Taking Up Space

An implemented product, user experience, and branding redesign for Taking Up Space (TUS). A non-profit dedicated to sending Native American Girls to NASA's annual Space Camp.


Lack of funding and donations


A re-designed and re-branded website focusing on improved information architecture, story telling, and increased CTAs for donations


Pro-bono Design


Adobe XD




Lead Designer

Executive Summary

Taking Up Space (TUS) is a non-profit dedicated to sending Native American Girls to NASA’s Annual Space Camp. I worked with the Executive Director to: improve users' comprehension of their mission, story, and programs while increasing donations.

I achieved these goals by updating their site-map, communicating key TUS information through strong information architecture changes, and increasing CTAs for donations.

Jump to Product
Solution preview. Screenshot of Taking Up Space's "Go to Space Camp" page.

Taking Up Space (TUS) Wants to Redesign Their Website

I found TUS through Catch-a-Fire, a non-profit that connects technology professionals who want to donate their time and talent through virtual volunteering with nonprofits who need their skills. TUS wanted an end-to-end redesign of their website and I was incredibly passionate about their mission.

What is Taking up Space?

TUS is a non-profit in Tucson, AZ dedicated to expanding Native American Girl's educational and career opportunities in STEM by sponsoring their trip to NASA’s Space Camp.

Why Does it Matter?

NASA's Space Camp Opportunity...

  • Fosters Native American Girls' curiosity, excitement, and confidence in STEM.
  • Aims to decrease the gender gap and increase Native American representation in STEM classes and careers.
The Old Website

Taking Up Space wanted to update their website because it was inconsistent with the needs of the non-profit. It focused on three main actions (MVPs).

House Icon

Blog & Homepage

A collection of science articles, TUS events, fundraisers, and updates.


Apply to Space Camp

Details application process for Space Camp.

Donate Icon


Donations are the #1 way TUS raises money for the annual trip to NASA's Space Camp.

  • Lack of funding and donations
  • Difficulty discovering key information about TUS: what they do, who they are, and how to get involved
  • Inaccurate information: How to get to Space Camp
How Might We...

Better communicate who TUS is and what they do, while increasing donations.

Aligning on Goals

Before beginning any design work I met with the stakeholder via zoom with the goal of agreeing to a unified vision for the website and shared understanding of user needs.


User Pain Points

  • Difficulty understanding who TUS is, what they do, and how to go to Space Camp.
  • Donation page felt "sketchy" and discouraged guerilla usability testers from donating.


Stakeholder Needs

  • Inaccuracies on key pages: Application page for Space Camp
  • Increase donations! More donations means more Native American girls attend NASA’s Space Camp.
Qualitative Usability Testing Insights

To dig deeper into user needs, I conducted 5 usability tests and identified several issues that created confusion and a lack of trust. Here are some standout points:

Educating Users on Taking Up Space

TUS’s homepage was their blog page. One of the biggest problems with this was that new users couldn’t find basic information about who TUS was or what they did WHERE they expected it to be...on the homepage.  It lead to confusion, frustration, and abandonment.


  1. Formal Homepage: conducted competitive analysis to investigate how other non-profits educate users on their organization's mission, vision, and offerings.
  2. New Information Architecture: “Make a Impact Section” combines high level overview of TUS and a CTA for donations.
Increasing Donations & Establishing Trust

TUS's annual NASA Space Camp experience is almost entirely funded through donations and fundraisers. For this reason, the donation process and page was the stakeholder’s highest priority. During usability testing, I discovered users felt donating was “sketchy.” Moreover,  the old donation page did not explain WHY donations are so important to TUS.


  1. Consistent Visual Language: 1 button style used throughout website builds trust
  2. New Information Architecture:  donation CTA and donation button above the fold to reduce friction
  3. Copy Changes: explain WHY donating is important and what donations do for TUS
The Sketches
The Wireframes
Brand Re-design: Visual Explorations

TUS needed a new visual style that was more in line with TUS's audience and mission!

I created two mood boards pulling different colors from within TUS's amazing logo. The first one is mature, futuristic, and subdued which suits the objective of learning, STEM, and space. The second one is a slightly more colorful and youthful take on these objectives.

Bold & Colorful

Mature & Subtle

Taking Up Space Re-imagined

Leading users to ways they can learn about and support the cause

In order to immediately catch users' attention and design for their needs I creased a Go to Space Camp button as one of the main CTA buttons. The Learn More button takes users to the Our Story page where more detailed information about who TUS is and what they do can be found.

The Make an Impact section towards the bottom of the page is an at-a-glance overview of TUS that encourages users to contribute, bridging both the organization and user needs.


Easily accessible resources to educate and empower

Because the blog was one of the main ways TUS communicates with its users, the blog was moved from the homepage to a primary navigation item.

In comparison to the old TUS website, the stakeholder and I wanted to create a space where users could find more information about TUS. As a result, I created an Our Story page to give users a deeper understanding of TUS, their goal, and their beginnings.

Our Story and Blog

Updated and Accurate How to Go to Space Camp Page

The old website's primary navigation item Apply was rebranded to a less vague and more action-oriented title Go to Space Camp. This page's flow corresponds to two important questions (1) What is Space Camp? for users that are less familiar with TUS or would just like to learn more about the opportunity (2) How do you go to Space Camp?

We also wanted a photo gallery to show users how much fun Space Camp is, some of the activities they will get to take part in, and give a sneak preview of the new campers.

Go to Space Camp

Encouraging Donations and Establishing Trust

It was important that we made the donation process simple and less "sketchy" since the research revealed that many people lacked trust in the pay with PayPal image button. To address this barrier, a consistent button style was applied.  Both this button and a compelling and short reason why they should donate appear above the fold.

Lastly, TUS has a sponsors page where they highlight their major sponsors and thank all those that make TUS possible. On the old website, information about the difference between a donor and sponsor was non-existent which was confusing. To address this issue, I created a Become a Sponsor secondary navigation item and provided a quick sentence about the difference on the donate page.

Donate and Become a Sponsor


The design received excellent feedback from stakeholders and the current 2021 Space Camp Class! Apart from the value that the new design gives to the non-profit, I’m glad I had the opportunity to participate in a project that encourages middle school-aged Native American girls to pursue their interests in STEM.

If there were more time, I would conduct another round of testing and iteration focusing on the donation and sponsors page. While I think the re-design is an improvement to the original site, it would be interesting to explore and test different ways to encourage donations:

Because the differences between sponsors and donors were not the focus of this redesign, I did not test tasks that revolved around becoming a sponsor. I think a good next step for the hypothetical continuation of this project would be pursuing usability testing in this direction.