Ways you can help your community

Week notes 28 February 2020

Posted on 28 February, 2020

This week... 

  • Franchise kits prototype testing  

  • User journey mapping  

  • Improvement to volunteer opportunity service  

  • Volunteering safeguarding challenge 

  • Posters delivered to Leeds 

  • Skillshare update 

  • New homepage design  

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. 

Franchise kits prototype testing  

We were in the lab this week with asking what people thought of our prototype which explores how we might offer starter kits and re-usable franchise style arrangements to people wanting to organisers community activities. 

We had a mix of users come in:  Novice organisers. People who have decided they want to do something good in their community and need inspiration, encouragement and guidance. 

Experienced organisers who want to improve, expand or try a different project may also want to use our franchise kits. 

Civic minded people as they are potential organisers and most likely to participate in community projects. 

 People who do not want to organise anything in their community. We would like to understand the reasons why. 

We then showed them some prototype variations to gauge their reaction and took a lot of notes, now it’s time to synthesis again.... 

User journey mapping 

Mapping is good, mapping is a team sport, to check we are aligned in what we’re doing. This week we focused on some key user journeys. As a group we mapped what users currently do when looking for a community activity and what users do when adding a community activity to Co-operate. These are our currently our key user journeys.     Once we mapped that we used the second half of the session to map where having a login to a Co-operate account could improve these key user journeys. 

^^ a terribly gender imbalanced mapping session 

Nate then turned this into a digital version, which we will stick on our walls as a useful reference. 

Improvement to volunteer opportunity service 

The number of organisers adding volunteering opportunities has slowly increased. But there were 40 people who’d recently added an event and said they needed volunteers who then didn’t go on to add a volunteering opportunity. 

We can assume that they couldn’t: 

  • clearly see the ‘Add a volunteering opportunity form’ on the site (the new homepage design will help solve this problem) 

  • be bothered to fill in another form where they had to repeat bits of information 

This week we’ve done 2 things: 

  • Created a shorter volunteering form and emailed it to the 40 people who said they needed volunteers. This form has 7 questions (rather than 17 in the current form) covering the additional info we need to advertise their volunteering opportunity. So far we’ve had 2 people add their volunteering opportunity  

  • Tested if it’s feasible to add a few extra questions to the ‘Add an event’ form when a person answers ‘Yes’ to the ‘Do you need volunteers?’ question. The people who say ‘No’ will go on a different journey through the form 

We’ll discuss the second bullet point at our team meeting on Monday and decide whether to go ahead with making this change. 

We’ve also come up with another idea for the team to discuss. We think that the service email journey for both organisers and participants does not reflect the current service we offer. It’s also a laborious process for Jacques and unsustainable if the service grows. 

^^ the current service email journey (we think there are things we can cut from this journey) 

Volunteering safeguarding challenge 

Shanna Lennon is the Volunteering Co-ordinator at Manchester Community Central (MACC) a Community Voluntary Services organisation. She raised concerns about how our volunteering opportunities and activities are verified. In particular; what checks are in place to confirm it is a legitimate event or volunteering opportunity.  

At the moment we do a sanity check as we publish opportunities, but it would be easy for someone to create a bogus event. We need organisations like MACC to provide us with opportunities that come with their verification, which we can promote on their listings, so that Co-operate users can see decide which opportunities are right for them. This is a really interesting area for us to explore with Shanna, as we need to work out the right balance between easy promotion for legitimate organisers and safeguarding volunteers, in particular where that responsibility lies for Co-operate users. 

Posters delivered to Leeds 

With developing our relationship with Leeds City Council Community Hubs, and our discussions around driving more traffic to our volunteer opportunities, Dewsbury Road Community Hub in South Leeds have offered to trial using the digital screens in their Hub to promote and signpost to Co-operate. 

We produced a number of posters to represent our volunteering opportunities in Leeds in PNG format to work with their digital screens. These have been sent to the Community Hub and will be on their screens from Monday. 

If successful, it is something that we have the opportunity to roll out across all the Leeds City Council Community Hubs, raising the awareness and profile of Co-operate in the community. 

Camden visit  

We went to Camden yesterday to meet Camden council and discuss how we were going to run a series of trials. It was an eye opening day walking the streets of some of our trial areas to get under the skin of where the community thrive and where they need more support.  

We also ran a workshop with the council to map out what we wanted to learn and what the trials could look like. We came out with three great opportunities. 

Skills update 

Platform screener 

This week we’ve been busy designing and building our screener which we’ll use to build a pool of real organisers, volunteers and participants who will test and validate our platform features and ideas:

We’ll drive traffic to the form with ads from Facebook in which we’ll be using four different sets of creative and copy. 

Preparation for Leeds research trip  We’ve arranged meetings with local organisers and the Co-op Member Pioneers for our upcoming trip to Leeds. We’ll also be running an open research session with local volunteers: 

Designs for the Help Request platform  Following on from the recent re-alignment, we’ve started work on designing our new standalone “Help Request” platform which will be solely focussed on helping connect organisers with the volunteers and skills they need. 

Coming up 

Three-day trip to Leeds where we will meet organisers, volunteers and Member Pioneers; testing our ideas and concepts and working out how best we can help them. 

Launch of the social media ad campaign. 

Continued development of the new decoupled platform where we will drive potential users and gather quantitative feedback on our prototypes. 

New Co-operate homepage 

We’ve launched our new Co-operate homepage. We needed to build it so that we could better show all of the different parts of Co-operate, as we’re not just an events website. 

The new homepage links to the different parts of Co-operate but it also gives us the ability to easily link to future skills work and directly to the How To Guides if we decide that's the right thing to do. 

That’s it for this week, sorry if you were avidly watching your inbox waiting for this to arrive sooner. 

Posted by Ben on 28 February, 2020