Source Right

A volunteer led curated catalog site for shopping fair trade and ethically produced goods

MY ROLE

UX Designer - User & secondary research, Empathy mapping, Storyboarding, Wireframes, Mockups, User testing, Interaction and Visual Design

TEAM

  • Aashni Shah - Mentor/Advisor
  • Swati Priyam - Product Manager
  • Manisha Goenka - UX Design/Research
  • Glen Jenkins - Backened developer
  • Prerna - Developer
  • Carolyne Mweberi - Marketing Lead

TOOLS

Trello, Figma, Illustrator, Zeplin

SUMMARY

It is a catalog of companies which make ethically sourced products. This means that we are talking about products which are ethically made and not by harming the society or environment in the long run. We are looking to showcase companies which are curating their products based on their own set of values which include fair labor standards, organic ingredients and give back initiatives.

Overview

There is a huge demand for ethical and fair trade products but it takes some leg work to be able to find these products. We know it can be frustrating to be wanting to purchase and support fair trade goods but not being able to find relevant information. So we decided to build Source Right - a catalog of ethically sourced, sustainable and fair trade products curated by our own staff based on a point system. We are a group of volunteers who are trying to bring awareness and make it simpler for consumers to buy ethical products and support those businesses.

Problem

1. How can we reduce friction and help consumers buy sustainable/ethical products?

It can be a frustrating experience if one has to do lots of research on where to buy ethically sourced products or alternatives to the brands that they come to love so much. There is also less to no awareness as to what the ethical label means and how that can help them make the right decision. It is easier to fall back on the same process and purchase products that are unethical, cheaply made and have huge environmental impact.

2. How can we build a database of ethical items to be displayed on the website?

To accomplish the catalog portion we would need to continually update the database with new products and categories. This requires an admin consoles with multiple admins to update the list of items in the database. The process of adding a product item should be easy and doable by users of all technical skills.

Research

USER INTERVIEWS

I conducted remote user interviews to get some understanding on user behavior and mental models on what sustainability means to them and the issues they face to shop for ethical products.

SECONDARY RESEARCH

I also conducted secondary research to further validate our assumptions,

  • Do people care about and are really interested in buying ethically made products?
  • Do users understand the impact of non-ethical sourced products on the environment, planet, labor, animals/plants etc? And are willing to switch to alternative brands?
  • Do Millennials and Gen Z care more about buying slave trade free and ethical manufactured products?
Previous/Next image

Some key statistics about consumer with sustainable and ethical shopping mindset

  • 83% of Millennials say it’s important for the companies they buy from to align with their beliefs and values. (Source: 5WPR 2020 Consumer Culture Report)
  • 90% of Gen Z believes companies must act to help social and environmental issues and 75% will do research to see if a company is being honest when it takes a stand on issues. (Porter Novelli/Cone’s 2019 Gen Z Purpose Study)
  • 67% have stopped purchasing (40%) or would consider doing so (27%) if the company stood for something or behaved in a way that didn’t align to their values. (DoSomething Strategic’s 2018 Survey of Young People and Social Change)
  • 90 percent of survey respondents in the United States reported that they would be prompted to boycott a brand for irresponsible business actions. (Source: Statista)
  • 56 percent of US consumers stop buying from companies they believe are unethical. (Source: Mintel)
  • 60% were reporting making more environmentally friendly, sustainable, or ethical purchases since the start of the pandemic. (Source: BBC)
  • 68 percent of Americans are confused about what certain ethical icons mean, with nearly half (46 percent) confused about the meaning of certain ethical terms. (Source: Mintel)
  • 15% of consumer-used clothing is recycled, whereas more than 75% of pre-use clothing is recycled by the manufacturers. (Source: The Balance SMB)
  • 72% said they were buying goods and services from companies with beliefs similar to theirs. (Source: You Matter World)

Data Analysis

EMPATHY MAPPING

To synthesize the data, we did empathy mapping along with the whole team to develop a deeper shared understanding about our users and to create the background of the persona.

INSIGHT

After research we generated multiple ideas to provide a solution to making shopping easy for ethical sourced and manufactured products

Ideation

USER JOURNEY+STORYBOARDING

I combined user journey map with a storyboard to get more insight on the user process and empathize with the user’s situation.

WIREFRAMES

I created digital wireframes so as to quickly test with my internal team and get some feedback on the home page and shop categories pages

BRANDING & DESIGN

Being the sole designer in the team I help create a logo as well as define design guideline for colors, typography and button states

Solution

User site - Search and find a product

There are multiple ways to go to the categories page. They can click on the top navigation or click on one of the cards to shop.

User site - Suggest a company

There is a form for users to suggest a new company, which will be reviewed by our admins and then will be added to the database.

Admin Console - Add a new company

This option allows the admin to add a completely new company/brand which does not exist in the database yet. Items under the brand can be added once the company is there.

Admin console - Review Suggest a Company

This flow lets the admin review the new company suggestion by a user and gives an option to accept or reject. The process triggers an email to the user if available.

Other Features

I also conceptualized a dashboard page to track a few metrics and get a quick summary view of recent activities. Due to resource constraint, we deprioritized building this and decided to use Google Analytics OOTB solution for now.

Launching V1

We launched sourceright.org in the middle of the pandemic in Mar 2021. Due to the pandemic and personal situations we struggled to ship v1 a few months late. Nevertheless we continued adding more products and individual categories.

Some user feedback we received from friends and colleagues,

  • Currently the catalog is very limited, adding more products would be attractive.
  • It takes a few clicks to actually go to the company website to shop. Is there a way to have the items populate in the same site itself?
  • It would be helpful to map certifications to product categories which will help while shopping. Currently I see all certifications listed
  • How do you decide what products are ethical? How do you grade them?

POST LAUNCH

I have been working with the Marketing lead and design social media content as well as Medium posts for creating awareness and helping the platform grow.

  • IG - @sourcerightorg
  • Medium - https://sourceright.medium.com/

My team currently is on a break and we would resume v2 planning soon along with how we can take this to Product Hunt. I will also begin working on a user testing plan so as to get detailed feedback on how we can improve the shop categories and suggest company flow to make it more user easy and effective for consumers.

My Learnings

  • It was a lot difficult to work and manage this project without any set processes and design review in place and hence a lot of back and forth on design decisions.
  • As a designer it was challenging to find a balance between being very critical about pixel level details vs the bigger picture and understanding the complexity and time involved in developing these features
  • It was eye opening to do sprint reviews with Glenn & Prerna (developers) and get to know their perspective on design and how it affects the product.
  • I am still learning about how to optimize the site to look good at different screens resolutions (windows, Mac, Retina display, etc.)

MADE WITH IN 2021