Encouraging learning between members of a community

Client: Herenboeren

Duration: 7 months

Team: me as freelance Designer, three involved co-creators and one co-founder.

Project Type:
Experience-DesignUser-ResearchImplementation-Project

Key Activities:
User ResearchCo-ReflectionProblem-FramingCo-DesignCommunity-BuildingAgile PM

The prototype in the video is iteration 1… Iteration 2 can be seen here

Challenge

To enable learning between members of a community, especially when they are physically far away from each other other.

Note: the challenge was not articulated at the design brief stage, and was only clarified after Research and a first Iteration.

Approach

Need-finding user research, followed by interpretation and then framing a challenge. Validating the ‘solution space’ by bringing a rapid-prototype and Journey map to a co-reflection session.

As a result, understanding better what remains to be solved and ‘where it hurts’. During this session also met members that had a common vision and so we joined forces to create a sharper second iteration.

Outcome + Impact

A digital platform that complements the physical medium and lets members learn from each other.

Moving from a ‘product’ to ‘a more holistic journey that includes support’. Resulting in more fulfilled users and a community that keeps on learning.

Lesson learned: For the Design to last, the people behind the curtain (contributors, moderators) require as much attention as the users.

Remember that you’re looking for the “best answer”,
and not “the best answer that you can come up with yourself”.

— Ray Dalio

Approach

Design toolkit by Studio Tast (pictured)

🕵️‍♂️ Need finding

User Research was used to uncover the 3 key needs. These were not explicitly stated by management at the beginning, and appeared while listening to the members…

The discoveries were made through Contextual Inquiry (at the farm) and Shadowing (on the way home).

User Journey including Pain points

🔁 Iterations

A Co-reflection session was facilitated by the rapid prototype paired with a journey map – similar to the one pictured above.

Iteration one validated the understanding of the problem and resulted in a few key findings:

  • The content should be created by the community, not by strangers
  • Tips and tricks require equal (if not more) focus as the recipes

Iteration two would focus on solving problems, while being more precise and accurate with those features.

🙋‍♀️🙋‍♂️ 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.

Regular reflection organized by members of the community

Results:

The app 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

Acts as an ice-breaker on Saturday, when they pick up groceries at the farm

Sharing knowledge has a few advantages:

  • a stronger sense of community
  • increased fulfillment out of learning new skills together
  • prevents food from being wasted

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.