GOOD LOCAL

Sydney based social/purpose driven start up

UX research and product strategy

CLIENT

Good Local

INDUSTRY

TEAM

TOOLS

Social Enterprise

Shachi Kaul

Ayca Ipekcan

Survey Monkey, 

Keynote, post-its
 

PROJECT

OVERVIEW

Good Local is our client, Ben Pecotich's (from Dynamic4, Sydney) social enterprise/purpose-driven start up idea to tackle over-consumption and associated negative environmental impact by making local sharing services easier to find and access. Even though some early research had been conducted, our client approached Ayca and I to do more exploratory research for the idea to come to life or to validate if it would work at all.  

UX RESEARCH

MY ROLE

Ayca and I worked together to do project planning and conduct extensive user research. While we both were in charge of managing client expectations, I led literary review, research synthesis and presentation design of our findings.

CHALLENGE

CONDUCT USER RESEARCH TO VALIDATE CLIENT ASSUMPTIOMS

The challenge was to bring research and insight driven strategy skills to this project with the purpose of:

- Understanding users’ attitudes and behaviours in terms of consumption and waste as an environmental      hazard by planning and running customer interviews/research

- Constructing the core customer/problem hypotheses and their associated riskiest assumptions

- Testing assumptions to validate if adoption of local sharing and collaborative consumption services can work as  a solution to reduce environmental hazards.

- Depending on research insights (which may include disproving core assumptions), the team could work on potential solution concepts.

ASSUMPTIONS

CLIENT

Our client came to us with initial hypotheses for a solution concept. "The concept of Good Local is to be like Airbnb for sharing services" - a community and marketplace enabled by a digital platform to promote and map sharing services, making them easier to find and access. The key benefit being people save money, space, carbon impact, packaging and other waste. This will divert waste from landfills, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and encourage behaviours like switching to renewable energy and water conservation.

Main assumptions that came with the brief were categorised under:

 

Environment and Waste

- Adoption of local sharing services will divert waste from landfills and encourage conscious behaviours

Sharing Services

- People don’t know about sharing services they can access

- People use sharing services for environmental reasons

User Behaviour

- There is a desire to take action 

- If sharing services are visible and convenient people will modify their behaviour.

DISCOVERY

THE

UNDERSTANDING THE PROBLEM LANDSCAPE

To identify our key areas of work, we mapped the persistent themes and repeating keywords in the founder's statement of purpose. In order not to get attached to any solution concepts, we approached the problem from all angles then narrowed down our scope to easily approachable aspects (aka: low hanging fruits). This led us to identify the individual goal associated with each aspect of the brief. We organised our thinking and key assumptions within this framework, which defined our research scope.

Rethink consumption

Reduce Waste

Promote community 

and collaboration

Change behaviour

UNDERSTANDING SHARING ECONOMY

Our client provided us with a Trello board that has all the examples he collected under "sharing / collaborative economy" These companies varied from Car Next Door to coworking spaces, community gardens and many more. I conducted secondary research to categorise these examples and find the correct definitions to ask the

right questions.

Collaborative Economy: An economic system of decentralized networks and marketplaces that unlocks the value of underused assets by matching needs and haves, in ways that bypass traditional middlemen.

Sharing Economy: An economic system based on sharing underused assets or services, for free or for a fee, directly from individuals.

Collaborative Consumption: The reinvention of traditional market behaviors—renting, lending, swapping, sharing, bartering, gifting—through technology, taking place in ways and on a scale not possible before the internet.

On-Demand Services: Platforms that directly match customer needs with providers to immediately deliver goods and services.

Although, the founders solution concept that he wanted us to test was towards an aggregator for commercial / startup sharing services.

UNDERSTANDING THE USERS

First we wanted to know what the user knows.

We wanted to get an idea of the common notions in the customer/problem landscape and also to check if we are missing anything before I finalised the survey questions. So we had casual interviews with 8 people that represent the target user. Following were our learnings:

  • People have different views of what sharing services mean

  • Convenience is the most important thing in the world

  • We added new answer choices to the survey that we
    previously had not though of.

 

Then we asked what we wanted to know.

We adjusted our questions and checkboxes according to the insights that came through the mock interviews. 

We wrote the interview script and structured the survey to derive answers in the 3 main areas of study and also see if the users connect the use of sharing services with waste and environmental impact. Following were our learnings here:

  • We observed a gap in attitude and behaviour: Interviewees who rate themselves 8/10 in environmentally conscious behaviour scored 6/10 in reality.

  • Convenience and saving money are the driving factors in user behaviour.

 

Below is the summary of our findings:

AFFINITY MAPPING

We facilitated an affinity mapping workshop to synthesise the research findings. This helped categorise data according to our research framework and also clarified the possible features to address pain points and motivations related to different aspects of the brief.

KEY INSIGHTS

These varied research techniques helped us to quickly gain insights into the needs of our users and gave us a concrete understanding of the environment and workflows. Our research revealed the following key insights:

USER PAIN

USER GAIN

USER REQUIREMENT

BACK TO THE VALIDATION BOARD

With the data we gathered through interviews and surveys, we went back to the validation board to synthesise

our findings. We confirmed that the targeted user group exists and they see waste and environmental effect as

a problem. However, user thinking in the solution hypothesis is motivated by economy and efficiency rather than environment. Now that it is confirmed that environmental impact is important to users, the solution can utilise this concept as a secondary motivator.

"It was determined that the target users are interested in collaborative consumption over commercial sharing services. They use sharing services to save money, not for the environment. We thus decided

to narrow down our approach and focus on renting and borrowing between users as a solution to tackle our client's problem with over consumption and associated negative environmental impact. 

WHAT'S OUT THERE?

Once we were clear about our approach, we then headed towards understanding the competitor landscape in the area of peer to peer sharing. This gave us insights into concepts and features that work.

PEERBY

What?

Where?

Startup founded in 2012
Raised $4.6 million in 6 rounds

 

Amsterdam based

Operating in USA

Why?

What's Good

What's Not Good

To save $, space and the environment and meet neighbours

Users can post a request

Layout of categories 

OPEN SHED

Startup founded in 2011
Website only

Based and operating in Australia

To reduce waste and excess

consumption

Response rate and reviews

UI design is outdated
 

RECYCLE SMART

Startup founded in 2014
iPhone & Android app

Based and operating in Australia

Helps communities towards

a zero-waste-to-landfill solution.

Push notifications

Under advertised
 

PERSONA DEVELOPMENT

While Ayca focused on creating personas, I started picturing their user journey. Through synthesis of research data, we identified 2 personas as our early adopters, based on their interaction with the product:

  • A convenience seeker that searches and filters to get to specific products based on need

  • A community oriented user that browses leisurely to see what is out there to try new things ​

We decided to focus on our early adopter personas and making them happy so they spread the enthusiasm for Good Local and help build momentum. 

USER JOURNEY MAPPING

Once we were done defining the personas, I used journey mapping to visualise and communicate Charlie's end‐to‐end experience across various touch‐points while he goes through through the process of lending and borrowing with his peers. This allowed me to represent his pain‐points and see where we needed to focus our attention. Mapping out the users emotions was key to setting client expectations about the aspirational emotional state we were aiming to design for.

THE PITCH

THE MISSION

Increase awareness and adoption of local collaborative consumption to reduce waste and promote a positive message about the environment.

THE PROBLEM

Our client Good Local has a problem with the waste and negative environmental impact associated with over consumption

THE SOLUTION

Our approach to address this problem is to establish an alternative for our consumption driven throw away culture, by providing a platform for the local community to connect and share.

The main groups of people who will benefit are those who live in urban high density areas and want to reduce their consumption to save money and space.

PRIMARY BUSINESS GOAL

is to provide a reliable and convenient platform to facilitate peer to peer tradeso that under-utilised resources can be shared.

PRIMARY USER GOAL SUPPORTED

The primary user goals supported to get more value with less consumption while connecting the community and helping the environment.

SUCCESS METRICS

  • Reaching critical mass on demand and supply sides through product quality, reliability and marketing

  • Ratings and reviews on App Store and other platforms

  • City of Sydney 2030 Innovation Grant

FEATURE PRIORITISATION

As the first iteration of the product for testing, feature prioritisation was focused on the key functions that define our user's journey. We addressed key paint points and supported main user gains: discovery and efficiency.

  • Visualising impact with indication of carbon footprint saved

  • Reliability assurance through bond and insurance

  • Seasonal / curated content for browsers

  • Advanced filters for searchers

MUST

SHOULD

COULD

WON'T

  • Buy, Sell, Swap

  • Renting/Lending

  • Search

  • Browse

  • Chat & notify

  • Price guide

  • Commercial

       Suppliers

Overview

Products

  • Recommended items to list  or  rent

  • Promote listings

Renter &

Lister

  • Track items

  • Donations

  • Aggregator for sharing services

Environment

& Community

  • Create sharing groups & events  

  • Environmental  impact of sharing

  •  Community   notice     boards/events

  • Educate

  • Details

  • Review & Rating

  • Pricing & Bond

  • Details

  • Review & Rating

MUST

WON'T

NEXT STEPS

  • Follow up interviews
    Focusing on problem/solution hypotheses

  • Iterating on experiments in the solution landscape

       Get out of the building or get users in

  • Synthesis of second round research findings
    Data data data

  • Iterating on gamification possibilities

       Entice & extend engagement

  • Branding & Content design

       Looking the part and talking the talk​

  • ​Web and/or app?  Points and/or money?

       Decisions, decisions

  • Business strategy

       Better strategy than sorry

  • Marketing Strategy

       Finding the channels to reach our local heroes

  • Preparing for the City of Sydney 2030 Innovation Grant

       Preparing the pitch 

What?

Where?

Why?

What's Good

What's Not Good

What?

Overview

Products

Renter &

Lister

Environment

& Community

Overview

Overview

Products

Products

Renter &

Lister

Renter &

Lister

Environment

& Community

Environment

& Community

Where?

Why?

What's Good

What's Not Good