According to MeetGreen, during a typical five-day conference, 2,500 attendees will use 62,500 plates, 87,500 napkins, 75,000 cups or glasses and 90,000 cans or bottles. Add to this materials used for conference packages and promotion, GHG accumulated from conference travel and food waste left over from catering, it becomes clear that traditional events, big or small, are extremely wasteful. There’re certain ethical issues that come with the supply chain of the industry as well, from unfair labour practices to unethical animal welfare.
So what can we do to help reduce this problem in the event planning industry, utilizing our knowledge in a connected world powered by technology?
A platform that can educate and provide resources to people that want to make their events/vendors more eco-conscious and ethical.
The Good Green is transforming the event planning industry into catalyst for social & environmental change.
We looked at what features these competitors had and where we could find our niche which led us into our competitive analysis.
We looked at competitor websites in the wedding planning industry (The Knot, Wedding Wire, and Zola), and event planning websites with eco-ethical focuses (Less Stuff More Meaning, Plan with Purpose, and MeetGreen). We noticed that most of them didn’t have educational tools such as webinars, and vendor search system that highlights eco-ethical criteria. With that, we found the niche that The Good Green would fit into.
We had 30 survey respondents, and found insights that validated our hypotheses. Non of these are surprising to us, and we made sure that we keep these considerations in mind with our design decisions.
With our interviews, we found that clients are price sensitive and that they would be interested in learning more about eco-ethical practices. We also found that some vendors already have eco-ethical practices in place, which validates that there is supply for this niche market.
We analyzed our research data and put info into groups, focusing on finding the pain points, motivations, and features. Some of the highlights are:
Having a persona was crucial to help represent our target users and make sure that our design decisions are based on our user needs.
The Event Planner persona represents anyone in the general public that’s planning for their own event and would like to make it more eco-ethical. They have a big interest in living a more eco-ethical lifestyle, and already practicing it in their daily living as much as they can.
The Vendor persona represents any event vendor that’d like to incorporate eco-ethical practices into their business. They’re still a small fraction of the industry, but are taking initiative to lead the event industry into a more eco-ethical one.
Sage Lee, our event planner persona, can:
A vendor like Jesse that’s looking to learn more about eco-ethical practices that they can adopt for their business can:
Based on our research and personas, we defined our Feature list that include the following:
We decided to go with the above features, as our website would fill the gap in the market, and differentiate us from competition.
We started our design phase with creating paper prototypes. This allows us to iterate quickly after testing, before moving into digitizing the wireframes. We utilized the ‘design studio’ method to work on some main screens together, and split the rest of the screens.
Since our users tend to be tech-savvy and on the go, we started out with designing our mobile screens, then scaling them up for desktop. Our team worked very collaboratively throughout this process through sharing ideas and feedback.
Home Page: We tested out different layouts and featured information. Since The Good Green is a new business, we first featured more information about the Good Green in order for user to quickly learn more about the business. We realized that it’s also important to give quick access for our core features to returning users on the homepage, so we added the Vendor Search. We also changed the layout of featured webinars & vendors cards to be one webinar/vendor at a time, in order to show more information for each one.
Vendor Catalog: We had a separate screen for a list of all vendor categories before they get to view all the vendors. After user testing, we merged the two screens into one in order to reduce clicking steps. Our research indicated that the clients often select vendors based on ratings, so we included vendor ratings at first. We then decided to move this feature for future consideration as right now there’s not much rating data of the vendors to work with.
Webinars: We realized that the first layout on the left wouldn’t be able to show much webinar content, so we then decided to make the webinar catalog a list with more information for each card.
Webinars Catalog (mobile): We started off with a list layout on mobile for the webinar catalog. User testing showed that there’d be too much scrolling, so we transitioned into a pagination card so users can go through each webinar by swiping instead.
Webinars Catalog: We had a challenge to come up with the right terminology for various user types. ‘Vendors’ are the obvious groups, but ‘general public’ or ‘event planner’ or ‘couples’ are not the right terms for everyone else. We changed the filter dropdown options to ‘For Vendors’ and ‘All Webinars’ to avoid this confusion. Since the dropdown is necessary for only two options, we changed it to a toggle bar instead.
Resources: We first implemented various topic category filters on this page to help users find the topic they’re interested in faster, with the consideration for future scalability. We’re reminded that our MVP version won’t have that much content yet, therefore it made sense for us to take out the filters and replace them with pagination for each topic.
Our MVP aims to support The Good Green which is a very new business with limited content and offerings. We’d love to include more features for a more scalable version down the line (3–5 years):
Personally, this was a fun project for me to work on since I’m very passionate about helping businesses that aim to make a positive impact in the world.
It was a great challenge to work with a new business in which we together helped shape their unique selling point and design a digital solution to showcase that.