Covet

Find, capture & share unique products

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Background

In December 2016, we released our latest product - Covet.

The idea for Covet came about as a follow-up to NINE, a visual to-do list app we designed last year. NINE quickly rose to over 30K followers with features from Apple, Wired, Gizmodo, Stuff and a few other publications due to its deceptively simple solution to a common problem.

NINE allows users to take photos and sort them into 9 simple categories, giving them a way to store all those photos taken as reminders in an organised manner. You can learn more about NINE here.

As the NINE user base started to grow, we began to realise ‘BUY’ was by far the most popular of the categories (other than the default 'DO'). Users wanted a place to save and store the things they saw and loved - and so began our journey with Covet. Our goal was to build something with even more utility and with greater potential for monetisation in the future.

Featured by Apple in Best New Apps.

Nine Tag Analytics Mixpanel
Shaping the proposition

We kicked off the project with some research to ensure our product was rooted in real data and more importantly, real users. Our research was conducted in three ways:

  • Reviewing analytics from NINE via MixPanel
  • Reading through industry studies. Topic? The changing landscape of showrooming and web-rooming and/or increased mobile usage. Take a look at this one as an example.
  • Sending our surveys to our target audience. Questions ranged from “do you have a smartphone?” to “how do you keep track of things you want to buy?”

To make sure Covet would seamlessly integrate into the current shopping process for (most) users, we set out to gain a true understanding of user habits and behaviour when it comes to shopping. One of our main takeaways? Most users had a running wish list of products they wanted to keep in mind, but most lived on different channels. Pinterest came out on top as the most popular space for keeping tabs of favourite products, but others created shopping lists on specific sites, using tools like Asana or Evernote, or simply storing photos and screenshots on their phones.

We wanted to get Covet in people’s hands as soon as possible and more importantly, we wanted to launch when shopping was top of mind (early in December). Knowing we would continue to test and iterate post-launch, we decided to work as lean as possible to get our product shipped before the holiday season.

Design Sprint

We had a number of potential ideas for features, and whilst the core of our idea felt strong - we wanted to develop our MVP with further user testing. To keep focused, we ran a Google Ventures (GV) design sprint (which you can read more about here - we recommend the book if you want a deep dive into the process). Monday morning: lots of coffee. Friday afternoon: a working prototype ready for user testing.

Once our prototype was up and running, we recruited some testers wherever we could find them - The Artworks community, friends (and friends of friends) and anyone who looked like they could use a little break in the day (and met the target audience criteria). To test both the proposition and the specific features, we looked to our users to make sure we were headed in the right direction. Having gathered all the testing feedback into one place, we found two key areas to focus on:

  • Cutting down on features: our initial prototype included too many and ultimately felt too busy for users.
  • Onboarding: Users needed more context and guidance before getting started on the app.

We de-prioritised a few features that didn’t resonate with users as much as we hoped they would. The first one was location-based reminders using geo-fencing. Users were concerned about getting too many notifications, and weren’t convinced they’d find this feature particularly useful. We also scrapped the idea of appointing certain users as ambassadors for each category after coming to the conclusion that this idea would need a lot more thought and research to become a success - this didn’t make the cut for V1 of Covet, but we’re still thinking it through for the future.

Brochureware

In order to hone in on our primary features and make sure our proposition was both clear and concise, we created a series of simple brochure sites with WordPress (to keep things cost-effective) to get some live feedback. With usertesting.com as a resource, we were able to gather broader feedback. We asked users to give us their initial thoughts on Covet and its purpose after a 15-second long snapshot of the home page. On top of that, we then asked them to scroll through the website and let us know what features they would find useful and why. This exercise was instrumental in helping us determine what was core to the product, and what we could implement in later stages of the roadmap.  

Development

With our product roadmap in place, we could now concentrate on building the app. With refined branding and UX guidelines, our dev team was able to get going. About three weeks later, we were ready to launch in early December. We created a feature prioritisation chart to determine which features were a must - and categorised the rest as “should”, “could” and “won’t”. The development sprint was tight, making sure it ran to time and that each “must” and “should” feature was prioritised. Our end product wasn’t perfect, but we knew we’d be regularly making improvements to the app while it was live. As of now, we’re in our second round of testing. Feel free to reach out if you’d like to give us some feedback.

Interested to learn more about Covet and see how it works? You can download it for free in the app store here.