Building a Community by Sharing Knowledge

Client: Herenboeren Wilhelminapark

Date: 2018
Duration: 7 months

Context:
FoodSubscription-Business-ModelCooperativeCommunityPeer-learningKnowledge-Management

Project Type:
Experience-DesignUser-ResearchImplementation-Project

Key Activities:
Co-DesignProblem-FramingCo-ReflectionCommunity-BuildingAgile-Product-DevelopmentMachine-Learning

A HerenBoeren farm is owned by a cooperative of 150 families. They have access to seasonal vegetables, meat, eggs, and whatever else they choose to organize.

The project started with wide need-finding, and was later framed to ‘facilitate learning between the members of the community’. This was valuable because the users take the food directly from the farm, which requires a forgotten set of skills to clean, store and cook the vegetables and meat.

The solution took the form of a digital platform which allows the users to share seasonal recipes and relevant tips. The website is running live so we overcame many of the administrative and moderation challenges.

Complements the physical medium

Tips and Recipes are within reach when users need them most: at home

User journey in the physical medium
A member is harvesting cabbages while another one is picking up his share

Encourages deeper physical interactions between members

Especially on Saturday, when they pick up groceries at the farm

Sharing knowledge has a few advantages:

a stronger sense of community

increased fulfillment – learning new skills together

prevents food from being wasted

The experience was upgraded from ‘a product on a subscription basis’, to a more ‘holistic and complete journey’ which includes support

A preview of the process

3 minute read

🕵️‍♂️ Need finding

User Research was used to uncover the 3 key needs as well as other frustrations. These were not explicitly stated by management at the beginning.

The discoveries were made through the initial research (using Contextual Interviews and Shadowing) and were later clarified by organizing a Co-Reflection for validation.

Observing the improvisations attempted by the members – provided the basis for a design.

🔁 Iterations

First validate the problem and solution spaces. After that, tackle the problems, but don’t stop seeking validation and insight.

Iteration one – validating what we aim to solve:

  • Helped pinpoint micro-interactions where frustrations happen: “this is where it hurts”
  • Makes the assumptions explicit and ready for validation or feedback.

Iteration two – solving problems:

  • Tackle the important objectives that were just discovered or validated
  • Can justify investing resources to add more value

🙋‍♀️🙋‍♂️ A Participative approach

The project became truly Participative when a rapid click-through Prototype together with an Experience Flow were presented to the target audience. These two props framed the discussion around User Stories and “what if” scenarios.

Resulted in understanding:

  • tips can be more relevant than recipes
  • content should be created by the community itself

The session also led to the discovery of a group of members who were trying to achieve a similar thing – so we joined forces.

“By the community, for the community”

Regular reflection organized by members of the community

Remember that you’re looking for the ‘best answer’,
not simply the ‘best answer that you can come up with yourself’.

Ray Dalio – Principles

Thanks to Boudewijn and Paul,
as well as Danny and HelloFresh

P.S. more on the Creative Process

Ideation was helped by scenariosstorytelling, which slowly led to functionality, wireframes and a click-through prototype.

Sometimes a bit of acting out can do wonders for the process and getting un-stuck.

If you click through the slideshow, you will see a set of tangible figurines which were useful in acting out and storytelling purposes.

Note: the featured thumbnail photo can be found at the source.