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Goodnature Chirp

A platform to protect New Zealand’s wildlife

Goodnature Chirp Case Study Hero | Roam
Client

Goodnature

What we did

Technical Architecture

Backend Development - Sauce

UX and Visual Design

Mobile Apps

Web App

Year

2018

A connected trap network

With Goodnature we created an online community to help combat New Zealand's growing pest problem. To do this we built a service that collects, tracks and analyses trap data within regions.

All powered by the Goodnature platform.

GETTING STARTED 

Smart traps made smarter 

01Getting Started
02Product Definition
03What We Made
04Our Learnings
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After years of thinking and tinkering, Goodnature invented an automatic rat trap that's safe, easy to use, humane and self-resets. Not only did they create a world first, they started a revolution for smarter pest-control.

However, as with all great pioneers and inventors, they weren't happy with stopping there. They weren't ready to settle for the status quo. Looking to the future, they could see the potential of adding a digital element to the Goodnature traps to create even more value for their customers.

That solution had a wish list of some of Roam's favourite things; customer centric design, mobile platforms, scalable cloud platforms, challenging data handling and IOT beacon connections. So, when Goodnature chatted with us about partnering together to create a digitally connected rat trap, well, let's just say our CEO looked as happy as a kid in an ice cream store in summer waiting for a triple scoop.

The number of parts involved and the technical complexity in the vision for the Chirp platform made for a tough challenge, but the impact it would have in helping eradicate pests would be immense. Needless to say we were excited about any opportunity to help protect some of our native birdlife / bush and help drive toward the government's goal to be pest free in 2050.

The Goodnature A24 Trap with Chirp
goodnature installing trapsgoodnature trapplant

To kick-off discovery we had the Goodnature team fly up to Auckland from their Wellington HQ for a full day discovery workshop to feel out their vision for Goodnature 2.0.

This workshop included a deep dive into who Goodnature were, what they hoped to achieve with the project and what success meant for them.

“Create value through 25,000 users with accurate data to create an engaged online community within 12 months.

pukeko

Through our discovery workshop, a clear goal was defined on what success for Chirp would look like. This goal aimed at helping create accurate data for customers to see the value of their trap and create a feeling of belonging to something bigger with Goodnature.

Next, we used that goal to help drive the thinking to build a value proposition canvas.

Value Proposition Canvas

A simple way to understand customer needs, and design products they want. This is a good workshop for project kick-offs to align the team on a common goal and bring empathy to stakeholders.

Building the value proposition canvas helped us empathise with how current Goodnature customers might feel when using this product. By understanding things such as their fears and wants, we could start to ideate and prioritise features for the new Chirp app.

In particular we found Goodnature customers felt that:

Empathy mapping and goal setting workshops with Goodnature
Product workshop

They want to see how effective their trap is

They need their app to work flawlessly with their trap

They fear that the cost of the trap is greater then their need

We dug deeper into our understand of Goodnature customers with a visit to the Goodnature offices in Wellington. Getting a chance to view the sweet set-up they have to create all their traps in house. There we broke down their current customer journey, identifying what parts of it customers enjoyed and what steps were main pain points. This knowledge would help us understand what parts of that journey we might need to focus on fixing with Chirp.

By understanding the customer context, their feelings and challenges, we were able to build a strong empathy for what problems customers wanted the product to solve. This is vitally important to create not only a great product, but a valuable one.

Framing up our challenge.

Having built our understanding of the issues facing Goodnature and their business. We set about tackling the challenge of creating an intuitive user experience design to solve them.

To drive our design, we focused on three main principles:

Where the magic happens - Goodnature offices, Wellington
Product challenge
Simplifying the information heavy and complex trap setup process for users
Making reporting and monitoring of trap data intuitive and easy
Creating an engaging customer experience that went beyond monitoring a trap

Our approach to bring these principles into our design was to concentrate on designing a hierarchy for information and simplifying the presentation of key information. This resulted in solutions like swapping text heavy instructions for instructional videos, which presented the information in a much more consumable format. Video can make the set-up process effortless for a first time customer and for returning customers, who can skip them easily if they wish.

These types of outcomes from simple and effective UX design that removed pain points for customers was the mantra of the design team as we approached each idea.

Tackling the depth of information available from Goodnature traps was approached with the same concept. For each trap there is a mixture of reporting data, user inputs and customisable fields for each trap. This meant there was a good amount of unique data and features to handle within our design.

To solve for the large amount of data points for traps, we designed a three tier hierarchy of information for users. This would allow all users to see the most important data points at a glance at the top tier of information. Then, depending on their appetite for information, they could dig deeper into more detailed data by entering the next tiers of trap information.

It was these design challenges and ideas that helped us shape the final designs for the Goodnature Chirp app. With great input and discussion from Goodnature, customer feedback and challenging our own ideas, we were able to deliver a strong UX design that created an intuitive and seamless design for the app user.

Early wireframe prototypes for the Chirp app
Product challengeProduct challenge

It's not called HARDware for no reason...

The concept for the new connected Goodnature Chirp trap was that each trap would equipped with bluetooth beacon that would store data every time a kill was triggered on the trap. Then a customer could walk by their trap and easily collect that data via Bluetooth, flawlessly of course.

To achieve this required a complex connection between the beacon and apps that would require a well built and well tested platform. This connection between beacon and app would also be the driving force behind the core value of the trap. This meant it was crucial we got the integration between software and hardware right.

This part of the project was probably the toughest and most tricky to execute to the high standards we have for ourselves. Creating a seamless connection between the app and beacon that would work both online and when out of cell phone or wifi coverage was not easy. Goodnature customers range from homeowners who have one to two traps in their backyard, to DOC workers who set up thousands deep in the bush. This created a wide range of environments to take into account and handle. Not only that, but we wanted to create the ability for anyone to be able to background collect and upload data for any trap. We do like a challenge...

Working with Goodnature, we had countless iterations on creating the best connection to the Chirp beacons. It was a complicated and at times frustrating process as small bugs crept in or edge cases would turn up with each new version. Then, issues with testing and verifying fixes popped up. It turns out that trying to test bluetooth connections, within an office full of bluetooth devices, is not the best approach. Lesson learned on that one.

This was a challenging time in the project, but the team hung tough and things started to come together as we worked through each iteration of both the beacon and app with the Goodnature team.

Many video calls, test fires and back garden tests later, we finally felt we had a reliable and well-tested integration between the beacon hardware and our app software.

It was pretty satisfying to see every scenario we threw at it work without a hitch. Standing next to a beacon - no worries, walking by a beacon - no worries, in a suit of armour riding a tricycle past it - definitely no problem.

Now it was time to package that with a robust backend and clean frontend features bundled together in the flawless design and release to eagerly awaiting trappers.

Trap and App

Another new product is born

As the launch for the new Chirp apps was coming up, Goodnature identified a key need for some of it's early adopters. While the majority of its customers are general public, they also have a strong relationship with groups such as the Department of Conservation and other ecology groups.

Goodnature had identified that these groups had a different need to their general customers. Key to that was the number of traps they would use. A normal customer might purchase one or two traps, but these groups would be using upwards of 4000 Chirp traps each. These traps would then be set up to create a fully protected area much larger than a general backyard and deep in the bush.

Like general users, these groups wanted to understand the value their traps were providing. However, they would have multiple Goodnature app users to set up their traps, meaning traps and data would be across multiple accounts. Even if the traps were shared, using an app to try and consume information on 4000 traps wouldn't be ideal for these groups. A different solution would be needed.

Creating the Chirp Dashboard

Working with Goodnature we identified that these groups would be benefit from having a web dashboard to help them consolidate and consume the data from all their traps. While this sounded like a simple solution, we soon realised there was a number of complicated process we would need to consider and build.

The concept for the dashboard was the simple part. It would include an ability for all data from a large number of traps to be aggregated, reported and exported. Giving groups an easy way to consume and work with all the data of their trapping initiative in one area.

The not so simple part was working out how to build a cohesive ecosystem between app users and dashboard organisations. Including how traps could be transferred from app accounts to an organisation.

To solve this we created another layer within the user hierarchy of Goodnature. Creating 'Organisations' within the dashboard as the owner of traps with 'contributors' who could use the Chirp app to help set-up and maintain their traps.

This hierarchy allowed a group like Capital Kiwi located in Wellington to be able to use volunteers to help them set-up their Goodnature Chirp traps, but retain overall control over them. This worked to provide a solution that leveraged the current functionality of the Chirp apps, but seamless integrated a dashboard that provide the core value these ecology groups needed.

Bringing it all together

It was no simple feat to bring together a full web dashboard, a new user hierarchy and the ability for app users to have two different sets of features available to them.

We made it work by protecting the core use experience of the apps, only adding one extra item in the settings menu to join it with the Chirp dashboard. An invite process gave organisations control over who could help them set and maintain their traps. Finally, a new backend configuration allowed for seamless transfer of data all the way from a Goodnature Chirp trap to the apps and finally to Chirp dashboard.

The addition of the Chirp dashboard alongside the Chirp apps created a full end to end product that could service all of the Goodnature customer base. A full suite of digitally connected tools, aimed to create a new breed of trappers.

Goodnature app on mobile and laptopowl illustrationGoodnature trap cap

In late November 2018, the Goodnature Chirp app went live along with the new Goodnature A24 Rat Trap with Chirp. Then in January 2019 the Chirp dashboard was launched to integrate with the apps. The combined products will give trappers all over New Zealand the power to install, monitor, maintain and measure Goodnature traps directly via their smartphone.

The Goodnature Chirp app will provide users with intuitive and engaging experience. Packed with features that are both practical and delightful, it's really a product that we're pretty stoked with.

Customers can engage with Goodnature and the overall conservation community on the app via a social media feed, real time data on the impact of all Goodnature traps, achievement cards and a visually engaging heatmap of kills across New Zealand.

They can closely monitor the performance of their own traps by tracking kills updates, when their trap needs maintenance and a detailed history of all events. They can also call in friends and family to help out by sharing their trap with them as well.

With the Chirp dashboard, ecology groups can now crowdsource the effort it takes to set up their traps. Using the Chirp apps to help them set up thousands of traps to help protect our native birds. Then monitoring and reporting is available at the tip of their fingers with the Chirp dashboard. Giving them access to a whole range of data to help them optimise and build pest-free initiatives.

We're proud to have been a part of making such an innovative and useful product, built by some outstanding Kiwis. But, even more so we are proud to have created a product that will make a big difference in saving and maintain native New Zealand birds and wildlife.

Goodnature app on iphoneskiwi illustration
01

Hardware is hard.

This project included some pretty tough hardware integration. For this project we underestimated the time and effort it takes to refine a hardware integration. When hardware is not only a delicate integration, but one that will operate in a number of different environments and scenarios, you need to make sure you take into account the time for testing and retesting your work.

In this project we certainly reminded ourselves that hardware is hard and that for future projects we need to take into account the complicated testing and tweaking that is required before launch.

02

Designing for data.

In our design for this project, it took a number of iterations to refine our UX to something we were happy with. A key learning out of that was that when you're considering the hierarchy of information users will access, you will need to iterate on it. Nailing design on the first iteration is near-impossible, but it becomes a lot tougher when you need to consider at what level do you expose certain information.

Taking into account your core user base, being ruthless with decisions on what to display and iterating are all key to great UX when designing for data.

03

Integration needs planning.

The Goodnature Chirp project had a unique element added to it with the integration of the Chirp Dashboard. This component of the product added another degree of difficulty as it meant two platforms (web and mobile) had to be integrated together across a shared backend, while one was live. To achieve this, you need to carefully plan how you will execute this. Rush it, and you run this risk that you will forget something, break something or worst of all ruin the product experience for current users.

Looking back at this project, we'll certainly be making sure we always create a very clear development plan when integrating a new platform into one currently live.