It’s been a busy month for Makerhood. Just a couple of days before the fabulous Xmas card making extravaganza that Kristina wrote about earlier this week we held a small workshop with potential sellers and buyers about the Makerhood website. The website will be the heart of Makerhood and we’re keen to make sure it reflects and fits with the local community. With this in mind we asked Aoife and Anne (our friendly usability professionals) to help us organise a meeting to gather thoughts on different aspects of the website. The three areas we were especially interested in finding out about were:
What do you understand by local?
What kinds of items do you imagine will be sold on Makerhood? How do you imagine they would be organised?
How would you like to buy/sell items on the website?
Being the creative girls that we are we didn’t want to put these questions directly to our participants so we came up with some drawing and post-it note activities to help us collect participants’ ideas in a more conversational way. The meeting was held in Cornercopia’s lovely new dining room heated by wood-burning stove so we could all sit round the long table, stick our notes on the window and talk happily together about south west London, online shopping and making.
For the first activity we created a communal map of our ‘local’ areas. These reached much further than I imagined they would – from Camberwell to Dulwich, down past Clapham to Balham and Tooting and up to Vauxhall and the river. Interestingly, people described their ‘local’ area in terms of people and places they knew – places they had lived, shops they used and familiar routes to work.
Next we asked our participants to write down all of the items they would like to see sold on Makerhood. Once again, my expectations were completely wrong (which just proves the value of doing research..) Alongside the craft and gift and homewares products I expected participants also told us that mostly they shop local for services such as bicycle maintenance, plumbing and classes. The main reason for this seemed to be that you don’t want to have to go too far to find these services because many of them centre around the home.
Finally, before we moved to the Dogstar and drinks and chat, we asked participants to draw a timeline of how they imagined a sale would take place on Makerhood either from the point of view of a buyer or a seller. In this activity we were interested in what participants thought would encourage them to make a purchase or, alternatively, what would put them off doing so. People talked about the importance of ratings and reviews from both the buyer and the sellers perspective, for instance, sellers may have concerns about biased reviews while buyers are interested in a sellers reputation. We will definitely be thinking more about this as we develop the website.