Its Headquarters is based in Rockville, Maryland (outside of Washington, DC) with a network of over 157 community-based, autonomous organizations in the United States and Canada.
The Goodwill Mobile App was built four years ago with minor improvements over time. It’s current main offerings are to help users easily find retail stores, donation centers, outlets, job and training facilities. The app also include a blog based on its Success Stories, a settings menu and an app log-in.
The current app is limited, and runs into technical issues from time to time (unable to load maps, blog fails to load, multiple log-in screens, and unable to register or recover email).
The current app sitemap shows where it navigates the user, and where it fails in overall functionality.
The User Experience through User Interviews
The current run of interviews was based on users who use iOS, including app reviews through the app store.
Looking at the App Store findings, we will find that users are unable to obtain accurate store location information, constant freezing, and unlikely to continue to use the app. Many users hoped they would get an updated UI, better location information and the ability to pick up donations.
Through user interviews (summarized):
User 1: Better registration flow, and ability to see promotions and coupons
User 2: Better registration flow, Rewards points tracking, better location information and updates
User 3: Better app maintenance, ability to see promotions and coupons, better registration flow, donation tracking
Through user research and interviews, users are unable to obtain accurate store location information, and hoped they would get an updated UI, better location information and the ability to pick up donations.
The new user flow
Based on the interviews, and app reviews, it was important to take into account the current features, and new features that users were looking to get value from.
In the current app, the current features kept were the location tracker, the blog. The ideas were to add helpful features such as a new log-in/registration process, new home page, a donation impact calculator, a donation ticket creation, and a rewards tracking system. In the app reviews, many users were deleting the app because it lacked functional use to engage users into keeping the app. These new flows and features should help create a better user experience.
The Log-in/Registration/Sign-up Flow
The existing flow takes a user through three prompts that make the user frustrated to log-in or register. In the current flow, you Log-in, then Sign-in, and then Log-in through the mobile website which is outside the app! This is Loginception! The other issue here is that on the app, the login was under the menu name “More”, which is a very obscure way to let a user know how to login. Now the account has been moved to “Menu” if the user wishes to log-in/register on their own time.
The new flow gives new users and existing users to register/sign-in the moment the app launches. You even have the ability to sign-up using Facebook or your Google account. This is also helpful for those members looking to keep track of their rewards points as the app will tally up the rewards with every purchase they make.
The new Home page
The redesign takes on a different approach at including existing features like Finding a Goodwill, and including Calculate your Impact, Donate and featured Success Stories. These new areas allow the user to engage in ways that has never been done before since the apps existence.
New Feature: Menu
In the existing application, there is an obscure title in the menu: More. You click on it, it takes you to a log-in screen, which takes you to a log-in/sign-up screen, which then takes you to another log-in screen using the mobile website baked into the app. In the redesign, this process has been moved to the app launch for new users, and included in the Menu > Rewards Account page.
Redesigned Find a Goodwill
This is an important existing feature that many users felt needed an improvement. It’s still able to perform the same search quarries but now it has a simplified menu to filter your search and look at your list of locations.
New Feature: Calculate Your Impact
This feature isn’t really new, but its existence is on the main website. It’s usefulness is to capture the amount of items you’re donating and then it calculates how much you’ll save on taxes, the job hours you’ve helped give and the environmental impact of saving waste.
The mobile version does the exact same thing, but this time it enhances the calculator by combining all 4 areas (clothing, furniture, electronics, and housewares) to give you a global scope of your impact, instead of the websites version of one category at a time. The beauty of it here is that you can also just skip the category that doesn’t apply, and the calculator will still function. The best feature from this, is that you can now save your donation, or save and create a donation ticket.
New Feature: Donation Ticket
This feature helps you create a new donation ticket (piggybacking off calculating your impact process) or selecting a saved donation. It gathers your information, lets you find a location to donate, and submit. The process here informs the employee that you’ll be making a donation. This process also lets the employee see what has been itemized, and the ticket is then confirmed and emailed to you when you drop off your items. Keeping track electronically of your donation is useful for tax purposes, and saves trees.
What’s beautiful about the saved donation list is that it can help keep track of the items you’re donating. You can create one list for “moms stuff”, another for “dads stuff”, etc. The save option helps users save time by keeping track of their donation itemization, and can edit to continue adding or removing things before submitting their donation ticket.
Redesigning the Blog: Success Stories
The importance of success stories is to highlight how Goodwill has impacted individuals from all walks of life. They are inspiring stories that are great for reading, and engages users to see how Goodwill cares.
The existing app currently doesn’t load so there isn’t much I can say here. The redesign begins on the home page showcasing 3-5 featured articles and then allowing the user to select an individual article or going to the blog stories page where this years latest blog stories are shown.
New Feature: Rewards Tracker
Many Goodwill stores maintain a rewards system where they give one point per every dollar spent. If you accumulate 100pts, you get $5 off or a 15% discount code on your next purchase.
The rewards tracker works with your Goodwill Rewards account which is tied to your number.
You come to the store, purchase items, you give your number to the clerk, and those points get added to your account. You get to also keep track of your purchase receipts, which you can email to yourself as an electronic copy. The greatest impact here is saving the environment by not needing a paper receipt once its ben digitally uploaded to your Rewards account for points.
What needs to happen next
App 2.0 would need to have some testing done to help ensure we are on the right path with not just validating our assumptions, but answering the call of the users need to help feel engaged with functioning features.
Bridging the Gaps
Trying to understand the needs of the users, and applying their thought process as they use the app, we get to observe critical moments in their ability to perform an action. These moments will give us insight into what the user misses, or what the app is failing to do for the user. By observing, and asking questions to help understand where the issues are for them, we have the ability to recognize where we can build better experiences.
The existing app is mainly plagued by technical issues and functional limitations, but the users are looking for more ways to be engaged. They want to feel part of the community they are helping, and want to ensure that their donations are as impactful to the organization as it is for the environment. Goodwill can do a lot to serve its community by listening to the very people who want it to succeed.