Grassroots Grocery Usability Study

Our Client 

Grassroots Grocery is a New York-based grassroots volunteer organization with the goal of providing nutritious food for their neighbors in need. With a strong emphasis on working as a community, Grassroots Grocery offers four main categories of volunteering: joining a Produce Party, group volunteering, volunteering your talent, and filling local Grassroots Grocery-affiliated community fridges.

Project Timeline

User Test Goals

Based on the client meeting, we established two main goals for the user tests.

The Participants

We developed three specific target groups with different motivations and levels of involvement with volunteering to allow for a more well-rounded analysis of the website.

After creating our target audience groups, we made a screening questionnaire that filtered each respondent into their respective group which was then sent to the Pratt community and other interested parties. After receiving our responses, we chose 8 participants and scheduled their user tests.

The User Test

The overall test consisted of three sections: the pre-test questions, the user tasks, and post-test questions. The pre-test questions aimed to get to know the participants more, including their motivations, barriers to volunteering, and past volunteering experience (if applicable). The test consisted of 6 tasks and 6 follow-up questions evaluating the site’s theme, volunteer pages, and sign-up process.

Site Theme: Asking the user what their first impression of the site and the organization’s values and whether or not they think their first impressions match the content of the site. We also asked the user to find information on the organization’s missions and values.

Volunteer Pages: Asking the user to find and list all volunteer opportunities on the website, as well as explain which ones they are most and least interested in, and why. Additionally, we asked the user to find details regarding the different opportunities and information on the Grassroots Grocery organization members.

Sign-Up Process: Asking the user to sign up for the volunteer opportunity they are most interested in, and what they did and did not like about the process.

The post-test questions allowed participants to share final feedback and evaluate the site’s tone. Each test had one moderator and one participant, was facilitated virtually (via Zoom or Google Meet), and took around 25-35 minutes to complete.


We compiled the user tests into a spreadsheet and analyzed the responses to create a list of major findings based on the three site components we featured in the user tests. The three categories were: the site’s look and feel, the volunteer opportunities, and the sign-up process.


From our findings, we made five recommendations that work to improve the site’s clarity of volunteer options, boost their value of community, and increase volunteer sign-ups.


The Grassroots Grocery website has a strong foundation, offering real imagery, homey graphics, and a friendly tone to welcome the user. The organization’s mission and values are successfully reflected through the website’s design, and are clearly conveyed to the user even at first glance. The recommendations provided will enhance the user’s ability to get involved, as well as really feel a part of Grassroots Grocery before they actually volunteer. While all volunteer methods are featured on the website, providing more detailed information on each experience and a simpler process to join will limit hesitancy from the user and make choosing the right volunteer opportunity for them easier.

The final deliverables for this project included a usability report and presentation slide deck. In our final client meeting with the Grassroots Grocery founder, Dan Zauderer, we presented our findings and recommendations from this month-long project. Overall, he thought our insights were valuable and specifically liked the Grassroots Grocery Family Master Page as a way to increase the message of community through the website. We are hopeful they will implement these changes to their website in the coming year and appreciate the opportunity to help a great non-profit organization like Grassroots Grocery.

Note: Fruit graphics taken from