Week notes 21 November 2019

Posted on 21 November, 2019

This week... 

  • What our data is telling us 

  • ‘How to’, our set of guides to help organisers, is almost live 

  • Find volunteers page to promote our service is complete  

  • Update on future login 

  • Met with AgeUK 

Co-operate background 

Stronger communities are at the heart of the Co-op strategy, so we’re going to completely reinvent what commercial, community partnerships should be. 

Being a co-op, we believe that more co-operation will improve our local communities. 

Co-operation is harder than it needs to be, so we're going to make it easier. 

The idea is that we build an initial range of tools or features and learn which ones truly impact a community. These tools need to be as real as we can make them so we can really understand what users do, instead of what they might tell us. 

Find out more on our About page. 

What our data is telling us  

In the last 4 weeks  

3,234 total sessions     6,042 total page views  

68% bounce rate            1.9 avg. pages per session  

01:05 avg. duration per session   


5 towns (Stretford, Urmston, Sale, Altrincham, Bollington) 

We currently have 

139 events live   

3 volunteering opportunities live 

301 people subscribed to our newsletter 

The current journey   

What we’ve learned from this 

We made the decision to serve all the important information upfront on the card. But, after observing the user research, many users didn’t click through because they had all the information they needed to make a decision. Which is great for a user but makes it difficult for us to measure impact. 

As a result, we’re going to run a small test. We’re going to remove some of the information on a selection of the cards to test whether it increases CTR. If we increase CTR and therefore increase conversion rate (clicks to ‘yes, I’m going’ button) we’ll get closer to understanding if we really are increasing participation in communities. 

Measuring impact 

We’re seeing users interact with the ‘yes I’m going’ button which indicates their interest in an event and their willingness to attend. This is step one of how we can start to measure impact in communities but there is more we need to do to see real action on the ground. We’ve put a process in place to contact all organisers, especially those where we’ve seen intent to attend, to see if they have seen an impact. We’ll repeat this process every 3 months or more frequently if we see a spike in the data.  

Interestingly, we found through user research that many users felt they would have to give personal data and potentially be “harassed” if they clicked a button such as this. So, we’re working on making it clearer to users what will be asked of them to decrease the fear of commitment and increase appeal. 

How to...is almost live! 

Our ‘how to’ guides, written to help increase the skills and allow event organisers to self-help, are almost ready to go live. We were able to give a brave live demo of the site at the show and tell this week, and it worked! 

The design work is done, and the technical build is in full swing. Here’s how it’s looking right now... 

This week, Rachel was able to add all the content to the live content management system. That’s about 25 super helpful ‘how to’ guides, all ready to go. The guides offer advice on everything from ‘How to create a plan for your event’ to ‘How to share the success of your event’. They are filled with stories and advice from the amazing people we’ve spoken to in the community, as well as Anne and Natalie, our subject matter experts. 

While the coding continues, we’ll be back out in Stretford, on Tuesday, finding out what event organisers think of our guides. We’ll make changes based on their feedback and we’ll be ready to release them into the wild. 

We want these guides to be a conversation and we’re including features that allow readers to share their feedback and stories. We also want the guides to pull in organisers seeking advice online, so we can direct them to our tools. Want to know ‘how to promote your community event’? Try listing it on What’s happening.  

As we continue to build more features, we want ‘how to’ to draw people in and direct them to helpful Co-operate tools.

Find volunteers landing page to promote our service is complete 

Fred has been busy this week building Rob’s designs for the ‘find volunteers’ landing page - designed to promote our service to organisers and direct them to the form. Up to now we have only had the smart survey form and our skills of persuasion to encourage organisers to add their volunteering opportunities to What’s happening. This dedicated landing page now upsells how easy it is to add your opportunity, it illustrates types of opportunities for new organisers and showcases the types of opportunities we currently have live.  

This gives us piece of promotional content to raise awareness off our service and not only increase participation in communities, but participation that gives something back.  

You’ll see we’ve had to use stock imagery to get version one out the door and tested with real users but moving forward we want to be featuring authentic imagery from the community as we know this performs best. Maybe, this is a volunteering opportunity in itself? 

Update on future login  

Following on from the earlier insights around our website traffic and behaviour we know that in order to scale and provide a more joined up experience for both the general public and organisers that an option to login will enrich the user journey. For example, we could send reminder to events that you’ve signed up for. Or when an even it about to expire remind an organiser to confirm the information is still correct. 

As a Co-op we have an existing Co-op member login but we don’t want to add a barrier to users wanting to create a simple account to manage their events so we’re looking at options of having a simple customer login which doesn’t create a membership account, though should a user want to then upgrade to membership they can do. We’re also considering trialling how a membership driven login could work as If we have existing organisers that are already members it could be a useful way to validate how helpful having a login would be.  

Login will then enable us to provide additional levels of functionality that we could customise to different types and scales of organiser and allow participants to store preferences e.g. categories, locations or favourite organisers. 

Natalie met with Age UK Trafford 

I had a meeting with Ann Marie Jones the Chief Executive of Age UK Trafford.  She was greatly interested in the work that Co-operate is doing for several reasons: 

  • It would help their events and campaigns reach a wider more diverse network of people across the Trafford Borough 

  • It would be used by their volunteers when recommending events and activities instead of Trafford Directory which Ann Marie refers to as ‘hugely complex’ and an ‘information overload’. She thought What’s happening was a much simpler, friendlier looking site that would be easier for their volunteers and over 50’s themselves 

  • The ‘Over 50’s’ category is hugely relevant to the people Age UK work with 

  • They have several volunteering opportunities that are available that they struggle to recruit for, mainly due to the digital nature of the role and the age group of the people that are interested in volunteering. Ann Marie felt that advertising them via Co-operate may attract a more diverse group of people 

  • They have community space that is available to use that isn’t utilised to its potential we could advertise that to the community through potential ‘Find a Space’ product 

  • Ann Marie is often approached by new event organisers who want to run their idea by her, she believes she would be able to signpost them to Co-operate to make sure they are firstly not duplicating an idea and also to use the ‘How To Organise a Community Event’ guide that we are developing 

Age UK Trafford’s weekly events are now on Co-operate and their volunteering opportunities are likely to follow... 

I also met with Victoria who is heading up a project call ‘Love Urmston’ a campaign funded by Trafford Council to promote Urmston through sharing good news stories, promoting events that take place and creating new ways to engage with the community and further afield about how great Urmston is.  We think that Co-operate could be a great platform to help them do some of this... 

Anne met with Healthwatch Trafford 

Healthwatch are an official organisation working independently to gather the views of people using health and social care services. They work through volunteers who speak to people in the community providing feedback to help develop services. They also assess services themselves like care homes to help people make informed choices. Through this they have developed youthwatch developed by and for young people to engage and empower young people to make informed choices. They had lots of ideas for how co-operate could help users of healthcare services and young people to volunteer and participate.  

Posted by Jen on 21 November, 2019