FINN Summer students 2021

Ingrid Berg Skarland
Aug 12 · 6 min read

FINN Mine utmerkelser

In the summer of 2021, a team of six students gathered to create what has become FINN Mine Utmerkelser. The team consisted of the developers Anhkha, Carl, Ellen, and Sofia, and the UX designers Eila and Nora. We spent eight weeks on research, development, and eating delicious foods. And by the end of the summer, we were able to deliver an impactful solution we were all proud of.

Picture of the summerstudents
Picture of the summerstudents

When we arrived at the FINN office, we experienced the warmest of all welcomes and were handed the brief:

“How can we create engagement and trust through celebrating users’ achievements on FINN?”

And so began our project, with no requirements or limits from anyone else but ourselves.

Research
Early in our research phase, we decided to narrow down our brief to mainly focus on engagement. Through our research, we conducted guerilla interviews, in-depth interviews, and workshops, in addition to talking with employees in FINN. This gave us insights into what to focus on to engage FINN users. We explored what kind of achievements users would be interested in, how they would want their achievements presented, and what the requirements should be to reach them. Based on this, through an iterative process, we came up with our solution.

The solution

The general concept of “achievements” is vast and diffuse. To come up with a viable and feasible solution in just eight weeks, we had to scope it down. And so, we created the web page “Mine utmerkelser”. It celebrates the achievements of individual users on FINN through badges and displays the money earned and the users’ environmental contribution. The web page is intended to be a fusion between a trophy case and a statistics page. Your achievements are now accessible at finn.no/utmerkelser :)

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The badges we added fall into two sections: transactions (“Handler”) and interests (“Interesser”). The first section contains tiered badges meaning the existing badge will be replaced by a better one once you fulfill the criteria. The second section contains the quirky and playful badges. These are obtained by completing transactions within certain subcategories, for instance, “Moteløve” (Fashion Lion), where you have to make at least three transactions within the clothing category.

All of the badges are locked if you have no trades before August 2021, but once you conduct transactions that unlock them, they will become both colorful and clickable. When clicking on a badge, a modal is displayed with some extra information about how and when you unlocked it.

It became evident through research that users loved the idea of seeing how much money they had earned. Some users were also enthusiastic about their environmental contribution. This led us to create a display of how much money one has earned through selling on FINN Torget. We also decided to use data from last year’s summer project, FINN Miljøbidrag, to create a small overview of a user’s environmental contribution.

It is worth mentioning that for a transaction to be counted, the ad has to be marked as sold and linked to a buyer. We also started counting transactions from the 1st of August 2021 due to GDPR. This means that a user will not receive any badges for transactions they have made before that date.

Future Work

While we are proud of what we accomplished, there are many concepts and improvements we wish we could look further into. For instance, give users achievements for donating to charity when selling, or setting and adjusting personal goals for the amount of money earned by selling at FINN. Users could choose achievements to display for others on FINN, for instance on their profile or ads, to show their experience on FINN in general and in various interests to potential buyers.

The most interesting concept is the inclusion of other parts of FINN, like FINN Reise and FINN Jobb. They could encourage desired and exploratory user behavior through achievements. An example is to reward users for adding a CV to their profile on FINN with an achievement. To make this process seamless and a reality at FINN, our solution must be developed into a platform any department at FINN can make use of.

How has it been to work at FINN?

It has been such a pleasure. We were fortunate enough to work at the office the entire summer. While we had to keep a distance from each other, due to the pandemic, we managed to become a well-functioning team and great friends. Every Monday, we set goals for the week. Every morning, we checked in and shared what we did the previous night. Every evening, we checked out and talked about our workday and progress before leaving the office. Having these points of return where we all saw each other was important for us as a team. While it was rare to see us working completely independently from each other, not everyone was working on the same task. Getting an overview of our progress and how everyone was doing in these meetings kept us close. Being physically present at the office enabled us to get continuous and frequent feedback on our work, especially when working two-and-two. We also found having close cooperation between designers and developers to be valuable. Chit-chatting was not a rare phenomenon, and the air was often filled with laughter.

Being at the office allowed us to become closer to the FINN work environment as well. Our mentors sat on the same floor as us and were available to help us whenever. All FINN employees that we talked to were eager to help, share experiences, and generally easy to get in contact with. Whenever we asked we would always get a thorough and well-reasoned answer from someone with knowledge on whatever subject we were working on.

We had a lot of freedom when choosing our workflow. Sometimes a team member would have to travel to attend a wedding, other times a cabin trip. We would just tell each other beforehand and make sure to do our part. Everyone had a good sense of responsibility and understanding of each other. We could also choose the technologies we wanted to use, which were Elm and Go, two uncommon programming languages at FINN.

However, work was not all there was to this internship. Social events happened regularly in many forms like mini-golf, board games, paddling, climbing, and escape room (just to mention a few). Sometimes our mentors would invite us out, and other times we just decided to meet up outside of work. Let us not forget our weekly ice-cream adventures, where we visited a new ice-cream shop every time.

We learned a lot, had fun, and ate a lot of delicious food. Most importantly, we felt like a part of FINN.

See our final presentation here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3zHfjUZqqps

Thanks for a great summer!

Thanks to everyone who helped us through this journey, especially our mentors, and for just being a bunch of cool people.

We wish you all the best.

Anh-Kha Nguyen Vo

Carl Smestad

Eila Regine Evensen Rishovd

Ellen Zhang Chang

Nora Kastellet

Sofia Hestenes Eika

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