Developing two user personas
and a customer journey map

Project Overview


Lucid Fox is a web design agency hoping to grow within the nonprofit website market. They're building a low-cost, custom website package for nonprofits (especially those having trouble with website builders). Lucid Fox had existing user research, but needed a clear picture of their user persona and key customer touchpoints.


  • UX Research: Analyzed website/ad statistics, online conversations, and a pre-recorded interview; looked at competitors to compare and contrast nonprofit website packages; identified growth opportunities

  • Deliverables: Two user personas; customer journey map


  • Google Slides, Google Sheets, Figma, Whimsical

User Research Analysis

If you'd like, you can view the full case study in this Google Slides report.

Facebook Ads

A series of Facebook ads gave me some initial insight into what kinds of people had nonprofit website concerns. Engagement was tracked by age group and gender, which I organized into Google Sheets. The ads reached people with “nonprofit” and “philanthropy” among their interests.

  • Most effective ads: 1. “User Experience (UX) isn’t a term you hear in…” and 2. “Is your organization’s site out of date?”

  • Most reach and impressions: 65+ > 55-64 > 45-54 > 35-44 

  • Most clicks: 65+ > 55-64

  • Gender and overall findings: Females in the 65+ age group account for the most reach and impressions, while both males and females 65+ are clicking the most.

Facebook Conversations

I also analyzed replies to Facebook posts made by Lucid Fox's founder. Groups for nonprofit consultants and nonprofit storytelling were asked: 

  • Post 1: In your experience, what pushes a nonprofit to decide they need a new website (or changes to their current one)?

  • Post 2: You don't have much of a budget. What are the bare minimum requirements for your site? What would you include?

  • Post 3: If you were to purchase a detailed website audit/evaluation from someone, what would you be trying to find out?

Minimum Viable Product

Based on the comments, I was able to outline a possible MVP. Nonprofits may update their website for many reasons (including a change in leadership), but the following is what they considered essential:

  • Telling their story through robust content
  • Capturing volunteer or donor support (website and mobile)
  • Having a suitable infrastructure that's easy to maintain

Commenters noted the importance of "future proofing" custom website designs. Using Squarespace or Wix takes time and presents a barrier for low-tech members or volunteers. Even pre-set up designs can get ruined if updates are done through a website builder.

Conversation Mining & User Interview

Next, I searched for more online discussions and listened to an interview between Lucid Fox and a nonprofit founder. Their chat about Wix, a popular website builder, helped me define user wants, needs, and pains.

Nonprofit Needs

  • Getting their mission across
  • Securing donations or funding
  • Showing tangible impact
  • Meeting all stakeholder needs

Website Needs

  • Having clear ways to donate
  • Storytelling, or showing the results of nonprofit work
  • Being easy to manage
  • Meeting accessibility standards and ADA compliance
  • Having relevant imagery

Pain Points

  • Being low tech or not knowing what UX is
  • Lacking funding for website hosting or custom designs
  • Having outdated content
  • Having an inflexible website that doesn't support growth

User Personas

Two representative users for custom nonprofit websites

Low and High Tech

After reviewing my findings and researching general statistics about nonprofits across the US, I drafted two user personas. 

  • Mid to high tech: board member, female, 65+
  • Low to mid tech: community outreach coordinator, male, 55-64

Personality traits were taken from the interviewee, as well as comments about how nonprofit members or stakeholders think and act. The motivations and frustrations were derived from our user research.

Persona 1

Persona 2

Competitor Analysis

Competitor Content Strategy

Exploring competitor services was useful for understanding what types of content Lucid Fox could develop. I saw gaps and growth opportunities that I would later add to the customer journey map.

What competitors were doing:

  • Featuring case studies, success stories, and testimonials on the landing page, often after the hero image

  • Asking visitors to sign up for weekly/monthly newsletters

  • Using video and moving images

  • Offering free resources (guides and other educational content)

  • Detailing their competitive advantage or product features

  • Having multiple contact methods (a separate Contact page, email address, form, phone number, and diverse social media accounts)

Elevation gets specific about what they offer and the value their features bring.

Wired Impact has a library of online guides that address common nonprofit concerns.

We Are Immediate uses case studies to show how custom websites drive donations.

Customer Journey Map

Imagining the Decision Making Process

The final step in this project was to trace the user persona's thoughts and actions as they deliberated between different website design services. What would they be concerned with? Why would they choose Lucid Fox?

For the Awareness, Consideration, Decision, and Post-Purchase stages, I drafted my ideas in Google Slides and then put it all together in Figma.

  • Goals
  • Touchpoints
  • Doing / Thinking / Feeling
  • Pain Points
  • Opportunities

If the image below is hard to read, view the full Customer Journey (Figma).


Feedback and Reflections

The founder of Lucid Fox was satisfied with my user personas and customer journey map. They believed the deliverables would make it easier to develop their MVP and create targeted content in the future.

Since this was my first project as a freelancer, I had a bit of imposter syndrome and wondered if I was meeting the client's standards. I made sure to deliver high quality results by keeping Lucid Fox in the loop and asking for feedback on my drafts before creating any final deliverables.

Working with Lucid Fox taught me how much we can learn from consolidating different types of data. I was able to transform existing research into insights that guided the user personas and journey.

Using Format