Awesome Awards

 Increasing Nominations And Nominees

Timeline 3 weeks

Deliverables: Domain Research, Heuristic Evaluation, User Interviews, Persona Development, User Journey Map, Information Architecture, User Testing, Wireframes, Interactive Prototype, Client Presentation


Awesome Awards is a not-for-profit initiative recognizing unsung community heroes with well-deserved awards. To receive an award, individuals are nominated, after which Awesome Awards review the incredible submissions and select award worthy winners. But unlike other recognition programs, the journey of the award doesn’t stop there. Instead, the award is meant to be passed, and paid forward to another unsung hero, to allow others to share the extraordinary feeling of being recognized.


The Opportunity.

The people behind Awesome Awards contacted our team to redesign their website as they had noticed that the initiative was losing momentum and slowing down, with dropped levels of user engagement.



  • No website analytics for the redesign
  • Current nomination process is long and complicated, creating a large drop off of users (they think)
  • Most award recipients do not pass the award forward to other people, so the journey of the award stops

Photo: Screenshots from current 


We interviewed past winners of the Awesome Awards and nominators. We also researched how users found out about the website.

  • Nominators nominate volunteers in their community
  • Award recipients are confused about how to pass it on to the next person
  • Recipients didn’t want to pass it on because they won the award, and don’t want to lose it
  • Majority of people found out about the website by searching up ways to give a gift to someone

User Journey Map.

This is a journey map we created to see where the award stops after it has been given to someone. Also, this tool helps raise the questions and problems that users run into at those specific points in the journey. Especially the problems a user would run into when registering an award on the site.


Photo: A user's Journey from receiving an award and the emotions/feeling they have until they pass on the award to the next person


We created 2 personas based on our research gathered from interviews to better understand user frustrations and the goals they would encounter on the site.


Nancy works at the retirement home that Samantha volunteers at and nominates her for the award.


Samantha is a winner and receives an award for volunteering her time at a retirement home.


Now that we had the person for who we are designing for in mind, we could begin. Our team did a design studio, allowing us to combine our sketches and thoughts into a paper prototype.



Photo: Left is Homepage | Right is About us page 

We designed our mid-fi homepage to explain what the story of the Awesome Awards to answer why, what, and who.

  • Why on the hero image there are two buttons that the users are able to click which are the two purposes of the site: nominating someone and paying it forward.
  • What if the user is curious and wants to learn more about the Awesome Awards to understand it better, so we put the information there along with a button to link to the “about us” page if the user is interested.
  • Who we decided to put this here so that if someone has doubts that the Awesome Awards is legitimate, we could answer that question by showing real winners.

Photo: Breaking down the Homepage of the site

We broke up the nomination process, telling the story of an unsung hero, into three parts in order to prevent the user from feeling overwhelmed and not knowing where to start. This was a decision made because of the drop of the users when nominating someone.


Photo: Input fields required to be filled out to nominate someone

To address the issues of people NOT passing the award on, we created an email template to tackle this problem. After someone receives an award, they are sent an email from asking them to pass it on. We added a timeline of the journey of the award so that the user would see all the people before them, and think “why should it stop here”, giving them enough of a reason to pass it on.


Photo: An email sent to the winner of an Awesome Award


Some of the changes we made during testing were to the forms. To clear up the confusion that was happening during the testing phase we separated the two types of information that we needed. Also, concern was brought up about if the nominee did not have a photo of the person they are nominating. Therefore we put in a suggestion that they could get a photo from that person’s social media.


Photo: Changes made because of testing results when nominating someone

After completing the form users were unsure and in doubt that the post had been submitted. To fix this, we added a confirmation message, and also took them to the nominations page where they could see the most recent person nominated.


Photo: Change made during testing, confirming posts after submission


  • Found the target audience through research, which was volunteers. This influenced the design of our copy, directing it more towards that group
  • Since we had no analytics, we had to go in-depth with our interviews, and ask the specific frustrations or where the confusion happened on the website, which was the paying it forward process and nomination process
  • We simplified both the nomination and pay it forward forms by breaking them up and getting rid of any unneeded input fields
    By implementing the timeline showing the journey of the awards someone receives, it allows that person to empathize with the importance of passing it forward

Photo: Left Current people nominated | Right Nominee profile page

Get In Touch

Get In Touch.