Service Design with ThinkPlace
Duration: 2 weeks
Date: January 2019
Self-initiated project involving user research, user-testing and prototyping
This brief was created in association with ThinkPlace and required research and testing regarding food production and communication of information between regulators (government) and producers. This work was individual. I focused on the following ‘How Might We?” question: How might we enable food producers to get new products to market while navigating standards?
To find a problem area that could be improved, develop a solution, test the solution and create a high-fidelity prototype. Finally, present to the client (ThinkPlace).
The design process:
The beginning -
A user researcher’s goal is not only to solve existing problems, but to uncover and solve new ones. Because the food industry (MPI, Council, Producers) was an unfamiliar territory, I began by conducting user interviews. I went to the Harbourside Markets one Sunday, and conducted guerilla testing and observational research to get an initial understanding of the user’s and the processes. I spoke to one food producer / market stall owner who expressed her frustration of navigating the Council’s website for required information (policies, requirements etc.). Following this, I conducted a teardown of the existing site information and realised that it was totally difficult to navigate information from the perspective of a new stall operator.
To get an understanding of the the broader picture of regulators, I researched the system’s key players, services, actors, stakeholders etc. and made links between them. This helped me understand the scale of the problem, and who I needed to consider when designing my solution.
Ideation and testing -
I developed several wireframes (see gallery above) and began to sketch possible alternate ways of visualising the information. I used principles of visual design to influence my design decisions. I conducted A/B testing to compare the existing version (see here) to my redesigned concept. Users found my version to be easier to navigate as I added visuals, implemented a hierarchy of information and chunked content into digestible segments. Once my concept was validated, I moved on to creating a high-fidelity prototype.
High-Fidelity Prototype -
As I usually work with Adobe XD, I opted for Sketch and Figma as I saw an opportunity to improve my technical skills in a new software. Because the breadth of information is so large and the site was content heavy, I opted to focus my solution on two webpages from the perspective of a market-stall owner’s use scenario. You can view my high-fidelity prototype here.
Sometimes it’s as simple as implementing principles of visual design i.e. form, imagery, white-space and hierarchy to better improve the user-experience. Small changes can lead to better user-experiences. When entering a new project, observational research and simply talking to users is a great place to start in any project.