Ways you can help your community

Week notes 7 February 2020

Posted on 7 February, 2020

This week... 

  • Great British Spring Clean  

  • Printable leaflets for every activity  

  • Franchise kits  

  • Zapier integration  

  • Volunteering update - UsTwo 

  • Other opportunities  

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. 

Great British Spring Clean 

This Saturday, Members applied to win a Co-op crew to help clean up an area that they feel would benefit the community. So far, we’ve had 281 Members apply, we’ve moderated the entries and published the details on to Co-operate. They will be notified that their clean up event is now live and ready to be shared with friends and family. 

Rich did an awesome job at automating the event details from Smart Survey straight into Contentful and email data straight to MailChimp; saving us a lot of man hours and sanity. More on how he did that below. 

So far, 191 of those applicants have also subscribed to be kept up to date with Co-operate, enabling us to contact them again in future.  

We’ll keep you posted as the entries that continue to come through over the next few weeks. 

^^ event detail page created by a Co-op Member  

Printable leaflets for every activity 

We’ve heard from our organisers in Leeds that it would be great if they could print a poster of their event and we’ve also seen with our own eyes just how hard it can be to create an effective poster, and whilst the community created posters have character, they aren’t very accessible.  

So we’re testing a feature that enables an organiser to print a poster for their event straight from their web browser.  

This accomplishes two things: 

💪Allows organisers to print a poster without having to find someone to design it or design it themselves 

📣More exposure for the Co-operate platform as we include a logo and web link on every poster printed 

This potentially adds a big feature to our product, alongside exposure of events, printing posters and flyers could be the other string to our bow. 

Leeds City Council have suggested this exact resource for organisers to print their event details for promotional assets and will therefore be one of our first trial audiences. 

Franchise kits research 

Ryan and Vicky have been synthesising responses to sacrificial concepts for franchise kits. This takes a lot of time but will help us refine our ideas and prioritise what we build in the coming weeks.

^^ Wall of synthesis

^^ Wall of synthesizers 

We've also been arranging interviews with the Member Pioneers who have agreed to spend an extra hour a week to help us. We’ll ask them to look at our ideas and help us further with refining and prioritising what we build. 

We've also been planning the information architecture, thinking about how the new pages we're likely to need will hang together and sit alongside what we already have. Having done this means Rich can start preparing Contentful for these new pages.

^^ Green post-its = potential new sections 

Rachel took the team through her desk research of other sites that offer tools and guides on the ideas we’re thinking of covering. For example: community clean-ups, film screenings, soup nights and community cafes. 

She focused on the content of the existing guides out there, looking at tone of voice and use of plain English, accessibility, depth of information and use of templates.  

Again we’ll use this research to shape the ‘kits’ we create. 

Zapier Integration  

We’ve been using Zapier to automate some data flows between Smart Survey, Mailchimp and Contentful. This was to help manage the increased number of user-submitted content we have experienced during the Great British Spring Clean campaign. 

Using the Smart Survey form submissions as our source of truth we were able to send data to Mailchimp ready for batch emailing. In theory the same is possible with Contentul, but this connector proved unreliable, so instead we used a bespoke script to convert Smart Survey csv exports into Contentful friendly JSON format. 

Combined, these approaches meant the team were able to avoid an input-a-thon and only needed to review entries. Not fully automated, but more automated 🙂 

Volunteering update 

This week, we’ve been focusing on research with helpers to gain some further insight for our sprint goal: 

Gain a better understanding of helpers, their pain points when helping and any barriers to offering help or responding to help requests to learn whether a digital service can support them and how. 

We’ve interviewed 4 helpers, asking them to carry out a card sorting exercise to understand more about how people think about skills that they might offer or causes that they would offer help to.

^^ Some cards...sorted! 

We also presented 4 concepts to interviewees to get feedback on:

We have also been exploring launching a second survey to capture some quantitative data on helpers. 

We have been looking at updates to the organiser help request form on the site to aid with our secondary sprint goal: 

Launch organiser help requests on the site to see how it could be used in an area with a member pioneer on the ground 

We have also been engaging with research recruitment agencies to look at building a pipeline for research participants. 

Coming Up 

Next week, we will be carrying out analysis of the helper research we have been conducting this week, and will be travelling to Manchester to carry out our show & tell and Sprint 3 planning on Wednesday/Thursday. 

...and finally 

Anne has found a great opportunity this week when she met with Anna Jones at Trafford Council, a Communities Officer covering Altrincham and South Trafford.  Anna would be happy to promote Co-operate through their weekly newsletters, that’s an audience of around 400 community minded this space. 

Posted by Jen on 7 February, 2020