To recap last week’s ideas, I want to create a platform that provides tools and guidelines to help people organize group discussions and facilitate conversations between residents and small business owners with the goal of bringing awareness to the gentrification issue in their neighborhoods. This platform would give the opportunity for residents and small business owners to brainstorm ideas together and exchange resources to help local businesses to thrive.
I’m not sure if that will be my final idea, but I believe that a neighborhood can only survive the consequences of gentrification overtime with the help of the local community. I’m trying to find ways to keep people more engaged at a local level to the neighborhoods they live and work so that choosing to shop or eat at small businesses are part of their everyday lives.
By talking with residents and small business owners in my neighborhood this week, I realized that I’m also part of the problem. I barely know my neighbors and local places, I only go the same five places in my neighborhood and continue to shop online for everything else. When going to these different places, I realized how great they are, and I can find everything I need without within walking distance. I want other people to notice that. To think that by going to local businesses they are helping their neighborhood.
I already conducted interviews with five different small business owners and spoke about gentrification topic with several strangers and friends. This Tuesday, I will be facilitating a workshop/group discussion with a few locals and business owners in my block to test my initial concept and use this opportunity to continue my user research on how might we help small local businesses to thrive in NYC.
- Discover what’s people behavior and habits, why they go to the places they go, what would incentive them to go to choose local places as opposed to going to chain restaurants and shops.
- Discover if there are other pain points besides high rents that prevent small businesses to thriving.
- Discover existing resources and policies for small business owners and what I can learn from them.
Objective 1: by October 9
- User testing of workshop/group discussion with classmates
- Group user research and user testing of workshop/group discussion with West Village locals and owners to pilot my initial concept to understand if people would motivate to participate.
Objective 2: by October 13
- Create surveys and send to people and local owners
- Diaries to discover people’s habits
- Desk research of existing resources or programs that help small business owners in cities
- One-on-one interviews with more experts:
- Someone at NYC small business
- Someone at The Lo-Down
- One-on-one interviews with at least 2 more owners
- One-on-one interviews with at least 2 people
Objective 3: by October 15
- One-on-one interviews with at least 3 more owners
- One-on-one interviews with at least 3 more people
- User testing of second prototype
- Synthesis of all research