Solution/Process

How might we foster a connection between people who are experienced and inexperienced in the self-building process?

coBuurt

Co-housing Timeline

coBuurt platform Index

coBuurt helps self-builders find help and further consultation with less effort.

 

A platform where self-builder enthusiasts can connect and learn more about the process from experienced co-housing experts.

 


Functions

  • Find out more about the self-building process from real-life projects.

  • Learn through topics, helping you through the various stages of the process.

  • Connect to experts for advice and consultation.

Solution/Process

Initial Research

Stakeholder Research

 

Our clients were made up of three stakeholders with different commercial and non-commercial (research) goals.

 

Client Brief

How can we group together like-minded individuals interested in co-housing based on each others' shared values and interests?

Make the interests and values of co-housing groups and individuals more transparent?

Offer more professional coaching to flatten the learning curve for self-building individuals?

Make it easier for building groups to assign roles and communicate decisions?

 

Subproblems

 

  • Values

  • Forming groups

  • Determining users values

  • Facilitating discussion around values: preferences, tolerances, objections.

  • Matching peoples values

  • Forming groups based on these values

  • Projects

  • Advertising projects

  • Finding projects

  • Linking groups to projects

Initial Research

Field Research

We visited several realised projects across the Netherlands, conducting site visits and in-person interviews to get a better understanding of the process and to identify pain points, as well as design opportunities.

User Research

User Profiles

Using the outcomes of interviews and user journey maps, we generated profiles, representing the various kinds of users relevant to our design. We bared these profiles in mind to ideate before again consulting actual users to help select and validate concepts collectively. 

 

Initial Concepts

Low-fidelity Wireframing 

We developed wireframes of our main concepts to test with users and present to our stakeholders. Our two main concept were connecting users to projects with shared values and a platform for learning more about the self-building process.

 

Initial Concepts

Mid-fidelity Wirefames

We developed wireframes of our main concepts to test with users and present to our stakeholders. Our two main concept were connecting users to projects with shared values and a platform for learning more about the self-building process.

Concept Selection

Stakeholder Ranking Exercise

 

To select the final concept we conducted feature rankings surveys with our stakeholders. Participants were made up of our interviewees, carefully selected to make sure they had experience in the self-building process.

As part of the exercise, they were asked to reflect on their own experience and spend £700 on the features that they would choose develop to help others starting out in the self-building process. I learnt that this was a much more creative and engaging way of feature ranking and it gave us invaluable insights into which features we should prioritise and why. 

Concept Selection

Selecting One Concept Over Another 

After ideation sessions informed by research we had three main concepts. In order to select the best solution we had internal discussions followed by interviews with users, experts and stakeholders.

 

We then summarised these research findings into a sticky note affinity diagram where we listed all the pros and cons of each concept, informed by direct quotes and insights from users. This allowed us to select a concept that was validated by our research and any empirical evidence gathered.

Concept Selection

Final Concept

'How might we foster a connection between people who are experienced and inexperienced in the self-building process?’

Problem:

Self-builders require access to expert consultation, advice and use cases which are expensive and time-consuming to locate and acquire.

 

1. It is not yet the status quo. This means that help & advice from experts and local government is tough to find.

 

2. Building co-housing requires a huge amount of planning, learning and time.

 

3. There is no clear formula or timeline for a successful co-housing project. A lot of people simply give up.

 

Goal

Offer self-builders expert consultation whilst maintaining autonomy over their own process.

Solution:  

Find help and further consultation around self-building with less effort.

 

A platform where self-builder enthusiasts can connect and learn more about the process from experienced co-housing experts.

Core Functions:

Find out more about the self-building process from real-life projects.

 

Learn through topics, helping you through the various stages of the process.

 

Connect to experts for advice and consultation.

Concept Development

Information Architecture

 

After we selected our final concept we planned the information architecture, which forced us to think practically, giving us a better idea of exactly what we needed to wireframe and how a user may navigate through the concept.

Concept Development

Wireframing Final Concept

User Testing

Card Sort

 

We conducted card sorting exercises with ‘Optimal Sort’ in order to remove bias and organise information architecture in a way that was most understandable by users. A key outcome was that stakeholders came up with entirely new ways of categorising information and topics such as ‘group process’.   

User Testing

Heat Map User Testing of Wireframes

Just as we did with our information architecture, we involved our users in the development of our wireframes by testing with a heatmap. This allowed us to see how successful placement and labelling of certain elements, on different pages. We could then iterate our design accordingly, before developing more insightful mockups.

Final Concept Development

Service Ecosystem

 

These propositions demonstrate the value of the platform for each user as well as the client.  

Final Concept Development

Value Propositions

 

Building

Index Page

Building

Topics Page

Use case: Henry is looking for examples of sustainable solutions as inspiration for his community. He reads more about the topic and is able to find applied use cases from different project examples. 

Building

Resource Page

Building

Project Page

Use case: Henry is looking for examples of sustainable solutions as inspiration for his community. He discovers another co-housing group on coBuurt that has built aquatic ponds, and worm hotels for composting. He visits their project and finds the architect responsible for this design.

Building

About Co-Housing

Use case: Maria and her group have a dream vision for their co-housing community but have no clue what practical steps are involved. She refers back to CoBuurt timeline to help her, throughout her group’s process.

Building

Experts Page

Use case: Joe wants to build a straw home. However, he is not sure about who can help him with planning and managing the building process or whether this is even permitted in his area. He uses coBuurt to locate and connect to a relevant expert.

© Diagraam 2020

Facebook            Medium               Linkedin             Dribbble