This project was carried out as part of the TechLabs “Digital Shaper Program” in Münster (winter term 2020/21).
From the beginning of our ideation on, our shared mission was to connect people with each other. But we wanted to underlay this mission with a deeper purpose. So, we developed the idea of creating an app that gives people the opportunity to share their stuff in the easiest way possible, so that borrowing and lending items becomes way more attractive than buying. We dream of a local community that is founded on a sense of community and a willingness to share. This approach is part of a circular economy and thereby supports Tech4Good.
In our first group meeting we exchanged and developed our main idea of connecting people with each other. After having been encouraged by the Tech4Good-Workshop to develop a project with a deeper ecological or social purpose, we tried to incorporate a good meaning behind connecting people. A few brainstorming sessions later we realised that connecting people by encouraging them to share their stuff goes hand in hand with each other. We all, especially as students, have the necessity for items, such as household objects or board games (only to mention a few), on a daily basis. If we do not already possess them, we have the opportunity to buy or borrow them. We decided to develop an app that makes the latter option so easy and uncomplicated that borrowing instead of buying will become the new normal. This was the hour of the birth of the idea of the borrow.app.
In the process of lining out the idea we came across a few problems to be considered. We haven’t been sure about the incentive for using the app. We asked ourselves, whether or not people would be willing to participate in an item exchange. What could make borrowing and lending stuff attractive, so that people would register and actively use the app.
Therefore, we thought about three key benefits that will encourage people to become part of the borrow.community:
- Borrow.Points: Users are able to collect points with each successful exchange and compete with each other in a community ranking.
- Borrow.Coffee: Borrow has its own currency consisting of free coffee. Users can enjoy their coffee alone or in company, just as they prefer it.
- Borrow.Impact: borrow. celebrates the motto of “Sharing is Caring” by giving its users the opportunity to easily reduce their consumption and thereby reduce their ecological footprint.
To develop and specify our idea, we used various Design Thinking methods from the UX Design track.
The top three questions that built the base for our idea have been: Why are we doing this? Who are your users? andWhy will people use our platform?
After having figured out the answers, we created different personas and scenarios to identify the specific needs of our target group.
To develop an information architecture, i.e. the content and structure of our app, we once again asked ourselves some deciding questions: What is the user most interested in? What would the content be? How and where can it be presented? and How do we structure it? Afterwards we sketched some models.
With the help of Figma we started designing a prototype. However, since we had to remodel, we ended up just designing a landing page for our app.
At first we decided about the different sections of the page by using the inspiration of various already existing websites and examples. Afterwards, we created the information architecture, formulated the website texts and decided about the colour scheme and fonts.
Last but not least, our website was coded and we adapted some final design changes.
In the end, we only developed a landing page, explaining and promoting the borrow.app. The honest reason behind this, are problems in the coordination and communication within our project team. However, this page gives us the opportunity to share our idea and explain our intention behind it. We have still been able to apply the skills we gained during our tracks and are happy and proud about the finished result that we have only been able to create with the help of our amazing mentors. Thanks again! :)
Our website explains the concept of registering for an app that gives people the opportunity to share items with each other. These items can be found on an interactive city map. The borrow.app is completely free of charge. To encourage people to try it out, we integrated testimonials of successful exchanges. For anybody interested in the story behind Borrow. and our team, we embedded a link to our blogpost and showed the faces of our team.
Lina Neef UX Design
Anika Rhiem UX Design
Amelie Zittel Web Development