Making improvements to the back end

Posted on 5 June, 2020

This week... 

  • Update in numbers 

  • Tech consolidation 

  • Group pages update 

  • Volunteering direction  

  • Looking forward 

Our vision 

For people that care about their community 

Who want to join forces to get things done  

Co-operate is a national community centre for co-operation  

That connects people in and across communities with one another to make things happen 

Unlike a physical community centre restricted by geography and funding, or a community digital platform distracted by monetisation  

Our product is created with communities, for communities, and is owned by communities 

The lockdown may mean communities cannot come together in person, but our mission - to help people make good things happen in communities - has never been more crucial.  

We want to start a new co-operation movement across each community in the UK. 

Read more on our updated About page. 

Update in numbers

  • Total sessions are down -16% (1365 vs 1621) week on week (WOW). 

  • User split is 29% New vs 71% Returning visits. 

With returning users increasing slightly again for the second consecutive week, correlating with 70% of the total traffic acquired to site coming from direct and organic search. There was a significant drop in traffic WOW from social and email both down at -47%, highlighting opportunities to gain new users in future. 

  • Pageviews were only slightly down WOW at -4%, showing that active users are engaging more with the site despite a decrease in total users and session. 

/how-to-find-activities-for-over-50s/ was the most viewed how to guide with an increase of +124% (38 vs 17) WOW. 

  • Number of online activities added this week is 8, that’s 384 in total, we are working on we can help Member Pioneers encourage their network to add activities to increase this rate. 

  • Number of ‘Add your group’ forms completed 87, in just five days. 

Tech consolidation 

Getting a new service into production in 7 days meant making compromises. So the tech team have spent a lot of time this week improving the back end: 

  • Making deploys quicker and more stable in our continuous integration pipeline  

  • Migrating to using the industry standard Unique User IDs for user accounts so there's no risk of duplicated IDs and user details can be entered by proxy, without using actual personal data 

  • Creating forms for the Co-op Business Service (CBS) to look up prospective volunteers 

  • Configuring our Web Application Firewall and Content Delivery Netwokr to prevent cyber-attacks and improve speed 

  • Create backend proxy endpoints to allow CBS to initiate a match and create a mission 

  • Improved how we export data to make it easier for Co-op store colleagues 

  • Fixed a double email bug on the Yoti callback feature, so users don't get spurious emails 

Group pages update 

Last week we mentioned that we’re inviting groups applying for the Co-op Local Community Fund to add their group to Co-operate: 

There have been just over 300 applications with 87 going on to add their details, that’s 29%. 

In the last round around 120,000 local groups applied for funding for their projects, so if that percentage remains the same, we’re looking at nearly 35,000 groups! 

That’s without contacting all current Co-operate users and the recent Member’s Coronavirus Fund applicants, which of course we are doing with a series of emails:    We should be able to start publishing the listings on the site next week. 

Volunteering direction 

We’ve been supporting customers who need help delivering food and essentials during coronavirus through our volunteering service. Insight highlights that the demand is starting to decrease as lockdown restrictions start to lift and fewer people need to isolate. Due to this it’s a good time for us to take stock at what we’ve learned and where we’d like to take volunteering as part of the longer term strategy for Co-operate. We’re starting to cleanse our data to understand who still needs support and who wants to offer support. We’ll then be running trials of volunteer opportunities while we start to define what the next future mission could be for communities. 

Looking forward 

For the Co-operate team, the start of the pandemic was a galvanizing experience.  We wanted to do our part to help those most affected, and strengthen the community bonds that would be so important during the crisis.  We quickly pivoted our efforts towards connecting vulnerable people with volunteers and providing crucial information and support on how to deal with the crisis.  This meant that we had to rethink our long-term plans and react quickly, but it also meant our focus and attention was on short term quick wins. 

We are now in a position to focus again on our long term goals and make the most of the activity we’ve seen on the product over the last few weeks.  This week we have: 

  • Returned to our roadmap, taken account of the ground we’ve covered and described what we want to see over the next two months. 

  • Understood how quickly we can build, so that we can commit to delivering value to users within set timeframes and make clear prioritisation decisions with our stakeholders. 

  • Started to set out what our north star metrics targets so that we can be clearer in our thinking, move more quickly and make better decisions. 

Have a cooler weekend. 

The Co-operate team

Posted by Ben on 5 June, 2020

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