Hunger Helpers Sarah Karney Sydney Miller
Overview • Presentation breakdown: • What is the Hunger Helpers project?, 3 • Obstacles, 4 • Finding Partners, 5-6 • Site Design and Usability Testing Plan, 7-29 • GroundCntrl app testing results, 30-37 • Marketing plan, 36-43 • Wrap-up and questions
Research-Driven App testing of GroundCntrl system Two rounds of usability testing of website
The Hunger Helpers Project • The goal of the Hunger Helpers project is to create and market a mobile application and website that will inspire citizens to volunteer to end hunger in their community • This project is a continuation of past capstone projects. • Users join the team of the agency they are volunteering with to begin. They then complete various challenges, such as checking in at the food pantry or uploading a picture of cans they donated, to earn “badges” for their efforts. • We hope by “gamifying” and making the volunteer process social, more people will want to volunteer at the food pantries and soup kitchens in their community.
Obstacles we encountered • The focus of the project shifted from the launching and marketing of the Hunger Helpers app to a research-based project, due to unforeseen obstacles. • Original launch date: March 2013 • New launch date: August/September 2013 • We found this shift in focus to be positive, rather than detrimental to the project. This allowed us more time to focus on developing a product that was intuitive and easy to navigate through doing research.
Strategy//Finding project partners • We identified 34 food pantries and soup kitchens in the Champaign/Urbana area that could potentially partner with IPM for this project. We have 14 partners signed on. • What we expect of partners: • Commit to project for at least 6 months • Designate person to work with IPM and to orient new volunteers • Promote website and app • Participate in exit interview for further promotion of project • What partners gain in return: • Program tailored to their specific needs • Promotion of agency • More volunteers
Strategy//Partners define the project • We have a variety of partner organizations: some are larger and others are run from the basement of a church. • They have different needs as organizations. For the project to work, we cannot use a “one-fits-all” approach to creating tasks and badges for each team. • Some partners don’t need volunteers in the conventional sense • Flexibility is key
Research • We planned and executed 3 specific research plans. • Website: 2 usability tests • App: 1 usability test
Usability Testing: Research Plan • We employed a method of explorative usability testing. We served as moderators during the testing. • We wanted to answer 4 research questions: • 1. Does the user understand the purpose of the site? • 2. Can the user sign up/login easily? • 3. Can the user navigate the page easily, and find the information they are looking for? • 4. Does the site leave the user with unanswered questions? • Each participant was read a task, then watched while they completed it on a site we designed and coded. They were encouraged to speak aloud while they thought. Participants also answered an open-ended survey about their experiences with the site. • Tasks: • 1. Find out what the Hunger Helpers project is. • 2. Sign up for an account. • 3. Log in. • 4. Determine information about the project partner.
Usability Testing: Research Plan • We chose participants based on WILL’s typical audience profile, according to previous capstone reports:
Usability Testing Results//Round One • Demographics: Eleven people participated in usability testing and 8 participated in the survey. Our participants ranged from 18 years old to 63 years old. • Additional participant information: Four of our survey participants currently volunteer. Out of the participants that currently volunteer, three say they would be “likely” to volunteer in the Hunger Helpers project, with one participant remaining neutral.
Usability Testing Results//Round One • Positive 1: Users responded well to “Faces of Hunger” page • Positive 2: Users like the design of the site • Positive 3: Users find the site easy to navigate
Usability Testing Results//Round One • Problem 1: Users don’t recognize the app is mobile-based • Problem 2: Users don’t fully understand the purpose of the app • Problem 3: Users don’t fully understand the concept of activities and badges • Problem 4: Users are confused about how to register for an account • Problem 5: Users don’t always recognize Illinois Public Media as the main project partner
Usability Testing//Round Two • The second round of usability testing sought to answer the same research questions as the first, as well as improve on the issues we discovered in the first round. • We altered some of the pages on the site to make it easier to understand and use. We used these new pages for the second round of testing.
Usability Testing Results//Round Two • Demographics: Seven people participated in the second round of usability testing, and five people participated in the survey. Participants in the usability testing ranged from 22 years old to 61 years old. • Additional participant information: Two of the survey participants currently volunteer. One of these participants said the site would “likely” inspire them to volunteer while the other remained neutral. The other three survey participants who do not volunteer seemed uninspired by the site; they remained “neutral” when asked if they would be likely to volunteer in the Hunger Helpers project.
Usability Testing Results//Round Two • Positive 1: Marked improvement in participants understanding the purpose of site • Positive 2: Improvement in recognition of Illinois Public Media as main project partner • Positive 3: Marked improvement in ability to register for an account
Usability Testing Results//Round Two • Problem 1: “Signing up” for an account is not as intuitive as it should be • Problem 2: Users are not sure how to choose a partner organization to team with • Problem 3: Users still find the explanation of challenges and badges to be “vague” • Problem 4: Users don’t always recognize Illinois Public Media as the main project partner
Final site designs • We altered the site one final time after analyzing the results of the second usability testing.
Recommendations for Illinois Public Media • In order for the project to succeed, we recommend: • A designated person at Illinois Public Media to be the first point of contact for the project. • Illinois Public Media must market this project in the months approaching the app’s launch. It is most important to do this online and on-air.
GroundCntrl App • GroundCntrl created the app interface and software the Hunger Helpers app would utilize • It was important to test the app in order to know how to best design challenges, how participants will use the app, if the app fulfills the needs of this particular project, etc. • (Photo credit: Apple)
App Testing • Four research questions we wanted to answer: • 1. How easy is it for users to complete the various types of tasks? • 2. What (if any) problems do users encounter while using the GroundCntrl app? • 3. What do users like/dislike about the app? • 4. Would users use the app in a volunteer setting? • The app testing took place over five days from May 1, 2013, to May 5, 2013. Each day, we emailed the participants with the daily challenge, listed below: • Day 1: Check in to a location • Day 2: Take a poll • Day 3: Take a photo and upload it to the app • Day 4: Consume media via link, Q& A and Upload photo, enter an amount • Day 5: Q&A and take a poll • At the conclusion of the testing, the participants took a survey to answer more open-ended questions about the ease of usability and engagement of the app.
App Testing • NOTE: It is important to note an oversight that skewed results of the testing: • The date of the testing coincided with the launch of the new version of the GroundCntrl app. • Some participants downloaded the app before this launch, and others downloaded it after, causing the participants to not all have the same version. • This could be the reason for some of the problems we found with the app.
App Testing • Positive 1: Users thought uploading photos to the app was easy • Positive 2: Users liked the “Teamstream” feature • Positive 3: Users thought “checking in” on the app was easy
App Testing • Problem 1: Users could not complete some of the tasks due to system problems • Problem 2: Users did not like the design of the app • Problem 3: Users said they would likely not recommend the app • Problem 4: Users did not think the app was intuitive or easy to understand
Recommendations for GroundCntrl • In order for the project to succeed, we recommend adding: • The ability for users to share their progress with friends via social media. • The ability for users to raise awareness about the project through social media on the app for a challenge. • The ability for users to contact the team leader (and other members) directly via a messaging system through the app. • A team details page: the team leader contact, hours of operation and level of involvement.
Recommendations for GroundCntrl Continued • The ability for users to invite friends via social media. • The ability to use geolocation when determining the nearest “team” available in order to choose a team to join.Create a FAQ within the existing panels • Provide users the option of completing a tutorial via their phone after downloading the app • Make the badges different colors from each other • We recommend the description of the app in the Apple Store state that users upgrade their software before downloading
Marketing Plan: On-Air Spots • Because IPM has both radio and television outlets, this is the easiest and most effective way to reach the target audience for this project. • Previous capstone research found those who do not volunteer choose not to do so due to perceived time constraints. Therefore, we recommend airing spots on WILL-TV, WILL-AM and WILL-FM that emphasize how the Hunger Helpers project fits into any schedule. Examples: -“An estimated 1.9 million Illinois residents do not have enough to eat. You can be part of the solution and you can do it all on your iPhone. Go to W-I-L-L.illinois.E-D-U to join the Hunger Helpers team.” -Someone who is profiled in the “Faces of Hunger” page on the Hunger Helpers site can voice their experience and encourage listeners to go to WILL’s site to learn more about the project. - “Think you don’t have time to volunteer? Think again. The Hunger Helpers app makes volunteering easy. We help you find ways to volunteer that fit into any schedule and budget, and it all starts with your iPhone. Visit W-I-L-L dot Illinois dot E-D-U today to learn how you can make volunteering part of your life.”
Marketing Plan: Online • We recommend placing an ad linking to the Hunger Helpers website on Illinois Public Media’s website. Here are some example ads:
Marketing Plan: Social Media • We recommend that Illinois Public Media promote the project through its existing social media accounts i.e. Twitter and Facebook. • Furthermore, should GroundCntrl create the option to share to other social media outlets through its app, “liking” the IPM page or tweeting about the Hunger Helpers project could become two more challenges for volunteers to complete to earn badges.
Marketing Plan: Partner Promotion • The food pantry/soup kitchen partners would be key in promoting the use of the app to their volunteers. • Larger organizations would be asked to promote the project on their social media accounts and through newsletters emailed to current volunteers.
Marketing Plan: “Faces of Hunger” • We received unsolicited positive feedback on the “Faces of Hunger” section of the website because of the more personal feel it gives to the project. • Our recommendation is that IPM expand this section into a larger multimedia project.. • The Hunger Helpers site would maintain a smaller excerpt of the project on the site, while the full project would be hosted on IPM’s site.
Ensuring Success//Where to go from here • Remain in contact with project partners. • Based on the needs of the organization, draft a list of potential tasks and badges that are unique to each organization. • On the website, there needs to be some sort of description available so that people know a little bit about each organization before choosing a team. • Create a mobile version of the website, responsive design.
Conclusion • We believe this project has a good chance for success, should the recommendations be taken and research utilized fully. • We also believe this project has wide-reaching effects in the journalism community. It redefines the role of journalism in communities and raises the question of how involved civic journalism should or could actually be. • If the recommended changes can be made, we support continuing funding for the project and continuing to work with Illinois Public Media and GroundCntrl.