UX Design, Brand Development, Social Strategy

Lifts4Lives is a nonprofit organization that aims to raise awareness and partner with socially conscious corporations to provide consistent, affordable transportation to and from cancer related healthcare appointments.

laptop with lifts4lives website

The Problem

An estimated 3.6 million Americans delay or have difficulty obtaining needed medical care each year because they lack access to consistent, affordable transportation. This creates a barrier to healthcare, which for low income cancer patients could mean life or death.

Project Overview

Lifts4Lives began as a digital advocacy campaign that grew wings at the #HackCancer #HackSTDs hackathon hosted by Goodie Nation. I collaborated with four other women over 3 days to design a website, petition, branding, and a social media marketing campaign to raise awareness for this critical issue. During that 3 days we learned that raising awareness is a good start, but it doesn’t solve the problem. We needed a better solution, so after the hackathon we pivoted towards developing a nonprofit organization that partners with rideshare corporations like Uber and Lyft to provide a means for users to find or donate rides.

Research & Discovery

Our group founder conducted months of comprehensive research to define and validate the problem. I also added some of my own research to the mix to identify other primary user groups that may be affected by the transportation barrier.

Key Insights:

  • When patients are too sick to drive or they don’t own a car, they have to rely on family members, friends, public transit, taxis, or other rideshare services to get to and from their appointments. Friends and family aren’t always available and paid transportation can become very costly when a patient has multiple appointments, lives far from the hospital, or has little or no income.
  • When patients miss their appointments, not only are they forgoing necessary care, but they are also costing healthcare providers valuable time and money.
  • There are programs available that can help, but there’s not enough consistent funding and the enrollment process can take a long time. Cancer patients don’t always have a long time.

The User

Together we identified three primary user groups:

The Competition

We conducted a comparative analysis to get an idea of what kinds of organizations and programs currently exist and who we might be able to partner with to solve this issue.

Here’s what we found:


Because of the time constraints imposed by the competition we didn’t want to bite off more than we could chew. We really believed in the work these other organizations are doing so we felt like designing an awareness campaign to promote on social media and providing a platform to direct users towards these other organizations was a good place to start. I got busy developing a brand while the others worked hard on defining our cause and brainstorming the first iteration of our website.

The Brand

No one enjoys being sick or asking for help, so it was important to keep the brand lighthearted, friendly, and inviting. I chose a light, sans serif typeface and designed a thin, continuous line icon to keep the aesthetic simple and clean. I wanted our logo to convey the themes of health and transportation so I married the familiar location icon with a heart and a literal depiction of a car to signify rides to healthcare locations. Together we decided on a color scheme that would stand out, but also be soft enough to insinuate care and compassion.

Initial Concept

The main goal of our initial concept was aimed at raising awareness and driving traffic to the Lifts4Lives website via engagement ads on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. The ads would feature gripping statistics and quotes from patients and their loved ones to illustrate the problem. Users would be directed to the Lifts4Lives landing page which would feature more information about the problem, information and links to resources, and news about progress being made in the transportation space.

Key Learning Moment:

We learned early on that our initial concept didn’t provide enough action. Users interested in the cause might not be directly connected to or influenced by the problem, but they may still want to know how they can help. From here we decided to include a petition page that would be used to influence Congressional leaders and socially conscious corporations to address this issue. We also added a feature to link users who wish to volunteer to American Cancer Society’s Road to Recovery volunteer sign-up page.


High Fidelity Prototypes

What We Learned

We made it through the hackathon, but we gained some valuable feedback from the judges and creative coaches who heard our pitch and tested our site.

Now we know:

  • Our users don’t have much faith in petitions. They liked the idea in theory, but questioned if it would actually be effective. Also, petitions generally have time frames, so they challenged us to think about what happens to Lifts4Lives once we reach our goal…or what if we don’t?
  • Users appreciated that we provided them with resources, but were disenchanted with the idea of being directed to another site that may or may not meet their needs.
  • Lastly, but quite importantly, users wanted an option to donate! They wanted a quick and easy way to take meaningful action. They all agreed that offering a means to volunteer was important to them, but when asked how likely they were to pursue it, many admittedly said they probably would not.

The Pivot

The hackathon may be over, but this project is not. With the feedback we received and the necessary work that needs to be done in this space, we are back to the design board restructuring Lifts4Lives as a nonprofit organization.

Here are some of our future plans:

  • Continue to advocate for free or cost reduced transportation to ALL healthcare, not just cancer.
  • Implement an ongoing engagement strategy for social media.
  • Work to build a network of volunteer drivers.
  • Partner with Uber Health and Lyft Business to utilize their technology solutions.
  • Partner with socially conscious corporations to generate funding to provide rides.
  • Accept ride donations!