Prototype Reflections

Here are the reflections and next steps of my prototype based on my class feedback:

Clarify what it is and how it works.

HelpLocalBiz is a community building platform that provides tools and guidelines to assist NYC small business owners to become organizers of group discussions and/or participate these group discussions with other local business owners in their neighborhood. The group discussions are designed as a co-design workshop specific to local business owners in gentrified neighborhoods to increase community engagement.

Refine how I’m talking about the problem I’m focusing on. Be more positive when I present:

“Gentrification is a very complex issue, for my solution, I’m focusing on increasing community engagement between small business owners in their neighborhood.”

Be very transparent about all the possible outcomes of my prototype are.

By participating in local group discussions small business owners will:

  • Meet other business owners in their neighborhood.
  • Feel supported.
  • Learn from each other by exchanging knowledge and resources.
  • Do collaborations that will bring more exposure and profit to your business.
  • Do recommendations to each other’s businesses that will also bring more exposure and profit to your business.
  • Build strong ties with their local community.

List what the website/service offers:

  • Tools and guidelines on how to become an organizer of group discussions in their neighborhood.
  • Organizers can create events and invite people.
  • Users can search and register to local events.
  • Measure success, by sending out surveys to participants and publishing feedback/testimonials on the website.
  • Organizers of these events will keep the system going by talking to participants how to become an organizer at the end of their events.
  • Share events to Eventbrite and social media.
  • Business owners interested in becoming an event organizer can email past organizers to ask questions.
  • Words of encouragement and testimonials from participants to motivate people to become an organizer or participate in the events.

The website also offers templates of:

  • Invitations
  • Meeting agenda
  • Facilitation guides
  • Cards to guide conversations
  • Handout about how to become an organizer

Reach out to older mom and pop businesses.

I have done so and will continue to reach out. I will pilot 2 workshops before the end of the semester hope to get older businesses to join.

Narrow down my audience.

NYC local small business owners of storefront shops.

Competitive Analysis.

#SaveNYC is a grassroots, crowd-sourced, DIY movement to raise awareness and take action for protecting and preserving the diversity and uniqueness of the urban fabric in New York City.

The East Village Community Coalition is working to preserve the unique vibe of the East Village by fighting for retail diversity, zoning and preservation initiatives to keep the East Village special.

The NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS) helps unlock economic potential and create economic security for all New Yorkers by connecting New Yorkers to good jobs, creating stronger businesses, and building thriving neighborhoods across the five boroughs.

The Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP) is a nonprofit organization that uses the power of design and art to increase meaningful civic engagement particularly among underrepresented communities. CUP projects demystify the urban policy and planning issues that impact our communities, so that more individuals can better participate in shaping them. They create tools used by organizers and educators all over New York City and beyond to help their constituents better advocate for their own community needs.

Indivisible Project was established to lift up that grassroots movement of local groups to defeat the Trump agenda, elect progressive leaders, and realize bold progressive policies. It supports local Indivisible groups by offering legislative advocacy and political expertise and by building political power everywhere.

Next Steps:

  • User journey
  • Competitive Analysis
  • Show examples of successful collaborations
  • Design prototype of website and test
  • Test 2 iterations of the workshop