Terra Firma: Redesign for Website Supporting Immigrants’ Access to Medical & Legal Services

Winter 2021
Develop for Good is an intercollegiate 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that pairs, trains and supports student volunteers as they develop technical product solutions for nonprofits. Some of our most notable partners include UNICEF, the World Bank, and the World Health Organization. Learn more at https://www.developforgood.org/!

Project Summary

Terra Firma is a nationally recognized medical-legal partnership working to facilitate access to medical care and enhance the role of medicine and mental health in legal services for unaccompanied immigrant youth coming to America. The former Terra Firma website consisted of a single scrolling page with basic information about the nonprofit: biographies of the three co-founders, a list of media mentions, a basic contact form, and a donation section. Our goals and tasks were to:

  • Incorporate a streamlined referral process for referral partners
  • Elaborate on the mission and history of Terra Firma
  • Include in-depth information about the programs and services offered
  • Create a clear pathway for immigrant youth and families to seek help from Terra Firma, starting from visiting the homepage to contacting the point person
  • Feature community stories and testimonials from youth who have been helped by Terra Firma
  • Highlight different ways for potential donors and volunteers to get involved, including internship opportunities, community events, and opportunities to donate Amazon wish list items as well as monetary gifts
  • Describe Terra Firma’s education and shadowing opportunities, advocacy activities, and research articles published by Terra Firma members
  • Include a complete staff page with biographies and contact information
  • Create a news page of media outlets that have featured Terra Firma
  • Provide external resources for immigrant youth and families

The Team

Product Managers

  • Stephanie Chao, Stanford University ’20
  • Emily Wu, Stanford University ‘20

Designers

  • Audrey Mock, Wellesley College ‘23
  • Tina Lin, Carnegie Mellon University ‘23
  • Justine Trieu, Wilfrid Laurier University ‘22
  • Uma Phatak, Stanford University ‘23
  • Kelly Su, Cornell University ‘24

The Challenge

Our main challenges for this project involved:

  • Effectively parsing through large blocks of written content on Terra Firma that lacked clear separation of sections
  • Defining a clear purpose for the website content while targeting different user groups
  • Gathering missing information
  • Building clear navigation pathways + user flows and creating a cohesive user experience

For each of Terra Firma’s target audiences, we wanted to address the following user needs and define clear pathways for each type of user to access the information they need:

  1. Immigrant youth and families seeking help
  • Clear pathway to get help from Terra Firma’s services
  • Language accessibility, particularly Spanish
  • Information on the services and programs available to them

2. Referral partners looking to refer a client to Terra Firma

  • Clear pathway to access referral form
  • Eligibility information and details about the referral process

3. Community members who wish to get involved

  • Clear pathway to learn about opportunities and types of involvement
  • Quick access to donation platforms and methods
  • Understanding Terra Firma’s missions, values, and goals

4. Potential business partners

  • Understanding Terra Firma’s mission, values, and goals
  • Points of contact for partnering questions

We had to work with certain constraints. For example, we could not test directly on the target population of unaccompanied immigrant youth, so instead we sought out users in the same age groups who were unfamiliar with Terra Firma to perform user testing. We also needed to use a website builder that would be simple to learn how to use and maintain. We decided to use Wix since it easily allows us to transfer our custom designs from Figma and is relatively intuitive for our nonprofit partners to learn how to use.

Our Solution

The process was completed in two broad phases: designing and implementing. To begin the design process, we parsed through the Terra Firma documents and mapped out new information flows for the website that would address each target user group’s needs and purposes. We designed pages in Figma with a focus on cohesive patient-friendly interfaces and built a prototype to perform user testing. We tested with a total of six participants and maintained consistent communication with Terra Firma to establish an iterative design process.

After gathering feedback from the user testing sessions and Terra Firma, we implemented the designs into Wix to reach the final product.

Impact

The creation of this new website serves as an easily updatable foundation for Terra Firma to more effectively reach their target audiences. Including information on the actual programs and services offered by Terra Firma will help immigrant youth and families learn more about what help is available to them and encourage more participation from them. Furthermore, having a website that can be translated into Spanish will directly meet the language accessibility needs of a large portion of Terra Firma’s target users. Building a referral process with clear eligibility criteria and contact information for a Terra Firma point of contact will help referral partners navigate how to refer clients to receive help from Terra Firma. In addition, clearly incorporating ways to become involved with Terra Firma (donating, volunteering, joining their mailing list, etc.) will increase engagement with Terra Firma to further support their mission.