Little Village is a service design project which helps create community connections through neighbourhood garden and produce sharing. The online platform makes it simple and straightforward for people to share their excess yard space and garden produce with community members. Little Village strives to foster community resiliency through encouraging neighbour to neighbour relationships and sustainable practices.
Little Village Website
The little village website enables community members to post and respond to available garden space or produce listings in their neighbourhood. The website also provides a get started guide, garden share agreement template and question forum.
Garden and Produce Maps
Using the garden or produce maps, community members can respond and express interest in available garden and produce within their neighbourhood. The garden map features both available gardens and existing garden shares. Each listing contains a detailed description along with option to comment publicly or email the listing author directly.
Other Service Features
Community members are invited to participate in little village through a mailed invitation containing info about the platform and a complimentary seed envelope. Using the QR code, invitees are led to a growing guide on the little village website to learn how to grow their seeds.
Little Village also provides the option for those interested in bringing garden and produce sharing to their neighbourhood to become neighbourhood ambassadors. Neighbourhood ambassadors are provided with invitations and informational material in order to spread the word about little village and become a local point person.
Expert interviews were conducted in order to better understand how to mitigate inaccessibility to high quality, locally grown produce in Vancouver.
Extensive research went into finding and comparing existing businesses and initiatives that work to increase access to locally grown produce.
Customer Journey Mapping
The customer journey of two main personas (someone with excess garden space and someone looking for garden space) were repeatedly drawn out and iterated on.
A role play exercise was designed to better understand what service features little village could potentially implement in order to make the steps between connecting online and starting a garden share easier for users. In the exercise, one participant took on the persona of someone with excess garden space they were hoping to share. The other participant took on the persona of someone hoping to find some space to use for gardening. The participants then simulated online and real life conversations beginning with responding to a garden listing to coming to a garden share agreement.
Two co-creation exercises were designed in the hopes of understanding how little village’s service offerings could be improved. In one workshop, participants were asked to provide a story and image that represented a recent positive experience with a neighbour. They were then asked to draw ways in which they would be incited to first learn about little village. In another workshop, participants were asked to write and draw out what they think would help simplify and make easier the process of starting a garden share.
The prototype for the Little Village website was designed in Figma. The website went through a series of iterations driven by feedback from usability tests with prospective users. The prototype focused on two primary user flows – creating a garden post for the garden map and choosing and responding to a garden post on the garden map.