Design Challenge

Design.local - Membership Model

Project Details




Skills Requirements

Design Strategy




Current situation

Thanks to its greater than anticipated success, the organization have attracted many participants. This has introduced a level of administrative overhead that is untenable by the existing admin team, particularly with competing priorities due to COVID-19. The team needs help to continue supporting the growth of the organization. Of the more than 150 members who have joined design.local in the past 5 months, only a third have contributed to design challenges.


This project seeks to create a structure that will allow design.local to continue to scale without placing undue demand on a small admin team; it should leverage the principles of Teal organizations (self-managing). Design.local’s future depends on sustaining the organization - this is at risk with overworked team members, and the potential for the current members losing interest in the organization. Once the project is finished, the organization will continue to grow sustainably, with more reason for others to join; the current admin team will not be overwhelmed by the work, and will have support from other members in the organization. Motivation as an admin member is that I want to see Design.local engage problem-solvers around the world, and I’d like to have the opportunity to help shape its positive and sustainable future.


The followings are the users that we identified:
  • Design.local admin
  • “New” members
  • “Experienced” members
The followings are some of the pain points we identified:
  • For the Admin team, this project solves the problem of handling the growth of the organization, and the management of creating new teams and overseeing design challenges
  • For the members, this project provides them with a progression path within the organization and a means for personal development and career growth


We would like to tackle the following flows:
  • How do members join, get interested and participate in the organization
  • How do members “level up” through their involvement in Design.local
  • How does the admin team handle intake of projects
  • How does the admin team create and brief new teams
  • How does the admin team oversee the completion of challenges
  • What is the succession for a member of the organization
  • How does the admin team replace members over time


Design.local’s fundamental values must be represented in the solution - creating useful solutions that provide opportunities to problem solvers of all kinds.
  • The solution must be sustainable and allow for evolution
  • Design.local’s brand must continue to be highly regarded
The solution will resonate with the membership and admin team; it must align with the organization’s objectives of solving problems with a primary objective of altruism.

Potential Deliverables

A plan to help Design.local’s sustainable growth. By the result of this challenge, we expect our members to start a path of personal development in the organization; they would have direction and an opportunity to gain more experience, skills, connections, and contribute to meaningful work. Furthermore, the admin team would continue to grow the scale of Design.local, take on more projects, and get more sleep. Therefore, we would know the solution is the best possible when the Design.local community embraces the solution, which will be reflected in an increase in membership involvement, and a reduction of demand on the admin team.

Other Notes

  • A proposed solution has been created, but it has not been tested
  • Design.local has a limited budget

Final Executive Summary

We have conducted research through surveys to find out why there's low participation rates occur, in spite of the growing rate of joining and how the current processes have been pushing the admin team to/over capacity. We've created personas and journey maps and found some areas of opportunities in the following area and provided some recommendations:
    • Brief details
    • More Slack activity
    • Team formation
    • Task management
    • Finishing up the challenges