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Testing, testing…can you hear us?

After doing 200 ideas, Dan and I downsized that amount to half, by doing a 2×2 that helped us divide ideas considering if they where functional and if they had any value, that helped us a lot to see throw away some ideas and keep the ones that interested us the most. After doing the 2×2, we still had a lot of ideas so we went and voted for each idea, considering realistic ideas bearing in mind cost, viability and feasibility of making each idea. With that, we downsized to only two ideas. We are now testing each idea doing artifacts like an elevator pitch, lean canvas and a storyboard to describe the idea much better. We also tested each idea with some participants to see if they could be potential users of our products and/or services. 

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Idea 1:
SNAP food delivery service

In our conversations with participants we found that there was a serious lack of resources. In the majority of our conversations it was time and money. Some of our participants who received aid from TANF also spoke about receiving SNAP benefits. In order to better serve these people we thought that finding a way for people to get a delivery service would be more helpful.  We spoke with Isamel, who told us about the hardship he now faced after being let go from his job.

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“It’s because of snap I don’t have to choose food. Except when I’m out and about and I need to eat, but I can’t get home fast enough.  maybe if I had my snap card with me, I might get some prepared food.” — Igor

Between two jobs and getting his child to and from school Igor found little time to visit the store. Through ideation and storyboarding exercises we were able to understand how this service might be beneficial to SNAP users who need it most.

For low income individuals who experience the inability to obtain healthy food and want to eat a well balanced nutritious diet. Our product brings healthy food to low-income families who don’t have the means to obtain it themselves. Unlike UberEats, and Postmates our product will be exclusive to SNAP users and other low income individuals in need of a healthy balanced diet.

We heard from several current SNAP users who were willing to give feedback on our design concept. The information we gained by externalizing these with those who are part of the service was extremely helpful. We found that the diverse set of people SNAP is designed to serve may be difficult to shape an auxiliary product for. We heard that some SNAP users receive far more aid than others who may have a higher need for it. Alongside some of the below takeaways we got from those who use the service themselves.

  • A SNAP delivery service would be useful for a select few within the program.
  • Are users going to pay for delivery? How often will it come?
  • Lower cost or no cost delivery would not be a determining factor
  • Being able to see what you order and spend your snap dollars on in one place could be helpful for meal planning
  • Being able to determine what locations participate in the delivery program?
  • How do I qualify for the delivery service?

It’s clear that there is work to be done into developing this service, and it’s through chatting with actual humans who use SNAP is beyond insightful. Human centered design for the win yet again. Going forward we’ll be able to distill these ideas down further into something more legitimate.

Artifacts here.

Idea 2:
Baby product/clothing recycling service

This idea came from former interviews in our research, the most interesting conversation was with Samantha, a single mother that is struggling with working, being a single mother of two daughters and having no financial aid. 

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“I needed the loans to live, you know, I need gas for my car, she (daughter) needs clothes, she’s growing, silly kids with their biology.” —Samantha

For families looking to minimize their children’s ever-growing closets whilst benefiting low income families who are unable to purchase appropriate products for their new child. Our goal is to be the mediator to people who don’t want the products to people who need them. Our product is to provide a mail in service, online platform, and physical location to those low-income families in need. Reduce carbon footprint. Unlike depop or salvation army we are utilizing existing products and clothing that is not in use and providing it to those in need.

We first did some artifacts to understand how the service will work. This was a very helpful process because the artifacts, like the lean canvas, make you think about profit or preferred users. These are things to consider while prototyping an idea. The storyboard (comic) also helped us to visualize how the service could work and what pain points we are resolving. In this case, we hope to resolve two main issues. First, we are taking baby products that families no longer need to relieve space in their homes. Second, we hope to provide cheaper baby products for the people that need them.

We have two users that could use this service, the donors (people that don’t need the stuff) and the customers (people that need the stuff). So basically, we are the mediators from people that don’t want the stuff to people that need the stuff.

We spoke to four participants that included our two types of users (donors and customers). Some of the insights we got were the following:

  • Families have boxes and closets full of clothes and toys, they don’t know what to do with them
  • Some parents complained because they buy things that their baby only used  for a couple of months (eg. bassinet)
  • Four out of five participants said that they wouldn’t donate clothes, because they can get pretty spoiled after a lot of use, however they did say that they would donate and/or rent bigger and more expensive products (eg. strollers).
  • They also said that they would prefer some kind of reward for donating (eg. $10 a piece)
  • We would have to be very strict with quality, so we don’t have broken products (we will not be a landfill)
  • One participant mentioned that he would not like to rent things, but to buy them cheaper.
  • We should make a strict list of what things we could sell (eg. strollers, cribs, etc) and what things we wouldn’t accept because of hygiene and health (eg. baby feeding bottles, pacifiers, etc)

All of these comments from future customers of our service were very helpful and we will keep them in mind during next steps. This step was crucial, because when your idea starts to become real, and you think of things that you didn’t think of before (eg. donating things like the feeding bottle would not be very hygienic).

Artifacts here.

Our progress

This week we accomplished downsizing our ideas from 200 to 2 punchy ideas, we did some artifacts that helped us understand how our services would work properly and what can be feasible. The artifact that helped us the most was the Lean Canvas, because you can start to think about the value proposition, the key metrics, the differentiations and most importantly the costs. We then tested both ideas with potential future customers to see how they react to these potential services. Overall we got pretty good reactions with some constructive criticism that helped us narrow our focus (eg. having strict quality-check with donations so we don’t become a landfill).

Next s†eps

For next steps we will be creating two kinds of sales deck for each idea and we will continue by downselecting again to end up with one final idea to work with until graduation.