NeedsList: From a 3-Hour Sprint to an Award-Winning Crisis Response Redesign


NeedsList is a real-time needs registry for disaster relief and humanitarian aid. The platform aggregates needs from vetted nonprofits, matching them with corporate resources to increase the speed, efficiency, and transparency of crisis response. Read the case study here.

How We Helped:
 Rapid Prototyping Sprints, UX Research, UI Design, Brand Consulting, Talent Acquisition

Natasha Freidus, CEO of NeedsList thinks: 
“Sisa has done a fabulous job working with us this project. From rapid prototyping workshops to detailed UX, her team has led us through all aspects of the project. They go above and beyond, really thinking through the multiple issues around product testing and iteration, and are careful listeners. This talent for listening, and learning from mistakes, is unique — I have not found many designers to possess these qualities and I believe they will take the team far.”


The initial challenge was to improve on a 2-year old product design framework and produce a prototype for an MVP in a few weeks. NeedsList had already successfully gone through multiple rounds of funding, however they were seeing a lack of efficiency in their current platform. They wanted to create a database with 3 user-types and completely different purposes and functions that needed to come full-circle through the User Experience. They were looking for a single UX/UI designer that was able to implement purposeful design. Strategic understanding of the context of the problem also required extensive experience in tech for social innovation which our team is rooted in.


We started tackling this challenge by facilitating a 3-hour Rapid Prototyping Sprint with their whole team. Quickly, we were able to build a low fidelity clickable prototype ready for usability testing within a week. The clients were so impressed with the design process that they had booked us for 3 more sprints and offered our facilitator a full-time position.

However, we were able to communicate the value of assembling a dedicated product design team running on a new system of thought that covers project management, User Research, Experience, and Interface Design, and  support on the Brand Direction.


Although this meant an increase in the overall fee, the client happily increased the original budget for the rest of the year. User testing validated our planned features and proved that our design framework’s modularity proved applicable in different contexts. Received great feedback from Product Designers from Facebook, Mastercard, TripAdvisor, and more.

The cherry on top? NeedsList was announced a Winner for the ‘Tech for Good’ category at the North Carolina Tech Awards 2019.

Visit to see what NeedsList has been up to!

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