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.
4 months, part-time
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.
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.
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."
“You’ve got to go through 20 different [emergency relief websites] to find one place that’s still operating."
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.
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.
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.
Next, we looked at how we could evolve the Stronger Together Logan platform based on our research insights and the outcome of our ideation workshop.
Based on our ideation workshop and our research insights, we identified several goals for the platform’s evolution:
We created a low-fidelity prototype to accommodate for these goals, ready for usability testing.
How would you browse local events?
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 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."
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.
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!"
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"
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"
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"
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"
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"
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."
"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."
"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."
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 currently content populating the website with events and places to visit before launching it.