How to use the “GV Sprint process” + “Lean Product Playbook” (solo)
To make the admin of inventory + home removal easier & engaging
Study conducted solo in May 2016 (with some email correspondence to tech and business for clarification). Stakeholder interviews weren’t possible at the time. But info on stakeholder/business goals received from client. (Although, it would’ve been better if I had spoken to stakeholders directly). Information is reduced to be as succint as possible, while still including the basis of the thought process. Original documentation was 100 pages, reduced to 34 pages…and now this blog post.
Duration: 5 days
Team: Facilitator, Decision-makers ,Technical, Design, Business & Subject matter expert (no more than 7 people)
Duration: 7 days — Research (2 days), Map (1 day), Sketch (1 day), Decide + Prototype (1 day), Testing (2 days)
Inventory & Home removal (app)
Case study (Process: Research, Ideation(map, sketch, decide), Prototype, Test)
Proposed problem from client
Disrupt the services around the home. ( From home removal, cleaning & maintenance)
Based on how their process currently works (shown below)
Results: Manual inventory entry, results in errors = removal done by contractors = “ineffective” and contractors are blamed after removal process. However, it is the clients responsibility to ensure inventory input is correct. Results = increased customer complaints = “bad service” = brand damage to main company and contractors.
— Target: Users are upgrading, new home owners and first time buyers. (young professionals)
— A web app would be the solution
- Disrupt the services around the home. From home removal, maintenance and cleaning services. In pursuit of an elevated lifestyle/advancement for all — for partners/stakeholders, users & business
- Values: Great service, reliability, trust
Stakeholders are SME’s : Consultants, Entrepreneurs, part-time options for those who value freedom and independence while running their own business.
- Administration (no cost)
- Lead generation (no cost)
- Native UI, native API access, and native performance
- Anything you can do in Objective-C, Swift, or Java you can do in C# with Xamarin
- Ship cutting-edge apps with same-day support for new OS releases
How might we streamline the inventory/removal process? Or make the admin of inventory easier, quicker and more engaging?
Less administration, safe, trustworthy & reliable home removal. Increased quality of life for “all” (users, stakeholders & business).
As the home removal process is first in the line of acquisition of long term clients, this needs to be the main focus. If we get this right, then we can move on to the other services provided. Customers need to first have a great home removal experience. To ensure they consider using the company in future for other services (like maintenance and cleaning etc. ) around the home.
In this case a native app or web app would be an appropriate solution, to remove the paper admin associated with current process. As this would eliminate wasting of time and remove risk of human error in such a manual process. The reason being, that currently customers are already accessing the clients website & corresponding via email. 60% of their users are accessing the website during work hours via Entourage. (Most corporate industries are the only ones stuck using Entourage, so, that 60% are accessing during work hours at work)…This implies that perhaps they do not own a computer at home. However, all users access via mobile. (stats provided by client), which correlates to my own research on mobile vs desktop users in 2016. So a native app or web app would be the focus in this case.
Biggest issue for users, stakeholders and business is inventory. Users don’t like the process of printing inventory lists, filling in and scanning back. Then rechecking after removal to ensure nothing is missing/broken. Contractors don’t like dealing with handwritten checklists. Error in understanding what’s written. In turn this causes problems for business, due to the increase of complaints and ultimately damage to their brand. Streamlining this process, will be the focus of the project. Fixing this, helps everyone.
Success metrics: Quick, Easy, Reliable, On time
With a product which streamlines how they move, maintain and clean their homes (less admin= more time to live their lives, while not worrying about their homes or their possessions )= More administration without cost/time = Decreased error = More trust in the service/business/contractors = Decreased complaints =Increased leads for contractors=Increased brand value for business = Increased revenue
Day 1 -2 : Research
Interviews: 7 customers (with past experiences in dealing with removal companies and moving homes). 80% turned out to be a bracket not considered by the company. Namely, not first-time buyers but rather retired and divorced who require storage. They weren’t upgrading when they required removal companies. Rather downsizing and simplifying their lives.
( Essential must have: multiple inventory lists for more than 1 location )
*(added unexpected cost implications for customer) multiple locations . Should we include more than 1 contractor for collection and delivery to reduce time for moving?
Past removal company experience
“…Too expensive in the long run, because removal companies are just thieves, my things always go missing”.
“Always breakages, so will continue to move my own items. whether from home or from storage, unless there’s an easier, quicker cheaper way, where I can trust that there won’t be any breakages or stolen items”.
Perspectives/Insights from users
Ages varied from 23–56 (Male and female, various job levels and background and needs)
Stats on South African women
Based on further research (South African Statistics — Divorce): 54% of South African households are run by single women (divorced or never married).
Further statistics indicate that the ideal target customer would be female. As they hold the power in the home when it comes to purchasing decisions.
Based on further research, most women are a bit more pedantic when dealing with lists. They don’t mind completing if they know it will ensure efficiency and eliminate error. When it comes to their homes, they prefer a D.I.Y attitude to make sure it’s done right. While men would most likely not mind hiring someone to complete inventory for them*. As women are the target in this case, the focus will be on making a check list simple, concise and as interesting as possible.
*Possible options for future considerations: Having a representative (inspector from the company) to coordinate the move. To ensure that contractors carefully move items. (Limit breakages and theft)
Most hate the admin of inventory, irrespective of age or gender. But admin has to be done. So how do we make inventory a bit more fun? Users already have said they don’t mind checklists, but they do want image references for the movers. To ensure no error, and to quickly double check after the move, to reference from, and see if anything is missing.
For this purpose, the worst case scenario ( or most difficult scenario) is chosen to flesh out… How would someone move various items within their home to multiple destinations? By working on the hardest situation and getting this right first, makes it easier to adapt for other “simpler” scenarios, eg. a new home owner with very little items moving to one location.
Dream idea: Ideal removal experience
Global trends (2016)
The Uberfication of things + Commerce Sense Pricing + Diva-(Consumers)
Since Uber, adoption of on-demand products/services can become a status play for Divasumers (Status Seekers). Keeping up with the Jone’s/Shabalalas’ means adoption and access to these on-demand services. People now have the expectation that all services should just be “where I want it, how I want it, when I want it” (Quick, easy, convenient and at the right time). Business models which don’t account for this, cannot expect to disrupt any market.
Business needs to consider how customers earn and spend their money. What their priorities are when they are engaging with you. Think of pricing which can suit all- “Commerce Sense Pricing”. By not being exclusive or focusing on only one market, but accommodating all. Eg. break up large payments for lower earning customers. Or if it’s an ongoing service/product, then a subscription model would be ideal.
Competitor Review A*
The first site viewed was a digital version of the printed inventory list..not innovative at all. It is only better than the current way incrementally. And we’re looking for 10x improvement not 1x. Reviewed the entire site, which took more than 2 hours to complete the required information. For a large home, this could probably take (days) to complete.
This still leaves room for error, as there would be no way to reference image with name. And this is a critical feature to have, especially when sending to 2 locations, namely storage + new home. Or in the case of divorce, “most difficult” scenario, possibly 2 new homes + 2 new storage units. (But that would still be done by each user). Therefore maximum locations would always be 2. Image reference would be a non negotiable in ensuring no mistakes.
*Competitor review A and B are more in depth, but stated are just the highlights.
Competitor Review B
This site works on desktop, but is frustrating on mobile. As items are deselected, when scrolling, thus user keeps accidentally selecting items. Then you have to go back, tap again to deselect. On desktop the process of selecting went a lot quicker, however, user was selecting random items as they weren’t actually moving. For a user who is moving, deciding which items match the ones in your home could be a nightmare. Especially when dealing with multiple drop off locations.
Day 3: Map
Video created, but not included here
A short video was the best solution to take all research, especially regarding the new identified users. To quickly give Business a sense of this “new” target customer, their pain points and desires. Included was the “dream idea”- or ideal future. Which proposed design solution would create once implemented.
*Business wanted to include the outbound call for new users. (As this is how they’ve always done things) — Not my recommendation.
Day 4 : SKETCHES
Completed, but not included here
Day 5: THE DECISION
Inventory to be tested first instead of full services experience. Includes removal details, payment details. Other services and scheduling thereof would be tested if inventory was of value to the users. This was the first stepping stone.
The main assumption
User can either take notes, take pics or use voice notes feature. This allows user to complete list over time, whenever it’s convenient. List is divided into rooms, then further into categories of most common items found in homes. By having the initial list categories to start with, helps user to work within a set structure of a list. But with room to personalise items. Options to add images for referencing. As well as add voice notes if their hands are busy (suitable for one-handed use).
Errors cannot be eliminated altogether, but easy recovery from errors can be handled. By allowing easy editing throughout process with simple moving of items between the various lists/categories, as users can change their minds or might have put items under the incorrect list. Inventory check will also be added to ensure user can review lists prior to booking removal.
Day 5: Prototype ( Create MVP )
The minimum viable product consists of 7 sections. Onboarding, inventory, overview, check, quotes, payment & ratings.
Mobile version chosen to start with, as all users access via mobile. My principle: always designs for mobile first. (if it works on mobile, it will work on desktop — easier to scale up). Inventory process (using camera) — to be done on mobile obviously.
This is an overview of the all the available services provided by the company. (Home removal, cleaning, maintenance etc.). As most users will be directed to download the app after their bond approval, the main area they’ll go to first will be removal.
Design of this section is the focus of testing.
Inventory ( set up)
To create the list, user first needs to add current address, new address and any other addresses (eg. ex-spouse’s address, storage etc) These locations will help filter items according to their respective destinations.
A preset list provided with a list of generic rooms available in standard homes. With options to add more rooms
Top main menu
Categories of rooms (scroll left), for easy access to each room, as list may be done over a period of time, depending on users’ schedule.
Each category of rooms is further subdivided into list items of standard items common in most homes. Each item allows for adding of notes (for special requirements when moving etc). As well as adding a photo of the item, by clicking on the add image icon to move to camera mode. Voice notes are optional.
Fixed menu (footer)
For easy access to main goals : list view, edit, camera and voice note.
Optional :Quickly calculate and check pricing along the way.
Pricing List selection for destinations A/B, always easy to correct, to reduce risks of mistakes.
Smaller categorised lists are easier to manage than one infinite list. This also allows it to be done over a period of time.
Perhaps add notifications, eg. “It’s inventory time” schedule 1 hour per day, 1 month prior to move
Overview — per room
Always easy access to inventory lists for destinations A/B
Move from item to item with in your home, you can easily add to appropriate list if you’ve made a mistake along the way.
Once the user is happy with their list, they simply click top right of main inventory rooms/category list to affirm that it’s correct
Once list is confirmed: Further specific removal details to be added. Add details on whether homes are on the ground floor vs 5th floor, lifts available etc. Dates and times and name of who will be present on the day of removal, to name a few.
Quote options — select best quote (based on contractor reviews/pricing)
People love options, and need to be able to compare, depending on their budget.
For commerce sense pricing : it would be nice to also have option to base pricing not only number of items, but rather on budget. eg, user can say, I only have R5000 what can I get? Eg, 2 rooms use your own transport/truck and 4 rooms removal company will do for you. ( But this is for the future once company has more data at their disposal to be able to predict these costs)
Sign up & pay
Sign up only asked when it’s time to pay to gain users trust and first let them try the app before asking them to disclose any information.
Card details added if new client upon registration. If existing user, app would already have info, just login would then be required.
Thank you notification
To confirm that payment was made, and because everyone appreciates manners. Thank you is just good etiquette.
Packing tips — to ensure there aren’t breakages etc. from incorrect packing. So user can do all in their power to ensure that their items are packed correctly to reduce blame on movers.
Useful packing tips under help section of the app. Or in app notifications occasionally to keep user active on the app. Ensure information is useful and interesting. Easily accessible during inventory phase.
- Boxes/bubble wrap — instead of boxes, use reusable containers, for safer journey between locations. Then users don’t have to worry about breakages etc. — Provided by company
- Over time, estimated containers required can be provided to the customer, based on the size of their home. So that they can order via company.
- Insurance options provided by the company — just as airports provide insurance for travellers.
Schedule & Reminders
User will check up on the schedule for removal, via the Events section in main menu.
User will be able to rate the service/ contractor.
Service provider/contractor will be able to rate the client.
For insightful, useful and honest feedback, reviews for both client and contractor would be ideal. ( To safeguard contractors against clients who are just having a bad day and giving a bad review )
This information will also be a way to create better user experiences in future.
Treat unhappy customer as a lazy customer, and send a representative from the company to personally ensure the desired moving experience for the client.
Winning back one bad customer, is like getting 10 good customers. So this is the responsibility of business to fix.
This will be the only time that business deals directly with clients and contractors. To maintain peace, and to verify if the claims from customer is legitimate.
There are many more areas to this app, but the above mentioned are the most valuable learnings gained through this process.
End of Day 7: THE RESULTS (of full prototype)
Guerilla testing conducted over a 2 day period with a different group of (7) participants ages varying between 34–51.
Guerilla testing = asking random strangers in restaurants/cafés, to test prototype. (Prototype saved on my mobile device — connected to Lookback on macbook to record test)— notes taken during test — and google surveys filled in by users before and after testing.
Shared below are only the areas of concern (needs improvement)— Not full survey results
Resources: GV “Sprint” Book and online resources , Lean Product Playbook, Native VML Trends report 2016, South African Divorce Statistics, Google Trends, a whole list of other sites and user research.
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