Connecting Recipients to Donors

Problem Space 

Problem Discovery 

Have you ever heard or experienced a medical shortage, where a stranger, friend or loved one was in need of a medical donation such as an organ, tissue or blood but the medical institution could not supply it due to unavailability? If yes, it is not surprising that the donor to recipient ratio is not in balance with some countries having a 1:5 ratio. 

Research Insights

To validate the problem space, two surveys were conducted:

Survey 1 was conducted to understand reasons people do not donate. 

Forms response chart. Question title: 1. Are you a donor? (This may be organ, tissue or blood donor). Number of responses: 14 responses.

Survey 2’s goal was to understand important factors that will help people donate, as well as their preferences during the donation process. 

Based on the responses from the two surveys, the key insights were: 

  1. 80% of respondents identified lack of education in the donation process as one of the reasons they do not donate 
  2. Almost a 100% of respondents stated the need for some sort of intrinsic motivation to make a donation. This intrinsic motivation varied from empathy to understanding the cause or helping someone in a life or death situation. 
  3. 50% of people stated a need to know who they are donating to, while 50% of respondents stated not needing to know their recipient. Of the people that wanted to connect with recipients, 67% voted having virtual calls as the most sufficient interaction medium. 

Research and survey 1 also verified that transparency was another reason people were not making donations. There is mistrust in the allocation system, and the lack of knowledge on how recipients are prioritized to receive donations makes it challenging for people to want to donate. 

For more information on the problem space, please check out our spec

Landing on the Solution 

The Solution 

Donorlink is an application that aims to increase medical donations to help people in need. Donorlink aims to achieve their goal by increasing transparency, education and motivation levels amongst donors, recipients and medical institutions. 

Although there are 3 main factors that contribute to the donor to recipient disparity. The mvp will only be catering to increasing motivation levels. Motivation level problems were prioritized amongst the other issues based on user impact, organizational effort and solution risk. Therefore the following user stories and solutions will be the core features in the MVP: 

  1. Recipient Profile - User Story 2 

Donor is tasked with knowing where to make their donation. The acceptance criteria is that the donor is able to see a location to make their donation. 

Proposed solution: Recipients' profiles show a location (City and State) . Specific Location only shows when Donor has indicated interest in the recipient. Location will be mandatory for recipients to fill out.

  1. Donor Profile -  User story 3

Donors are tasked with connecting with recipients. The acceptance criteria is that potential donors are able to view a list of potential recipients. 

Proposed solution - Donor is able to create a profile so they can view a list of recipients 

  • Donors profile - State, Country, First Name, Last Name, Middle Name, and Age
  • Donor Profile (non mandatory) - Profile photo
  • Status - Active or Not Active (automatically moved to inactive when app deleted) 
  • Registration Date - when app was created 
  • Donor Feed Option - Anonymous  (just enough information shows for the donor to go to the medical institution or donation location) Non-Anonymous (shows all the information the recipient has filled out such as their name and age) 
  • Donor Feed -  Ability for donor to select “Interest or Not interested” on the recipient’s profile 
  1. Location Guidance - User story 4

Recipients are tasked with sharing their story. The acceptance criteria is that potential recipients are able to share their story and background. 

Proposed solution: Recipients create a profile and that includes their story and the type of donation they are looking for. Recipients can fill in as much or little information as possible such as pictures, videos etc.. Donors can then select the recipient they want to donate to. 

  • Recipients Profile - Location, First Name, Last Name, Middle Name, Need (kidney, tissue, organ), Disability information copy (message if someone is filling out profile on behalf of someone else)  
  • Non mandatory - Age, Pictures, Message 

To see a list of other user stories and our prioritization matrix please navigate to the “User stories” section of our spec. You can also view our backlog here

Lo-Fi Wireframes

Implementation Details

Tech Stack Used 

React Native, NodeJS, ExpressJS, Firebase, MongoDB

Current Design 

We’re going with the basic architectural pattern

Technical Tradeoffs 

Adding more videos could make the app slow, so that’s why we have decided to currently add only images and then with each iteration we can add other features in more optimized ways.


DonorLink’s team was made up of 1 product manager, 1 designer and 2 developers. As a cross functional team in different timezones we utilized agile methodologies for success. 

Starting with the Product Manager kicking things off, discussing the vision of the project and setting working norms. Next, the Product Manager conducted a refinement meeting, presenting the prioritized user stories and discussing the complexity with the developers to determine feasibility for the next sprint. During the refinement process we used t-shirt size estimations to ensure the number of user stories for the sprint was within our velocity.  Once a set of stories were refined, the product manager held a sprint planning meeting where the team talked more on each story, assigned the stories to a developer and discussed with the developers to provide more time bound estimates. 

Meanwhile, the UI/UX designer started creating lofis and hifis for the prioritized features. Once the hifi’s were complete, we started our first sprint which lasted for 2 weeks. We had 3 standups per week to touch base on progress and unblock any team members. 

As the developers were coding, UI/UX and the Product manager conducted user interviews to ensure the mvp will be well received. The user feedback was then implemented, the sprint was completed and the mvp was released. 

Next Steps

Upon completing our 8 weeks of product development, we are proud of what we accomplished. In future iterations,  we would like to incorporate medical institutions as an additional persona for donor verification. We would also like to create a system that helps notify users of what stage of the donation process they are in. Lastly, we will incorporate an education and donor to recipient compatibility process. To work with any of our team members or to discuss DonorLink further, please feel free to reach out. 


Product Manager Learnings:

Dara Akinwumi

  1. Prioritization is key when shipping a product. It's important to be very clear on your goals and prioritize user stories based on the goals. Do not get carried away with all the possibilities of your product. 
  2. Lean on your cross functional teams. As the Product Manager it's easy to want to wear all the hats but it's more important to trust your team and lean on their areas of expertise where needed.

Designer Learnings:

Lianne Goyo

  1. User Research is necessary before choosing a problem
  2. Conducting User Interviews are always insightful. Don’t be afraid to conduct more user tests to learn how users may interact with your product. 
  3. Prioritize core features for this first MVP due to the time constraint

Developer Learnings:

Shivam Damre

  1. React Native
  2. Designing the complete app architecture
  3. Designing the database models and it’s architectural pattern

Developers Learnings:

Priyansh Solanki


Full Team Learning