YouK

A digital platform which helps you make purchasing choices that support the environment, UK workers, and public services.

Introduction

The challenge

Knowing where products come from informs our purchasing decisions. We know it’s important to ‘buy local’ goods, but why is this? When goods are produced locally, jobs are created within our communities, environmental impact is greatly reduced and we boost our local economy. Local employees spend money within their community, thus supporting other local businesses and boosting prosperity.

Existing problem

YouK want to make it easy for people to shop locally and support their local economy. Prior to their platform, customers relied on local knowledge or time consuming online research of individual retailers to determine which best aligned with their requirements. There was no reliable resource which collected and presented retailer data to customers in a coherent, accessbile manner.

Proposed solution

A web based platform designed to make shopping locally and supporting the local economy easy. The app will utilise the YouK product database, which contains 95%+ of everything made in the UK and include detailed environmental credentials, certification, employment data and much more, for each manufacturer and product. This means customers can buy almost everything they could want made in the UK.

Workshop sessions

The YouK team had already made a lot of headway with their analysis and clasification of products - now they just needed the design and technology to put their findings into a consumer facing application. We workshopped the idea with Derek and the team, and in turn generated a proposal for our vision of the product's first version - the Minimum viable product.

We selected Bad Dinosaur as our development partner and they have not only proven to have excellent technical capabilities, but have also been a fantastic team to work with. We look forward to continuing our partnership with them in the future.

Derek Poots, Founder, YouK
Derek Poots, Founder, YouK

Design

Once the proposal was agreed upon, we set to work: first designing a prototype of the interface so the YouK team could see how certain areas of the application would work, and then the powerful data-driven back-end. For the interface, we agreed with the team to build a Progressive Web Application - a fast and great value way of getting an app-like product into the hands of iOS, Android and Web users simultaneously, without the need to build and release separate versions.

How did we build it?

The YouK user interface

YouK contains extensive information on UK brands and products displayed across 12 key consumer areas which cover everything from butter to sports cars, washing machines to bikes, lipstick to shoes.

Each brand featured on the app receives a 'YouK' score. A clear and consistent rating system was designed to allow users to immediately recognise the benefit the product has for the environment, UK workers, and public services. Comparison of similar products is an important feature of the app, so clarity of ratings, distribution of images and text hierarchy were all important considerations. Detailed information was intentionally kept separate from the main product pages to improve the overall clarity of the ratings system.

Development

Development

The initial build of the app took about 6 weeks, which incorporated co-design sessions with the YouK team each week. During these sessions we followed an agile workflow to present the progress to the team and get their feedback. The project owners in our team then adapted their workflow based on feedback from the YouK Team.

The YouK team had a great vision and were looking for a partner to bring their ideas to life. Working together was a real collaborative process, a back and forth of know-how and expertise, to get everything just right. Today, YouK is a tried and tested MVP that is ready for market. I'm excited to see it grow.

Finn Porter, Developer, Bad Dinosaur
Finn Porter, Developer, Bad Dinosaur
User Testing

User Testing

After the MVP was delivered, the YouK team conducted a round of user testing, putting their product in the hands of real consumers to get feedback. This was a great move, since it can be hard to spot potential tweaks and changes when you're very close to the project. Sure enough, some great feedback was gathered. Our team then helped YouK with the strategy of the next phases of development, working in small iterations of improvements leading up to the public launch.

The future

YouK was officially launched on the 10th of April 2019 at a launch party in Edinburgh. The application is hosted on our managed cloud infrastructure, and is completely scalable to cope with influx of publicity that YouK is expecting in the coming weeks and months.