HullCoin is a local digital currency created to combat poverty through positive action and rewards within the city of Hull.

From November 2015 to March 2016, we supported the not-for-profit company Kaini Industries with the development and design of their digital platform and service. The Alpha phase was completed in four parts: initial service blueprinting workshop, user experience and brand design, user testing and ongoing product development.

Map journeys and key functions together

During our first workshop, we worked together with the team in outlining user journeys and form the service model. We quickly sketched wireframes of the public front-facing user pages along the user journey. This enabled the team to better understand their vision, team roles and how the HullCoin system and process would work. Designing for mobile first, we then created five modules to minimise development time across the platform.

Start testing early

We planned, designed and ran six user testing sessions over two days, from the 3-4 February 2016, in Hull. Though the alpha site was not fully developed, testing early drew insights that guided the site design. This meant that too much development time wasn’t already invested. We tested the navigation, how it works and key functions of HullCoin’s live site with each user group: public user, issuer and redeemer.

Client’s involvement with the user research and testing proved really valuable. The users felt listened to and were contributing to a local venture with massive potential. Clients heard the users’ experience firsthand and learnt the importance of language. Even the developer found it useful to be able to make quick changes to test on the fly.

We held weekly check-ins to support funding pitches, discuss website functions and manage tasks. We also worked with developers to translate the user experience onto the website.

Keep calm and test on

We coached and developed a user testing toolkit for the HullCoin team to do their own user testing. One month later, HullCoin adopted the toolkit and user tested the end-to-end service experience. It was met with great success as their service model worked in real life with real users.