Week 48: Finalizing the final report

This week’s agenda consisted of us finishing up our application, working on our final report, as well as working on the Grande Finale based on the feedback we got from the rehearsal. We also finished up our user testing by holding several more interviews regarding the app.

A total of seven more interviews were done during the last week. These were done to finish up our last iteration on the app, and to finalize validation of our project. We especially wanted to confirm that we had managed to create a solution that addressed our original problem instead of having wandered too far away from it. These interviews however helped reinforce the idea that the app would be able to fill its original purpose.

All of us worked on the final report. Eemil again handled the business side, Esko handled most of the prototype section, and Lauri, Maria, Salla, and Oskari handled the rest. Final adjustments to the app were done by Esko. These include fixing a few inconsistencies, adding a list of sellers for the coffees, and adjusting the flavor chart in the profile page. With these changes, the app development has reached its end for the final report. We are very happy with what we were able to create, although we still would have had more ideas for the app that we didn’t have the time to implement.

With our final report submitted now all that is left for us is to work on our Grande Finale presentation. What we still need to do is finalize our pitch and figure out the best way to present our work at the stand on Friday. We gained some good feedback based on our rehearsal last week, so we have a very clear picture of what to do next, and our previous presentation serves as a good base to continue work from.

Week 47: Beginning of the end

Our plan this week was to continue the work on the application, continuing writing the end report, continuing our work for the grande finale, and visit Holmen roastery. Maria and Salla worked on the presentation, which we all thought turned out very well. Maria also worked on the poster, and Eemil focused on finishing up the financial/business aspect of our project. Esko, Lauri, and Oskari continued the work on the app.

The work on the app as progressed well, with most of the crucial functionality being done at this point. The coffee profile page, coffee search, as well as the main page are all working together. The remaining time will be spent on polishing the app as well as making final adjustments to it based on the user feedback. In addition to this after plenty of brainstorming we came up with a name for our app, which is going to be EthiCup. We also worked on acquiring a logo for our project/app.

Our small excursion to the Holmen roastery gave us plenty of ideas, both for the app as well as our final report. We had the employees try out the app and tell us what they thought. We also gained some new insights into coffee as an industry, and what some of the current issues are with it. This reinforced the idea that our app could be a very useful tool to help alleviate some of those problems. In hindsight however, it was unfortunate that our trip to Holmen had to be delayed, as finding out some of this information could have given us a big head start near the beginning of our project. Either way, we were very happy with the amount of new ideas and information we walked away with from Holmen.

Our plan for the next week includes a lot of writing for the final report, as well as final adjustments to our app. We want to make slight enhancements to the search functionality, and make everything look a bit more coherent. If we have time, we would like to hold a few in-depth interviews with a few selected users in order to find some final issues regarding the usability of the app. In addition to this, we need to continue our work with the grande finale based on the feedback we gained from the rehearsal.

There’s very little time left with the course now, but we can all rest easy knowing that our project is in a good shape and only missing the final polishing.

Week 46: Adventuring the Android abyss

This week our plan was to advance with our application and start working on the final presentation and grande finale. Similarly to last week, Esko, Oskari, Salla and Lauri worked on the application while Eemil worked on the business side of the project and Maria worked on the ethicality rating and final presentation.

The application was worked on quite a bit this week. It still lacks the search functionality, but lists and coffee profile pages look quite pleasant. The front page looks horrible, but at least it works. Lauri has an idea that he will try tonight to make it look better.

Contrary to Kermit the Frog, Lauri has had a hard time working on our application.

What’s up next concerning the application (after finishing the front page) is naming our application, implementing the search functionality and user testing. It is truly fascinating seeing how users navigate through our application. We are particularly interested in whether users are more interested in reviews or information on coffees and how users find either of these from our application. It would also be nice if users liked the way our application looks.

To our very great dissapointment (excluding Esko and Lauri who would’ve had a hard time making it) our excursion to Holmen Coffee was canceled due to illness. However, we managed to reschedule the visit for next week, so everyone is happy (especially Esko and Lauri). We are still very excited in seeing what Holmen Coffee has to say about our ideas and application.

To conclude, we are rather satisfied with this week’s results. The application has made major headway and work has been made towards the grande finale. The course is soon starting to end and we need to gradually shift our attention towards the final presentation and grande finale.

Until next week,
Team Coffee

 

 

 

Week 45

This week our plan was to get the making of the application really started. We had quite a clear plan on how to do it, we had divided the programming tasks among Esko, Oskari, Lauri and Salla-Mari. We also wanted to book a meeting with a coffee roastery. Maria had promised to do research about how the ethicality of coffee could be measured and also book a meeting with a coffee roastery.

In the end we did get quite a lot done this week. On the field of the application, now we have coffee-information in JSON- form, a profile page in a good condition and the front page has been started. We hoped that we would have a little more done, but we are still happy with this state, and we are positive about getting the application ready on time.

Us working on our App

What’s up next with the application is the search functionality, finishing the frontage and the profile page. We would also be happi if ,the application was in a condition to be used for some user testing.

Maria did research on the ethicality of the coffee, and the results will be discussed when we have the application closer to being ready. We are also very happy now to have a meeting with Holmen Coffee booked for next weeks Thursday. We are exited to present them our idea, and what we have been able to build before that. We hope that we will get feedback on the data that we haave gathered and also on the idea and functionalities of the application.

Eemil did some research on the figures of the business side of the project, we wanted to know this like how many users could we aim for, and where can we get money from. This week we did not use the results for anything yet, but we know that it is information that we will need for the Grande Finale.

We are happy with this week, especially with finally having the application started. We are really looking forward for nest week, since we will all meet together, and most of all, meet people from Holmen Coffee. The fact that the programming the application takes a lot of time was not a surprise for us, but we do feel that we definitely do not have any time to spare. I think that we were revised about the good old lesson of getting this started early.

Salla-Mari & Team Coffee

Financial validation & beginning of development

This week’s plan was to meeting up to finalize our decision regarding the target result of our project, as well as make a schedule for the iterations required to reach that result. We also wanted to get started on the financial validation of our project, which produced the BMC below.

Earlier in the week we met to discuss the end result of our project. We were still unsure with the choices being either producing a high-fidelity version of an app in a UX tool such as Adobe XD, or developing an actual app. After careful consideration we agreed upon developing our own app, as we believe we have enough time and skills to do so, and all of us considered the app to be a more desirable outcome of our project. We also thought this would be a good opportunity to learn about app development in general, which is a useful skill to have in this area of study.

After that we discussed the possible iterations required for developing the app. We agreed that it is crucial for us to be able to get feedback between developing the basic functionality and finishing the UX design. In order to achieve that we decided on performing two more iterations. During the first iteration we make a rough but functioning version of the app, gather user feedback on it, and then move to the next and last iteration. We are expecting the first iteration to be one or at most two weeks long. During the last iteration, we will finish up the UX design and make the outer side of the app more user-friendly, as well as fix any problems we might have uncovered during the first iteration. This should occupy us for the rest of the project.

Later on in the week we also got started on the actual development. We split the remaining course into areas of responsiblities, and the team working on the app made solid plans for the inner functioning of the application. We have worked on the application since then and at the time of this blog post we have a functioning view of a list of the coffees and the ability to read coffees from a database.

Our next steps include more work with the app. The main tasks are managing to create a working coffee profile page and the ability to search for different coffees. We are hoping that by the end of the week or early next week we would have a version of the app that can be used to gather user feedback. This would allow plenty of time for us to inspect that feedback and modify the app towards it’s final shape.

 

 

image_2017-11-06_22-32-59

Reflections about the first iteration

Our agenda for this past week included presenting our user feedback as well as our wireframe model to an expert in the field. In addition to this, we had planned to reflect on the past iteration and it’s results, as well as plan the next iteration’s schedule and content.
We presented our work to Tero Rehula, who is the co-founder of Slurp, a Finnish startup company, and has a firm grasp on the business as well as our target group. Tero especially liked the idea of our ethicality rating, as well as the initial user interface from the wireframe model. He also gave us some ideas for additional functionality, such as being able to save your favourite coffee brands within the app, which we thought was a great idea. Overall asking for feedback from him gave us confidence that we are on the right tracks as far as planning the app goes.
Everybody was mostly satisfied with the results in regards to our first iteration. We managed to produce a great wireframe model that will most certainly be a useful tool for when we start working on our actual app. It also proved a valuable aid in gathering the initial feedback from potential users. From the feedback we learnt a lot about our core target group and what they would like to see in the app. With this information as well as our wireframe model we have a strong base from which to move to the next iteration. As a minor shortcoming we didn’t manage to do much planning or development for the actual application. This would have been important as we will require a prototype that has the basic functions in it for us to gather vital feedback. This means that we are in a slight hurry during the next iteration to get all that started. In hindsight, it might have been beneficial to us if we had arranged an additional meeting where we could have already done some rudimentary planning of our app.
We didn’t manage to hold a meet-up this week to tentatively plan the next iteration’s schedule or goals. That means that we will have to include this in the next week’s meeting, and move from just planning the next iteration to setting clear goals in regards to it.
Our schedule for the next week is quite a busy one, as we have a lot of different things we need to agree on. First we will have to complete the aforementioned planning for the next iteration, which includes deciding on how many iterations we need and can fit into the time we have left with the project. This can prove to be tricky as developing applications can be an extremely iterative process, which might mean that we will have to work extremely hard in the coming weeks in order to achieve a great outcome. We will also have to recap and gauge our feedback from our potential users as well as our expert and decide on how these should shape the next iteration’s content. The next week’s schedule will also contain the financial validation of our project, as well as doing some projections regarding potential user amounts, sales revenues, required initial capital and so on.
Overall there’s a lot to be done in the upcoming weeks, and we will have to work fast in order to stay within the schedule. However all of us feel motivated about this project so getting the work done shouldn’t be an issue!

User testing with target groups

The Plan for this week was to do two things; get user testing started and present what we have done so far to the other teams and staff on Friday.
How did we do this?
This week there was a presentation. Lauri and Maria performed, the content of the presentation was planned on a meeting we held on Monday afternoon.(5/6 of us were able to make it, it took around an hour). For the slides of the presentation we used the slides of the last week as a starting point, since we all were very happy with the visuals of it.
We also got the user testing started. Esko had made a wireframe model of what the application could look like and have as content. We had named three target groups for our team; coffee fanatics, ethical and ecological consumers and consumers who are curious about coffee. We chose these as our target group based on research of the target group of SLURP. Maria interview seven people. We decided to use interviews because interviewing is a fast way to gain results. We wanted to know, what the target group consumers are interested to know about coffee, how they choose the coffee they buy, would they be interested in using an application for coffee and what would they like the application to include. We also wanted some open comments and opinions of the wireframe and sketches of the application we had made. We believed that interview would be a good way to get open comments in quite a free form. On Friday we had a quick meeting to plan out what we will do next and who writes the blog post of the week. (5/6 of us made it there, it took only around 15 minutes).

We were quite happy with the results of this week. The presentation went very well in our mind, the timing was excellent and discussion rose after the presentation.
We obviously also gained results from the interview. To sum up the results:
What did people want to know about coffee?
A lot, one interview put it quite simply that the more, the better. Specific things that were mentioned; origin, roast, roasting day, taste, farming place and conditions, processing and certificates.
How do you choose which coffee you buy?
The interview chose coffee according to the same aspects with they said that they want to know about coffee. Most concern was on the taste, roasters and roasting time.
The interviews said that they would use a application, but only if it ws good enough.
What would you like the application to include?
The interview would like the application to have lots of information about the coffee, specifically about the aspects they had mentioned in the first question. Some also mentioned ratings of coffee and functionality to make notes about the coffees.
Few key takeaways from the open comments of the wireframe:
– A picture of the etiquette/label of the coffee would be useful.
– Social and interactive aspect of comments nice.
– The application must be easy to use.
All in all the free comments were quite clearly thumbs up-comments.
We were very happy with this week! We gained some good results, and it seems that there really is need for this application. We did realize that it still is not quite enough to interview seven people, we will need a bigger audience. We learned that collecting feedback is not an easy, nor a fast job. Thus, next week we will plan more on how to test the idea and dig a little deeper. Once again our team spirit was great. There were no disagreements and we were able to divide the work fairly.

Increasing consumer awareness about coffee

Week 41

Our business objective is to increase coffee transparency and enlighten customers of coffee related matters. We are particularly concerned by sustainable coffee production. We believe a mobile application is a suitable medium for this purpose. It is a well-known fact that in rather mundane commodities, such as coffee, ecological matters (as opposed to price) are not of the most concern to consumers. However, this is a demand we strive to create with our application.

 

Currently, consumers are not well acquainted to anything related to coffee production- especially sustainable coffee production. In addition to this, a vast majority of coffee consumers have traditionally either very rarely been bothered with finer or more tasty coffees or then enjoyed enjoyed “better” coffees on certain circumstances or at certain avenues (funerals and cafes for instance). The majority of consumers have also very rarely been bothered with reviews of different coffees. However, a very short while ago this was the case with beer, and to some extent wines also, and yet applications such as Untappd and Vivino have found a rather large user base. This is exactly what we hope from our application; to monetarize existing demand for an application such as Untappd for coffee, and to create further demand for such an application.

 

Our value proposition is to provide a medium for consumers to attain unaffiliated information on more ecological and better coffee products. As mentioned previously, we believe an application is an excellent approach. The infographic and Android mockups below demonstrate key aspects of our application. An extensive database combined with user ratings and thorough information provided by roasteries on the origin of their products are expected to be qualities that attract consumers.  Furthermore, our Lean Canvas sheets are posted below.

 

Until the next week,

Team Coffee

 

Infographic of our application.
Infographic of our application.
Mockup of coffee information.
Mockup of coffee information.
Mockup of a main page.
Mockup of main page.
Mockup of a coffee profile.
Mockup of a coffee’s profile.
Mockup of search.
Mockup of search.
Mockup of trending coffees.
Mockup of trending coffees.

Lean Canvas.

Lean Canvas.

Lean Canvas.

Deciding what to do and why

Week 40

Our plan was to meet all six of us, face to face, to thoroughly discuss our final topic for the course. We booked a room for two hours and all of us had thought of the pros and cons for all the topics before the meeting. Thus, for this weeks meeting we had a clear agenda; we wanted to choose our topic from the six best ideas we had so far. The six ideas were

  1. A marketplace for sellers and buyers of responsibly produced coffee
  2. A certificate/review system for shedding more light on the origin, responsibility, sustainability, etc. of coffees
  3. A unified coffee package label which could for example tell more specifically about the origins of the coffee
  4. An informative website which would display general as well as more specific information about coffee such as farming conventions and methods, generated pollution and other ecological problems, child labor and slave labor in different areas etc.
  5. A mobile application with the following features:
    • User tasting experience (like in Untapped/Vivino) rated by users
    • Tracking factor to tell how well the origin of the coffee is known
    • Overall rating system for ethiticity

Execution: We carried out an opportunity tournament to choose the best topic for us. The tournament took two hours and was tough. Below you can see an outline of the tournament.

ROUND 1

During the first round we chose three of the most interesting topics for us. The week before we had already named three of our favourite topics. Still, we wanted to make sure that no one had second thoughts about these topics. It turned out that the three topics we had chosen to present last week were still the favourite topics of the group.

The three most interesting topics for us were:

  1. A marketplace for sellers and buyers of responsibly produced coffee
  2. A certificate/review system for shedding more light on the origin, responsibility, sustainability, etc. of specific coffees
  3. A coffee rating mobile application  

The choice was quite easy as we all agreed. After this the game got tougher.

ROUND 2

Next we dropped one topic out, based on how well we thought we could carry out the project the topic in question. We didn’t want to choose a topic that we liked, but that would later on turn out to be too difficult for us. Because of this we decided to drop out the certificate/review system. At this point three of us were in the favour of the app, and three were in the favour of the marketplace to be chosen as the topic.

ROUND 3

Then finally, after a long conversation, we discussed how well do the last two topics actually solve our original problem. At this point we noticed that we actually had to revise what problem we were solving. We also considered wether we would have to change or modify the original problem we were solving. Together we formulated our mission statement as “Making the steps of the lifecycle of coffee more transparent”. We noticed that option two, the app, solved the problem better.

We indeed did get quite clear results from this week! We now have chosen which problem (exactly) we will solve, as well as how we will solve it.

How did it go and what is next?

We were all very happy with the tournament. Everybody got the chance to present their opinions without hurrying. Surprisingly before the last round, the winner was not clear. During the last round many of us were changing our opinion about the best topic, since there were so good points made by others. We learned that it takes time to make a decision when there are six of us. In the future we will book enough time for the big decisions we need to make together.

We already named responsibility areas for all of us and booked the next meeting for the next week. Now that we know that our solution for the problem is a mobile application, we decided that for the next week we all will read more about already existing coffee related applications. We also got the writing of the project plan started and divide the workload.

All in all we are very happy this week, and most of all we had an excellent conversation when choosing the topic. We are excited to really get the project started!

This week we had two major things in our agenda:

  1. Meeting on Monday 25.09 with the whole team for trying to come up with solid and concrete ideas on how to proceed
  2. Meeting on Friday 29.09 for planning for the first presentation

Both of our meetings were quite fruitful. If not for any other reason, then only because we got to know each other a bit better! Also, we came up with multiple good solution ideas to our problem.

Before the meeting on Monday we studied on our own to have some general knowledge on the subject and to have at least something in mind. In the actual meeting we simply threw out ideas much like in the facilitation-lecture. Some of these came from already existing real-life applications like Untapped and Vivino. We had an interesting discussion and more ideas followed. Discussing about coffee is naturally easy for us since we are all coffee lovers and many of us also care about the ethics aspect of coffee! In the end we had a good list of ideas to continue working on.

Most notable ideas and revelations in no particular order are as follows. These are not necessarily direct solutions but ideas the final solution could possibly incorporate:

  1. A marketplace for sellers and buyers of responsibly produced coffee
  2. A sort of a certificate/rating system for shedding more light on the origin, responsibility, sustainability, etc. of specific coffees
  3. A unified coffee package label which could for example tell more specific info about the coffee. This could be easily implemented by a simple QR-code. Interested customers could simply scan the code and see the info via an app
  4. An informative website which would display general and more specific things about coffee such as conventions and methods, generated pollution and other ecological problems, child labor and slave labor in different areas etc.
  5. A sort of rating system for the following things. These could for example be incorporated in an app the users can download on their phone and where the coffee sellers can enlist their products in:
    • User tasting experience (like in Untapped/Vivino)
    • Tracking factor to tell how well the origin of the coffee is known
    • Overall rating system for ethiticity

horisontti

Obviously, none of these ideas are anything ground breaking or revolutionary. The technology for these ideas is already there, at least for the most part. It is certain that the demand for ecologic, organic and ethic products will be growing in the following years, so these kinds of solutions would help knowledgeable customers to find the kind of products they want.

At the end of the week we are ready with the preparations for the first presentation and everything seems great so far. Next week we will be facing a bit trickier challenges. The presentation itself should be a wrap, but the main task is to work on narrowing down our ideas to a single best one and coming up with a good project plan. As a team we definitely need to have a better understanding of the subject as a whole, so more immersion is needed. More specifically, we will need to thoroughly look into whatever idea we choose to continue with and familiarize ourselves with the related tech. That should keep us busy!

Until the next week,

Team Coffee.