan items and typing in the sheet to update item status.  This required everyone to have extensive knowledge of google sheets.  While it utilized impressive functions and functionality, it was very complex.

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1.2 Interviews

Interviews some of the topics that we focused on were:

  • Current system and why people did not use it.
  • Process of getting items for events and pain points associated with the process
  • Roles and how they play a part in the process
  • Goals and motivations of users
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1.3 Personas

From our research we identified 2 key groups of people, the organizers and the volunteers.  Organizers have knowledge of what is needed and volunteers have the manpower so they need a way to easily transfer that knowledge between roles of organizer to volunteers.

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1.4 Affinity Mapping

After running 8 interviews we combined all of our notes and separated them into different topics in order to synthesize our data, looking for opportunities we may have to design for.

Affinity Map

1.5 Key Takeaways

No Bulk Checkout

Since the app is needed for large scale events, an easy way to checkout large quantities of items at once is necessary, currently items must be checked out one at a time that slows down the user.

Lack of Incentive to use system

When a volunteers main goal is to grab items as quickly as possible there isn't any incentive to use system, there is no penalty or reward for using the system.


Users found the old system too complex to use as well as less efficient than just quickly grabbing the supplies and returning them quickly

Info needs to be passed from Organizer to Volunteer

The Organizer has most of the info of items that are needed, need way to communicate that to volunteers.

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1.6 Journey Map

Journey map for Organizers actions and pain points

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2.1 Wireframes

Wireframes we worked through a variety of ideas and began to narrow our scope down to a key set of features.

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2.2 Prototype

We moved into medium and high-fidelity prototype in Figma fairly quickly, this allowed us to dig down into detail as we talked with front-end and back-end on the feasibility of our designs.

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2.3 Design System

Throughout the process we iterated on design system modified from Material UI to make it easier for the front end to develop.  We followed atomic design principals to guide our designs.

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2.4 Features

Borrow Items

Having a way to quickly bulk borrow items was a feature we chose to pursue.  Having a minimal amount clicks to quickly grab items we hope to make it easy on users to quickly borrow items and see they have them checked out.


Create Lists

Lists allow organizers to communicate their needs to volunteers.  Lists allow Organizers to designate the items they need and then neatly organizes the items by location for the volunteer to use as a checklist later.


Reserve Lists

Reserving lists is what we came up with for creating incentive to use the app.  Being able to reserve a lists allows users to know they will get the items they need rather than relying on first come first serve as it has in been in the past.


2.5 Final Prototype

3.0 Final

3.1 Demo Day

We had 40+ People join for demo day as Frontend, Backend, and UX/UI all shared their completed pieces of the product.  Overall the project was successful and will undergo more iterations in the future.


3.2 Slide deck

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