Stronger Together Logan

2021

Stronger Together Logan is a website which helps families in Logan, QLD  support their kids' development. The initiative was created by Logan Together, as part of a broader range of measures to tackle lower levels of child development.

The platform was initially set up in March 2020 during the COVID-19 lockdown in Queensland to provide fun, informative and trustworthy resources for kids and parents.

Following the lockdown, Logan Together wanted to know how the platform could be evolved to support the community's needs better.

Homepage of the new Stronger Together Logan platform

The challenge

Logan is a diverse, fast-growing community in Queensland with approximately 330,000 residents and a broader range of backgrounds than found even in New York City. However, the city has consistently reported lower levels of child development compared to the rest of Queensland and Australia.

Logan Together emerged as a 10-year movement to tackle the persistent disadvantage and developmental vulnerability many children in Logan face.

The team behind Stronger Together Logan wanted to understand:

  • Whether there was a need for their online platform post-lockdown
  • How we could evolve it to meet users' needs better
  • How we could provide a soft entry point for people needing further, more specialised support
Bar chart showing that Logan children are 70% developmentally on track, compared to the state of Queensland average of 74% and the Australian-wide average of 78%
From "The State of Logan's Children and Families" (2018, Logan Together)

Deliverables

  • Discovery research
  • Usability testing
  • High fidelity prototype
  • Wordpress website

Team

Chris smiling for the camera
Chris Wood
Fellow
Small portrait of Lucas
Lucas Cumsille
Fellow

Client

Small portrait of Karen
Karen Murphy
Product Owner (Logan Together)
Small portrait of Sharon
Sharon Worboys
Content and PR (Logan Together)
Small portrait of Cassitie
Cassitie Galliott
Head of Delivery (Code for Australia)
Small portrait of Matt
Matt Sawkill
Managing Director (Code for Australia)

Time

4 months, full-time contractor

1
Research

Because several regions of Logan experience systemic disadvantage, getting to talk with local parents 1-1 was a challenge. We worked with the Logan Together backbone team to uncover research opportunities in a way which was respectful of difficulties residents may be facing.

9 interviews
·
213 survey respondents
·
Google Analytics

Website feedback survey

With the site receiving around 70 sessions per week, our first tactic was to post a feedback survey on the website's homepage for 2 weeks.

We received only one response, and this was submitted by a member of the Logan Together backbone team. Unfortunately, we had to look elsewhere to get the data we needed.

Interviews

We interviewed three community leaders, four stakeholders and two parents from the site's original focus group.

We uncovered a strong sense of community and trust between parents, a wide range of issues affecting the community, and difficulty accessing information online due to information being very fragmented.

“We’re a family of 6 soon, you know, money doesn’t go very far these days."
Local parent
“You’ve got to go through 20 different [emergency relief websites] to find one place that’s still operating."
Local parent

Parent survey

With the help of the owner of a Logan-wide Facebook group for mums, we posted a survey to find out what role social media plays in the community and identify what types of information parents would like to access online. We received 213 responses, 173 of which were parents of at least one child eight years old or younger and were relevant for our platform.

Google Analytics

We used Google Analytics to identify which parts of the site were most accessed. We found that most users were landing directly onto a few individual posts, primarily through links on social media, rather than navigating the website starting from the homepage.

2
Insights

Types of online content in high demand

From our parent survey, we identified key gaps in the information which parents wanted to access online but currently didn’t access online (quadrant D). We would focus on addressing these topics in Stronger Together Logan:

  • Playtime activities
  • Access to local support services
  • Local pampering opportunities

We also took note of the topics which interested parents and which they currently accessed online (quadrant B). We speculated that we could use content on these topics to help draw parents to Stronger Together Logan and so raise awareness of the support resources available there:

  • Local events
  • Local news
  • Parenting advice
Graph of presence vs interest, split into 4 quadrants. The points in the top-right quadrant with the highest presence and interest were local events, parenting advice, and local news.
Results of the parent survey

Signs of disconnect with local community

Our survey revealed that more respondents felt disconnected to their community than those who felt connected. In fact, only 18.5% parents said they felt connected to their community (options 4 or 5).

From our discovery interviews, we learned of the importance of families having a good local network, and speculated that this lack of connection could be detrimental.

Bar chart of responses to the question “how connected do you feel to your local community?” The chart is made up of a 5 bars, which are a scale from 1 to 5. Bar number 1 represents “not connected” while bar number 5 represents “very connected.”

Bar 3 is the tallest, accounting for 42.2% of the responses.
Survey responses to the question “How connected do you feel to your local community?"

Parents look online for help

78% parents look for help or advice on Facebook, and 76.3% on Google. Only talking to friends or family (85%) was more commonly stated.

This presented a clear opportunity to make information more readily available via these platforms.

Bar chart of responses to the question “if you needed some help or advice, where would you look?” 

The chart is made up of 6 bars, which which represent the categories Talk to friends or family, Facebook, Google, Support services, Talk to neighbours, School, and Local neighbourhood centre.

The bar representing "Talk to friends or family” is the tallest, accounting for 85% of the responses.
Survey responses to the question “If you needed some help or advice, where would you look?"

3
Ideation

I facilitated a remote ideation workshop with 5 stakeholders to brainstorm ways to evolve the Stronger Together Logan platform.

To help ideation workshop participants put themselves in users’s shoes and generate more relevant ideas, I created a persona and 2 empathy maps, built from research insights and assumptions from stakeholders.

Remote co-design workshop
·
1 persona
·
2 empathy maps
Ideation voting
Workshop participants reviewed insights from the discovery research artefacts
Presenting ideas over video call
We prioritised the top solutions generated in the workshop, tying their value back to Olivia’s needs, the persona we were designing for.

Opportunities

We ideated around two major opportunities identified from our research:

1. How might we make Olivia feel more connected to her community?

2. How might we improve access to support for Olivia?

Participants were given time to review the discovery research insights before doing two rounds of crazy eights, dot voting, creating a solution sketch of the idea they saw most promise in, and finally we categorised the ideas based on effort vs value to Olivia.

Winning solution

Enable Olivia to find support services in her area anonymously online via Ask Izzy

In our research, we found that there was poor online visibility of what support services are available and that many parents were looking online for help.

We decided to test integrating Ask Izzy’s service directory into the platform to help users know where to go for help.

decorative

4
Testing and prototyping

18 testers
·
4 iterations
·
19 screens

Iteration 1

The initial mobile prototype

Based on our ideation workshop and our research insights, we identified several goals for the platform’s evolution:

  • Integrate Ask Izzy
  • Improve the organisation of the site
  • Provide access to events online
  • Provide access to local pampering opportunities

We created a low-fidelity prototype to accommodate for these goals, ready for usability testing.

Vimeo video preview of the first iteration of the prototype
Our first desktop iteration, ready for usability testing

Navigating the site

How would you browse local events?

"Not sure."

Our first tester could find almost none of the content on the site. Seeing this critical issue, we iterated immediately to try and make easier for testers to navigate the site.

We added page links at the top of the homepage
17 out of 17 testers used these links to find their way around the site
Diagram showing the navigation links being added near the top of the homepage, just underneath the hero section.
Right: initial prototype. Navigation links are only accessible via the “menu” button. Left: first iteration. Navigation links are visible underneath the homepage hero.

Pivoting from offers to places to visit

We created an offers section based on the need for “local pampering opportunities.” However, when we tested this section, we received mixed opinions. We also had reservations about how it could be built and maintained.

By contrast, 3 out of 8 of our testers suggested having local parks or playgroups on the website.

“It’s really hard to find good parks."
Local parent
We replaced the offers section with a directory of nearby parks and attractions
9 out of 9 testers would use the site to find places to visit
Diagram showing the “Places to visit” wireframe, which determines the user’s location and then shows nearby places of interest. In the image, the first result is “Beenleigh Aquatic Centre” in the category “Sports centres” and it is 3 kilometres away.
Left: Initial prototype, with location-based offers. Right: Second iteration, with nearby parks, sports centres and playgroups instead.

Fitting our testers’ mental model

A key challenge was understanding where users expected to see the different types of content on the site and how they differentiated them.

We learnt that users distinguish places and events by how often they can be accessed. Something which runs weekly, for example a playgroup, was seen as a place to visit, whereas something which runs monthly or one-off was seen as an event.

We reorganised the information architecture using testers’ feedback
In the final iteration, 5 out of 5 testers could correctly guess the type of content they would see on each page

Places to visit

  • Playgroups
  • Parks
  • Museums
  • Sports culbs

Events

  • Markets
  • One-off events
  • Family fun days
  • Community events
  • Recurring events

Things to do at home

  • Sport & exercise videos
  • Playtime activites
  • Educational activities
The final information architecture, informed by tester fedback

Iteration 4

Features of the final prototype (TO FILL IN)

Finding local events

Testers said that information on local events was often hidden away in hard-to-find Facebook groups. While they were typically part of their suburb’s Facebook group, many testers had little visibility on events going on elsewhere in Logan.

“Oh! I didn’t know they had family fun day coming up on the 25th July!"
17 out of 17 testers would use the site to find local events
Screenshot of the “Events” page on a mobile device. It’s showing the latest upcoming events. The first one on the list is the “Logan regional producers market” on  the 9th August, 7am till 12pm.

Filtering events

Testers wanted to narrow down events based on a range of practical constraints. Some testers wanted to filter by distance from their location because their child didn’t travel well. Others wanted to filter by whether events were held indoors or outdoors so that they could find weather-appropriate events.

“If it was something a little bit further away we might make a day of it"
7 out of 9 testers found the event filters helpful
Screenshot showing the event filters. The user can filter events by distance, which age group the events are suitable for, whether they are indoors or outdoors, and whether they are free or paid.

Finding local places to visit

Many testers cited that information around local parks, playgroups and attractions was often fragmented, hard to find, or out of date. Many of them expressed a weariness and two testers described the process of finding information via Facebook and Google as a “treasure hunt."

On Stronger Together Logan, we built “Places to Visit”, a feature which shows parents local parks, playgroups, attractions and sports groups ordered by proximity to their location.

"We’ve found some really good parks that have never really been listed anywhere"
9 out of 9 testers would use the site to find local parks or playgroups
Screenshot of the “places to visit” page. It shows attractions which are near to the user’s location listed as “Beenleigh.” The first attraction is the “Beenleigh Aquatic Centre”, complete with an image of the centre. It is categorised as a sports club and is 3 kilometres away.

Getting information on local parks

Testers needed to quickly find information before they go somewhere new. Their feedback guided which content they needed to see on the place details page to allow them to plan their trip.

"When you're looking for a park with your family, sometimes you need to know exactly what you're in for before you get there"
7 out of 8 testers found the information on parks useful
Screenshot of a park’s details. It shows the opening hours, address, a link to get directions, a sentence describing how to get into the park once you arrive at the address, whether there is car parking, whether it is wheelchair accessible, and what facilities it provides.

Sharing experiences about local places

We found that local parents trusted each others’ advice. Several of our testers said they were happy to share their experience publicly to help another parent decide whether an activity would be suitable for their child.

"I really like that, because I think a lot of parents relate to what other parents say about places"
3 out of 5 testers would post a comment on a place they had visited
Screenshot showing a comment box under the title “What local parents say.” One user, Jane, has posted several pictures of her visit to the park, and recommends getting to the park early to get a parking spot.

Things to do at home

Stronger Together Logan had amassed a huge library of videos and at-home activities to help families during Queensland’s Covid lockdown. We restructured this content and created new filter options in order to help parents find something their child would be interested in.

“Nature play bingo - that looks perfect actually... I’ll probably come back for that one"
9 out of 17 testers would use the site for at-home activities with their kids
Screenshot showing activities which parents can do with their children, along with an age filter and a button to “show all filters.” The first item in the list is a video, with the title “Janeen Brian reads ‘I’m a dirty dinosaur’.” It’s for 5 to 8 year olds and is categorised as “Educational."

Finding a support service with Ask Izzy

We created a “Get help” page to direct families to local support services via Ask Izzy, as well as providing the phone number for Parentline for phone counselling for parents.

The access to Ask Izzy’s directory was seen as very practical and useful by testers, almost all of whom hadn’t heard of it before.

“This is amazing. This is something that would really help a lot of people."
6 out of 7 testers could find a support service near to them via Ask Izzy
Screenshot showing the title “Find a support service.” the call-to-action is a button with the text “Find support near me.” The text says “Search for local services you can access, including food parcels, money help, health services, domestic violence support, addiction treatment and counselling."

Final prototype

Vimeo video preview image of a walkthrough of the final prototype on an iPhone
"It's perfect, because there's just so many places you can go to and get information. If you've got everything in one place, then you don't need to go anywhere else."
“It’s not just set up because it needs to be set up; it’s set up to actually help people."
“I really like the colours and the design of it - I think it’s really good. It’s very clear, it’s not too overwhelming when you look at it."
“What you’re aiming for with this site would suit me to a T. I really like how it’s designed."

Outcome

"The people that were recruited totally nailed the brief and did a great job working well as a team. They’ve been able to listen, find out and develop something that we need."

Photo of Karen
Karen Murphy
Product Owner (Logan Together)

After presenting the prototype and testing feedback to the stakeholders, they were excited to proceed with the project build.

Lucas developed the website in WordPress and we provided Logan Together with a digital guide on Notion, including video walkthroughs and a section for external collaborators who want to add their own events and local places to the platform.

We helped migrate old content over, and Logan Together is began content populating the website with events and places. Unfortunately, following a change in leadership, the project was not launched live.

Ready to work together?

Get in touch

Profile photo of Chris

Similar projects

Logan Together

View case study
Mockup of Logan Together's homepage on an iPhone.

Reading Borough Council

View case study
A mockup of the page "Tell us about a move" on a mobile phone.
Chris Wood Design Ltd is a registered company in Scotland (SC777440)
5 South Charlotte Street, Edinburgh, EH2 4AN
hello@chris-wood.design
Completed the Foundations of Humane Technology course in 2022