Design Decisions for Denver CASA Volunteer Opportunities Infographic
I focused on raising awareness on the variety of volunteer opportunities at the Denver Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) office. Julie Wilson, the Denver CASA public relations coordinator, met with me to answer my infographic inquiries. Ms. Wilson said they already had an infographic, but the more we talked, I realized they did not have one for what they call “other volunteer opportunities”. In this case, they were losing potential volunteers who could not commit as much time needed to be a traditional CASA volunteer. Ms. Wilson and I decided that an infographic demonstrating all the volunteer opportunities would be a useful tool.
My learning objective was to inform current and potential volunteers that there are six different roles with varying time requirements. Ms. Wilson communicated the following timeframes:
- 15-20 hours per month for a CASA
- 10-20 for a Special Events committee member
- 5-10 for a Board member
- 5-10 for a Young Philanthropist Project member
- 5-10 for an Office/Program support member
- 5 for a CASA ambassador
My target audience consisted of CASA volunteers who tend to be overachievers with big hearts and limited time. To catch volunteers’ attention quickly, I built the infographic to create an emotional response to Joe CASA, a child in need, while clearly demonstrating time commitments. The call-to-action is, “Help Joe. No amount of time is too small.”
I designed my infographic to emotionally grab my audience, accommodate all attention spans, and simplify roles and timeframes. My inverted information pyramid began with a call for help in the case of Joe CASA. His situation starts off badly and ends on a positive note. I believe my use of white space and simplicity removes clutter and showcases the most important information.
Design Decision #1
I told the story of a neglected child, Joe CASA, whose basic needs are not getting met and how a CASA volunteer changes Joe’s life for the better. Research by Chip Heath and Dan Heath (2008) talk about how Mother Teresa once said, “If I look at the mass, I will never act. If I look at the one, I will.” (p. 165). I elicited an emotional response from my target audience to show how they could help one child’s situation. Helping a single child was doable in comparison to helping all the Denver CASA children. Reynolds (2014) recommends designers empathetically look through the lens of both their target audience and clients (p.14). On page one of the infographic, I represented Joe in an icon format as a sad child accompanied by disheartening stats and a call-to-action. The story progressed on page two where I inserted an icon of a happy child accompanied by enriching stats and another call-to-action. My intention was to take my target audience on a journey where they empathized with Joe and made the effort to help him.
Design Decision #2
I intentionally started my infographic with the most important information. Ease-of-use is not an accident; it is a result of deliberate choices and decisions (Reynolds, 2015, p. 16). I deliberately chose to create the inverted information pyramid to accommodate any attention span. The inverted pyramid maximizes the information readers glean (C. Heath & D. Heath, 2008, p. 31). My lead statement began with an initial call-to-action where Joe needs help. Then I funneled downward from volunteer roles, to a secondary call-to-action, to time commitments, to Joe getting the help he needed, and ending with a final call-to-action.
Design Decision #3
I simplified volunteer time requirements to save my target audience decision angst. Stripping an idea to its core saves people from freezing up amidst too many decisions (C. Heath & D. Heath, 2008, p. 37). To further simplify timeframes, I displayed my statistics in a bar graph within the functions of Piktochart. Bar graphs easily show comparisons between similar values (Reynolds, 2015, p. 163). On page two, I inserted a bar graph to compare approximate hours required per month for each volunteer role. I averaged a range of hours to simplify volunteers’ decisions on how many hours they could donate a month.
Heath, C., & Heath, D. (2008). Made to stick: Why some ideas die and others survive. New York, NY: Random House.
Reynolds, G. (2009). Presentation zen design: Simple design principles and techniques to enhance your presentations. Berkeley, CA: New Riders.