Australia Wildlife Conservancy

Australia Wildlife Conservancy



September-November 2022 (3 months contract)

My Role

UX Researcher(User research, synthesis and reporting)


Principal officer, digital marketing manager, chief communications and marketing officer


Helped stakeholders gain strategies to improve their brand engagement with American audiences



Who: Friends of Australia Wildlife Conservancy (FoAWC) is a non-profit organization dedicated to the conservation and protection of Australia’s native wildlife and their habitats.

Audience: Individuals, businesses, and organizations who share their passion for wildlife conservation and want to support their mission through donations, volunteering, and other forms of support.

Why this project: Like many non-profits, FoAWC relies on donations and grants to fund their conservation projects. I’m hired to help them map out strategies to improve engagement with American audiences.


Assist Friends of Australia Wildlife Conservancy (FoAWC) in gaining a comprehensive understanding of American audiences, to better inform their engagement strategies and provide recommendations for enhancing donations.


Current website is not keeping new users engaged.

  • Average subscriber rate is 3%
  • Average engagement time is 29 seconds.
  • Retention rate is 5.6%


Due to time constraints, I was unable to interview both current and past clients. Additionally, obtaining information about many big donors can be challenging due to the confidentiality of their identities, making it difficult to gather typical persona backgrounds and experiences.

Research Plan

I conducted my users research with the above 4 research goals in mind. I want to understand how people heard of AWC USA through a users’ survey; emphasize with the brand and users through stakeholder interviews and user interviews to know their needs and painpoints; form a holistic overview of the problem and strategies through competitor analysis and site analytics.

Research Process:

Research Sequence
Research Methods
My key Learning
Google Survey
Track what people do
-90% of interviewees built trust through personal connection
Heuristic Evaluation
Efficiently identify problems prior to user testing
-Hierarchy of payment page is not clear -Payment methods didn’t include popular American PayPal and Apple Pay.
Competitive Analysis
Competitors: WWF,
-World Wildlife Fund. -The Nature Conservancy. -Friends of Australian Bush Heritage.
Four Stakeholder Interviews
A better understanding of the business model and problems
-Stakeholders want to know how to motivate American people to donate to AWC.
Affinity mapping
Identify the user’s main pain points
-Users don’t trust a brand that they don’t relate to. - Users don’t want to support a NGO without transparent fiscal plan.
Three User Interviews
Gain the end users’ insights
-Users want to know why they should support AWC.

Research Goals

FoAWC’s goal is to grow their American donor and subscriber rates. Their high level business objective is to become a global leader in conservation. After interviewing the key stakeholders and discussing with my UX managers, I breakdown the research goals into 4 smaller ones:

  • Understand how US-based audience engages with conservancies
  • Understand common factors of people who are interested in FoAWC.
  • How did they build ‘trust’ with FoAWC?
  • Evaluation of FoAWC’s website.

User Interviews

Building personal connection is the key.

It’s very interesting to find out that 90% of people build trust with FoAWC through local events and people who knew the brand through words of mouth.



Through a combination affinity mapping sessions, I was able to establish themes and identify insights from the large amount of qualitative data that was collected.

Insight #1

American audiences are not sure if they can make a direct impact to FoAWC.

  • It’s very interesting to find out that 90% of people build trust with FoAWC through local events and people who knew the brand through words of mouth.
  • My learning is that users just want to learn more about why they should support FoAWC.
  • How might we show audiences that FoAWC has actually made steps towards their mission?

Recommendation #1

Use tangible differences they’ve made or some results

  • Users want to know specifically how AWC make the impact.
  • Users want to know that 100% of their donations goes to the causes.
  • Users don’t know what they are paying for after browsing the website.

Insight #2

It’s hard for American audiences to connect with FoAWC’s goals.

  • It’s surprising to find that American audiences are very disappointed to not see any iconic animals such as kola and kangaroos on FoAWC’s website.
  • My learning is that American want to know to how Australian’s biodiversity relate to or help American audiences.
  • How might we make FoAWC brand relate to and useful to American audiences?

Recommendation #2

A picture speaks a thousand words: a shocking image of environmental destruction can effectively eliciting pro-environmental behavior.

-Journal of Economic Psychology

  • Users want to see the visual imagery that relate to them.
  • People want the organization to promise to take direct action with the funding.

Insight #3

We trust because of fiscal transparency and secure payment with preferred American options.

  • People trust an organization who is responsible with their time and money.
  • Users want to use Apple Pay or Google pay or maybe PayPal and it would be a lot quicker.”
  • How might we increase people’s trust towards FoAWC?

Recommendation #3

Tell me actionable items

Give me choices

Borrow trust

Give me American payment

Being specific about how much portion of the donation is going towards nature conservation.

Tell people the actionable items that FoAWC is taking with the donation.

Give people a choice about where they want their money funneled.

Make the picture connected with what people read.

Borrow trust from brands they already trust.

Make the payment the American way.

  • Paypal, Apple Pay, Google Pay


  1. Highlight FoAWC’s impact with specific milestones on conservancy

  1. Being strategic about how you use people’s donations and build connections with them

More projects:

  1. Connect FoAWC’s goals with people’s goals too such as building a low-carbon environment.

  1. Encourage people to donate with actionable steps with their donation

Projects Database