Encouraging learning between members of a community

Client: Herenboeren

Date: 2018
Duration: 7 months

Project Type:
Experience-DesignUser-ResearchImplementation-Project

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

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 using a rapid-prototype in 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, encouraging belonging to a community of like-minded families.

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: The people behind the curtain (contributors, moderators and administrators) must be taken into account for a solution to really work.

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

Ray Dalio

Approach

3 minute read

🕵️‍♂️ Need finding

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

The discoveries were made through the initial research using Contextual Inquiry 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

Iteration one – validating the understanding of the problem

  • Made assumptions explicit, ready for validation or feedback.
  • Helped pinpoint frustrating interactions: “this is where it hurts”

Iteration two – solving problems, being more precise and accurate.

  • The content would be created by the community, not by strangers
  • More focus on tips and tricks than on recipes

🙋‍♀️🙋‍♂️ 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

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 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.

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