Bringing UCLA alumni and current students together to support one another with a crowdfunding style mobile app.


IBM Design Challenge — Design a mobile application for your school's alumni to help keep strong bonds with the school. Given 72 hours to complete the design and prepare a presentation deck. This was a design challenge assigned during the interview process.


Responsible for compiling research, scoping problem space, and developing engagement strategy. Produced the wireframes, high-fidelity mockups, and presentation deck.


Back Bruins for iOS


February 2019, 3 days


The IBM design team challenged me to create a mobile app that would help engage my university's alumni with the school. I was given 72 hours to complete the design and presentation deck.

Prompt — Universities across the U.S. know that alumni are one of their greatest assets. Alumni are the foundation of fundraising, provide great support for sporting and entertainment events, and are critical for student recruitment and promoting the school within the community. However, staying connected with those alumni has become increasingly difficult. Your school has hired you to design a mobile app to help it engage with alumni, and to help alumni keep strong bonds with the school.


DAY 1 — strategy

Compiled research on current UCLA Alumni activities and interviewed a few UCLA alumni. Determined a problem area and developed an engagement strategy. Brainstormed ideas and finalized a solution.

DAY 2 — design

Constructed user flow and information architecture. Created wireframes in Adobe XD. Established the style guide and compiled content (photos and copy). Converted wireframes to high-fidelity mockups.

DAY 3 — presentation

Created graphic assets for presentation purposes. Defined the narrative and key takeaways for presentation. Designed the presentation deck with Keynote. Turned in the presentation to IBM for review.

How does UCLA currently engage with Alumni?

Currently the most conventional way is with the UCLA Alumni Association Membership program. The program operates on a donor based membership model.

Blue Member privileges ($100 annually) include the award-winning UCLA Magazine, career support, access to UCLA Recreation and Alumni Travel opportunities.

Gold Member privileges ($1000 one-time) include VIP treatment, exclusive opportunities, on-campus parking access and a concierge team ready to assist.

I asked a few UCLA alumni for their thoughts on this membership program.


with the alumni association membership program

#01 — WHY would i pay for membership?

Young graduates just don’t see why they should donate, especially as many are faced with college loan payments. Fewer young donors now means fewer big gifts down the line.

#02 — Where does my donation go?

When paying a general membership fee, alumni do not know where their donation is being allocated and do not feel the direct impact of their donation.

#03 — The perks aren’t directly beneficial

Many of the perks praise “exclusive” access to deals and special-pricing on UCLA facilities and programs, many of which require more spending to utilize.

Alumni engagement strategy

Think — What can we give to our alumni to make them successful?
Not, what do we need to do to get them to give back.

As a university, we want our alumni to engage with us and our initiatives.
We want our alumni to do something like share their expertise or volunteer in some capacity.
We need to provide opportunities that allow for their continued involvement.

How might we..

Create an experience that will foster mutual action and support between UCLA alumni and current students?


A form of crowdfunding platform that brings alumni and current students together to support one another by funding, sharing knowledge, and connecting through shared interests.

Choose where your support goes

Bruins want their money to have a demonstrable impact on campus, rather than simply to demonstrate loyalty and appreciation. Support an organization you were in during your time at UCLA or back an initiative that brings resources to campus that you wish you had as a student.

It’s a two-way street

While alumni are giving back to the UCLA community, students will be able to give back as well by supporting alumni ventures, businesses, and events.

Sense of community

This is more than just a crowdfunding platform. Beyond funding projects, alumni can volunteer for an organization, mentor students on topics in their career field, attend events, and gain access to networking opportunities.

ideation development

When thinking about how raising funds can be beneficial to both the contributor and recipient, I thought about reward-based crowdfunding which often involves pre-selling a product or service to launch a business concept. UCLA boasts that their university breeds innovators, leaders, and game-changers. A crowdfunding style platform would allow the UCLA community to share their innovative ideas and creative projects online while giving users the ability to choose where they want to give their support.

Another aspect I wanted to incorporate was highlighting organizations and programs at UCLA that students are involved in. I wanted to provide a membership model that allows alumni to contribute and continue to be involved in organizations that made an impact on them. Both of these functions provide reward tiers that can give contributors access to products, services, content, events, and networking opportunities.

Main features

  • Projects — Home to individual projects and ventures created by UCLA alumni, departments, faculty, programs, clubs and students. The rest of the UCLA community can support projects of their choosing through one-time contribution and receive perks. Projects must be submitted and approved to be posted on the platform.
  • Organizations — Home to UCLA affiliated organizations. This allows the UCLA community to support organizations of their choosing on a continuous basis (often monthly) and receive perks/opportunities. Can also be used to gather volunteers and mentors. Organizations must be verified that they are officially registered with the school to have a page on the platform.

DESIGN development

On day 2 of my design challenge, I drafted my wireframes and then converted them to high-fidelity mockups in Adobe XD. I took design inspiration from UCLA, Kickstarter, GoFundMe, and Patreon.

Low-fidelity wireframes

DESIGN elements

  • Card Layout — I used cards consistently throughout the design to display different items such as project listings, reward offerings, and individual updates. Cards are very mobile friendly and are convenient for arranging content composed of many different elements, such as images, project titles, descriptions, progress bars and indicators.
  • Tab Bar — I used tab navigation for rapid switching between pages and features for clear visibility and single tap access. I added visual cues (icons, labels, and color) to indicate the user's current location within the app. The easy to reach footer tab bar features the main functions while the top tab bar is for the explore page navigation. Tab navigation is also used for the different project detail categories (story, support, updates) on a project page.
  • Style — I followed UCLA's brand guidelines for typography, color, and imagery in designing the high-fidelity version.

Support UCLA initiatives &
alumni ventures


Bruins supporting Bruins

Support UCLA affiliated organizations

UCLA Projects

On-campus commissions, initiatives, clubs, athletic teams, and more can post on the platform to help fund individual projects or activities.


Share your project’s goal and what you aim to do and accomplish.


Bruin backers can donate to the project and receive perks with their donation such as first dibs and deals on the product or tickets to the hosted event.


Creators can provide updates to their bruin backers regarding progress, launch dates, and changes to plans or perks, etc.

alumni Projects

Alumni can kickstart their entrepreneurial venture or start-up by posting their project on this platform. Projects are tagged Alumni.


Tell the story of how this idea all began, how it works, and why Bruins should back your project.


Bruin backers can donate to the project and receive perks with their donation such as first dibs and deals on the product.


Creators can provide updates to their bruin backers regarding new goals, ship dates, and changes to plans or perks, etc.


UCLA affiliated organizations can create an organization page which allows bruin backers to directly support their programs and activities.


Share your organization’s mission and what you aim to do, learn, and accomplish.


Bruin backers can give monthly to gain access to benefits and events hosted by the organization. Backers can also support by signing up to volunteer or lend their expertise and time to organizations.


Organizations can share announcements, news, event information and recaps.