Mango Lakay: Improving Vendor Experience

ResearchUser Experience

Client

Association of Haitian Professionas

When

September - December 2021

Role

UX Analyst

Process

Contextual Inquiry, Interviews, Interpretation Sessions, Affinity Diagrams, Journey Map

Tools

Miro, Figma, Adobe Illustrator


Project Brief

In November 2020, the Association of Haitian Professionals (AHP) created Mango Lakay, an online directory of Haitian vendors to promote economic prosperity, entrepreneurial spirit, and connection within the Haitian community. However, over an 11-month period, Mango Lakay did not see consistent growth and failed to acquire new vendor partnerships.

This project aimed to identify and understand the current experiences and obstacles of the stakeholders (i.e., vendors, Mango Lakay team). With these findings, we created conceptual models and design prototypes to improve the vendor experience and incentivize growth on the platform.

Process

We designed a plan for data collection and analysis based on the Contextual Design method. We conducted virtual interviews with vendors and Mango Lakay members and analyzed the data during interpretation sessions. Taking our interpretation session notes from each individual interview, we used inductive reasoning to create an Affinity Diagram to see common patterns and structure without losing individual variation.

We consolidated the data into Contextual Design models (i.e., identity model, persona, and journey map) to represent the structure, behavior, and experiences of user activities in a tangible way.

Mango Lakay Process

Research

Affinity Diagram

After conducting 7 interviews with vendors and Mango Lakay members, we created two seperate affinity diagrams. We decided to create affinity diagrams as they helped us categorize the large amounts of qualitative interview data into a cohesive and structured story as well as helped us find shared goals and gaps between the stakeholders. It took a lot of critique and iterations before we were able to finish our affinity map. In the end, when if you follow the labels, it tells a story about the stakeholders in context with the Mango Lakay product.

Mango Lakay Process Readable version can be found here.

Our Affinity Diagrams revealed that vendors and members of Mango Lakay have shared goals to:

  • Be a part of the Haitian community and actively engage in Haitian events
  • Build their connections and network with vendors
  • Promote the welfare of people in Haiti
  • Create and access a niche Haitian user base

At the end of our Affinity Diagram process, we began working towards creating contextual models to represent our findings. Since we found common shared goals amongst vendors and Mango Lakay - we chose to identify the most common identities that represented a vendor on Mango Lakay. Then, we created a persona of a ficticious Mango Lakay vendor based on our findings. Finally, we created a journey map to represent the journey of this fictional vendor to identify low and high points in the journey

Identity Model

We created an Identity Model to reflect the data points relevant to vendor identity. It conveys key elements about the sources of pride, self-esteem, and value through the lens with respect to the product objectives.

Mango Lakay Identity 1 Mango Lakay Identity 2 Mango Lakay Identity 3Readable version can be found here.

Persona

This model helped us understand what a typical vendor for Mango Lakay would be. It is a fictional representation of real-world data that we have collected as well as an amalgmation of different identities represented in the identity model.

Mango Lakay PersonaReadable version can be found here.

Journey Map

This is a step-by-step model showing what the user does at every part of the process and how they are emotionally feeling along the way. At the end of the model, we provide opportunities that are derived from the pain points the user experiences

Mango Lakay JourneyReadable version can be found here.

High Level Findings

Through our data collection and analysis, we found three key findings

  1. Mango Lakay works as an information retrieval platform but not an information-seeking platform.
  2. Mango Lakay’s online platform needs to provide opportunities for vendors to dynamically engage with customers
  3. Vendors want more control on Mango Lakay

Mango Lakay Findings

Hot Ideas & Visioning

Once we had our key findings, we used these collectively as a team to brainstorm solutions to improve the Mango Lakay platofrm. As a team, we discussed the pros and cons of each solution discussed, and how one might be more effective than the other. These solutions are seen below:

  1. Account system for customers
    1. Enabling vendors to post updates
    2. Ability to communicate directly with other vendors on the ML platform such as direct messaging
  2. Subscription feed for vendors and customers
  3. Notification system for customers and vendors
  4. Enable vendors to create and share events
  5. Ability to bookmark or subscribe to vendors
  6. Add commerce functionality
  7. Small biographies to engage customers and make vendors appear more inviting and personal
  8. Automated payment systems
  9. Monthly email blasts about featured vendors
  10. Display analytics for vendors to review, such as profile hits, redirects to vendor website, time on profile
  11. Chat feature/ email form to ML
  12. Showcase value of subscription suggestion: Since many vendors have AHPmembership, they could get access to ML membership for some period of time

Keeping in mind constraints (cost, time, ease of development), we decided to flesh out and focus on creating product concepts for two of these solutions

  1. Subscription feed for vendors/customers (Solution 4)
  2. Enabling vendors to create and share events (Solution 5)

Product Concepts

Subscription Feed

A way to encourage natural community interaction and organic growth. By implementing a subscription feed that allows vendors to push alerts, promotions, and events to customer subscribers, Mango Lakay will further bolster the feeling of community connection on the site. This will encourage customers to return to and interact with their favorite vendors thus leading to an increase in traffic on the vendor’s own website.

Mango Lakay Subscription Feed

Event Creation

A way to encourage closer community interaction and collaboration. We found that events are extremely important in fostering a shared identity and bringing people together. Allowing vendors to create and share their events will encourage users to further explore the vendor’s products and marketplace. Shared events amongst multiple vendors would encourage collaboration and would allow for customers from one vendor to possibly purchase products from another by association.

Mango Lakay Subscription Feed

Additional Artifacts


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