Design Challenge

Creative Commons Canada - Membership Research

Project Details



Open source

Skills Requirements

User Research




Current situation

Creative Commons Canada is looking to launch the next version of its website as part of engaging its existing audience and intention to grow its membership. They have a standard template (CC Globally shared, but locally modified WordPress), and content (a few posts ready to go, and a visioning document). Creative Commons Canada doesn’t have a good plan, or people who have the skill to put it together properly, with care. The organization would like to welcome new members, and develop some 'flow' to its membership and contributions.
  • The existing Canadian community is not well-connected
  • Membership growth is dependent on reaching new members - but the value proposition for new members isn’t well understood
  • Ongoing operating of the organization would ideally be self-directed and managed by members, but the path to this state is unclear


This project should provide Creative Commons a clear understanding of its current membership and potential members to inform future outreach projects, including the launch of a new web site. Creative Commons serves an important role nationally and internationally, providing a means of connecting creators - which is relevant to Design.local’s membership. With the background research complete in this project, Creative Commons will be prepared to engage its new and existing audience in its growth.


The primary users are the existing members, potential new users, and the current national administrative team.
  • Existing members are not well connected to one another;
  • Potential new members are not well understood - what may motivate their involvement in the organization needs to be discovered
  • The administrative team are few and volunteers - while they are enthusiastic, their time and resources are limited


Research to understand the primary users will be necessary to address the needs of each group. The output of this project will help to guide the organization’s next steps in growing the membership, reach, and activities of Creative Commons in Canada.


As an international organization held in high regard, this project should demonstrate Creative Commons commitment to inclusion and access to information.

Potential Deliverables

A report that provides key insights on the users relevant to Creative Commons in Canada - members, potential members, and the administrative team. These insights will clearly describe the user groups’ motivations, interests, and relevant channels for communication and engagement. The output will need to be licensed CC-BY 4.0.

Final Executive Summary

Overall, survey participants were aligned with Creative Commons’ mission and values. Similarly, engaging with Creative Commons helped respondents in their jobs and network. Yet, participants felt the process of becoming more involved was unclear or cumbersome. Still, some participants expressed interest in increasing their involvement. We synthesized the survey data into user personas and journey maps to direct future design and strategy efforts. A limitation of the study was the number of survey participants compared to CC Canada’s membership; the personas and journey maps may not reflect every member. The next steps include brainstorming website design, and learning which CC’s products and services turn members into advocates, among others. In the following presentation, we describe our research objectives, process, findings, and recommendations.