Week 12: Merging concepts & testing offline community building
Merging concepts and writing out scenarios
We were now at the point where we had to merge our multiple concepts into one cohesive one. Initially, we struggled with merging the concepts because talking through these things is just easier when not remote. But we quickly learned how to work through it and over-communicate. One lesson we learned early on is to try to be as visual as possible.
For example, we tried out the whiteboarding function in Zoom, where I would sign in with my iPad and literally draw along with our scenario/storyboard conversations.
We decided to build out our concept value/feature-wise. So we asked ourselves the question, which aspects do we think are most important and should our concept reflect based on everything that we had learned up until now. We started by individually brainstorming and then posting picture of that into Figma. From there we sat down and highlighted the aspects that were similar and discussed those that were different.
From there we created a list of features we wanted to further ideate on and explore. Those features were:
- Collective goal setting
- Conversation starters
- Anonymous identity
- Community reflection
- Dealing with crisis e.g. solidarity markers for a specific event
- And last but not least, the practical stuff such as gathering participants, funding and event planning.
Doorhangers.org — testing offline community building
We quickly realized that one of the most important things for our concept would be building trust, and getting neighbors onto the platform. Without people using it all of the other goals are useless. Therefore we decided that our first user test should be based around the question:
How might we get community members to onboard onto our platform?
One idea that we had been playing with for a while was the idea of a physical artifact. After brainstorming different ideas such as posters, a community bulletin, postcards we landed on the idea of door hangers.
We made the door hangers that you can see on the left. The idea is that you fill it in with your personal information and hang it on the doors of your neighbors.
In an ideal world and everybody would join in this activity and everybody would do this for the person to the left and to the right of them at one point the whole world would be connected in a giant peer-to-peer network! :)
Next to printing out these door hangers and hanging them on the doors of our neighbors in Pittsburgh as well as Zeist, which is in the Netherlands (one of the advantages of working remotely from all corners of the world) we also designed and coded our website for the spread of the door hangers and so that we could track if people were actually engaging with our idea and platform.
Check out our website here:
We also took the first shot at generating archetypes in order to more easily tell the stories. These archetypes were based on the result of the survey that we conducted in week 10 (take a look at our medium post for more information).
Helpful Hugo — actively looks for opportunities to help and goes out of their way to do so (1%)
Theoretical Theo — The theoretical helper, who believes in helping but sees a lot of barriers before they can actually help (time, safety, money) (60%)
Selfcare Sammy — “I can’t anyone if I don’t take care of myself first” (39%)
Receiving Rowan- I need help and I’m asking for it
Hesitant Harper — I need help but I’m ashamed or don’t know where to get it.
Side note: we had a lot of fun coming up with these names.
This week we also thought a lot about how we can foster unconventional forms of communication. We were inspired by the ways people are reaching out now in times of social isolation and are wondering how we can incorporate that into our concept.