Robotics, Event/Volunteer Management


Drupal, Desktop


Custom Volunteer Management Platform

For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST).  US First was founded in 1989 with the mission to inspire young people’s interest and participation in science and technology. Today the program has roughly 2,700 teams competing with approximately 36,000 participants ranging from ages 6-18yrs.  The program is run entirely by volunteers who set up, manage and carry-out national robotics tournament competitions.


The Limina team is a supporter of the FIRST organization and are proud to have contributed to the next generation volunteer management system  (VMS2.0)


USA FIRST runs a nationwide robotics tournament competition for American teenagers.  Each competing team starts locally with volunteer team leaders and regional events which culminate in a multi-day national tournament.  The most significant challenge was to normalize best practices in volunteer management from each region and to build a platform that would best support over 255,000 FIRST volunteers who fuel more than 2,900 events each tournament season.


After conducting strategy workshops with the key stakeholders at FIRST, Limina worked with program management to recruit and screen volunteer managers from across the organization.  We conducted remote user interviews to gather information on the habits, needs, behaviors, pain-points, and tools of the participants. This research resulted in a robust set of functional requirements that the Limina team scoped into product requirements with the management team.

We worked with FIRST to prioritize and scope the design from the full set of requirements we documented in a functional matrix. This aided Limina in defining the VMS2.0 launch features into 2-week design sprints, with a backlog of features to include in subsequent product releases.

One key finding from our research was that users had several different task modes when entering the system.  We capitalized on this understanding to optimize the system design to support a variety of these modes, including, but not limited to planning, recruiting, managing, monitoring and analyzing the full volunteer management process.

  • Stakeholder Interviews
  • User Research
  • Persona & Typology Analysis
  • Functional Requirements Gathering & Planning


Immediately following the research and analysis, we generated design concepts to spark critical dialog with the key stakeholder.  Our concept designs set the direction for a final experience model that encompassed the functional requirements, environmental and cognitive requirements of the user and the lifecycle of the field operators tasks.

  • Workflows
  • Wireframes
  • Information Architecture
  • Interaction Modeling
  • Rapid Prototyping
  • Visual Mock-Ups


The solution we designed for USA FIRST’s custom volunteer management system was robust enough to support full volunteer staffing for:

  • 63 Regional competitions
  • 85 District qualifying competitions
  • 10 District championships
  • two Championship events
  • The FIRST Robotics National Tournament

In addition to this release, our extended design plans provided a roadmap for future systems enhancements.

“To transform our culture by creating a world where science and technology are celebrated and where young people dream of becoming science and technology leaders.” 

– Dean Kamen, First Founder