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KIVA ZIP

Sarah Ludwig Camille Grigsby Rocca Alagu Chockalingam Travis Kupp Matt Mitchell

RE-DESIGNING COMMUNICATION

KIVA ZIP+ CCA | FALL 2015

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The Power of Communication: Storytelling for Social Impact

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Kiva Zip is growing program, launched by Kiva.org, that works to drive innovations in person-to-person lending.

KIVA ZIP HAS A POWERFUL STORY. TOTAL LOANED

$10,641,805 SMALL BUSINESSES FUNDED

Kiva Zip provides 0% interest loans for small businesses and entrepreneurs, offering financially excluded and underserved individuals and communities a chance to grow and thrive. These loans are ‘crowd-funded’ by individual lenders on the Kiva Zip website, connecting business owners with dozens of lenders, who act as financial supporters, cheerleaders and evangelists.

11,390

REPAYMENT RATE

88.9%

Helping borrowers understand their role in that story is crucial. KIVA ZIP + CCA

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TOPIC & PROPOSITION

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TEAM MEMBERS

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APPROACH

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INSIGHTS

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OPPORTUNITIES


TOPIC AND PROPOSITION

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HOW MIGHT WE:

KEY QUESTIONS:

how might we help Borrowers in Non-Fellows markets navigate the loan process?

Where are borrowers struggling to understand information, or achieve an objective? Where are Fellows, Interns, and Trustees providing critical information to borrowers? Where are new visitors to the website struggling to understand Kiva Zip messaging? Where does our communications audit reveal confusing or convoluted messaging?

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TEAM MEMBERS

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MEET THE TEAM

Travis Kupp

Camille Grigsby-Rocca

PAST AND CURRENT WORK EXPERIENCE: After graduating from UC Davis with a Mechanical Engineering degree in 2009, Travis spent two years abroad in Brazil and returned to California in 2012. He then worked for the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) for 6 months before joining PG&E as an Engineer in Gas Transmission Engineering and Design. After a little more than a year of working on risk analysis and managing various projects, Travis moved on in 2013 to work on enterprise project governance. His interest in strategy development and futures thinking eventually led him to join the Utility Enterprise Strategy group in 2015, where he works today.

We are students of the DMBA and M.Des program at CCA and came together to work with Kiva Zip as part of our Live-E class on communication.

PAST AND CURRENT WORK EXPERIENCE: Camille received her Bachelor’s degree in History from Portland State University in 2012. She worked as a writer and researcher for magazines, brand strategy studios, creative agencies and digital advertising houses for several years, mostly on consumer and tech brands, before hitting the road in a search for greater “meaning.” She found it in the healthcare sector, where she had already worked with her family on global health and philanthropy projects for many years. Camille hopes to continue her work in the clinical and consumer healthcare projects, using the skills she’s got and the skills she’s getting in her DMBA program to move ever further forward. SKILLS AND STRENGTHS: Camille’s strengths include writing, from long-form editorial to shortand-snappy ad copy, research (and more research, research, research), editing, team-building, project management, mission and message building, and leading strategic discussions. PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT AREAS: Camille is looking forward to learning how to be a better listener, and “switch off” the story-framing impulse — before beginning to file other people’s stories in context, or attempt to fit them in a framework that works for her, first, she needs to hear them out. CULTURAL DIVERSITY/GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE: Camille is as west coast as they come. Brought up in Napa, California by a pair of winemaking doctors, she moved to Portland, Oregon, bastion of liberal values and obscenely long brunch lines, before making the recent move to San Francisco. She has spent time abroad in Europe, Asia, and on several trips to Malawi, where she worked with her family to establish the Palliative Care Association of Malawi, among other projects. It was on these trips that she was inspired to support low-resource, high-need areas with thoughtfully designed health and community-building services.

SKILLS AND STRENGTHS: Travis’ skills include strategy development, development and enforcement of governance, project management, and public speaking. PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT AREAS: Travis hopes to become a more effective leader, team member, empathetic communicator, and design thinker through his DMBA coursework. CULTURAL DIVERSITY/GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE: Travis is a native of the San Francisco East Bay, and lived in various cities in the state of Minas Gerais Brazil from 2010 to 2012. He has also traveled much of the United States, and visited Japan as a shortterm exchange student. A lover of all foods and languages, Travis speaks Portuguese as a second language and has dabbled in Spanish, French, German, and Japanese.

Alagu Chockalingam PAST AND CURRENT WORK EXPERIENCE: Alagu is a visual designer, over her short career (2-2.5yrs) she has worked in India and the Bay Area. In India she founded Ladyfingers co. a design collective with 3 friends from design school. At Ladyfingers she did a lot of work in the Education space. SKILLS AND STRENGTHS: Alagu is great with adobe creative suite and really good at using limited resources to come up with an amazing solution that fits the ask. Her portfolio includes logos, Illustration, Websites, Books, Game design 15


and packaging. She enjoys Typography and likes to think of herself as a type geek. PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT AREAS: Alagu wants to understand people and how she can create amazing and beautiful products or services to help their needs. Her biggest challenge to herself is to be able to identify the real needs in the world, learn to ask the right questions and be able to create the solutions. She also wants to learn to be more disciplined. CULTURAL DIVERSITY/GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE: Alagu grew up in India, spent most of her childhood in Chennai a city in the south of India and travelled and worked in other major cities like Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore learning new cultures and languages and people along the way. She also learnt the concept of ‘Glo-cal’ meant and how important it was. She moved to the Bay Area recently and enjoys the diverse and cultural place that it is.

Sarah Ludwig PAST AND CURRENT WORK EXPERIENCE: Sarah is a designer and retoucher who has been working in the creative industry for the last 8 years. The last 3 of those years were spent at Nike, working on the design team creating apparel for Major League Baseball, as well as in the Nike brand photostudio on the photo editing team. Before that Sarah worked at a small photo studio as Digital Lead where she art directed photo shoots, designed marketing materials, led R&D for website strategy/SEO, as well as retouched photograph ranging from product, architecture, food, beauty and lifestyle photography. Throughout that time Sarah has run a successful independent contracting graphic design and digital art consultation business, most recently designing a fleet of vehicle wraps for Infocus Corporation and editing images for Nike’s ecommerce website. SKILLS AND STRENGTHS: Sarah has a BFA in Digital Art from University of Oregon. Senior level proficiency in Photoshop, Indesign and Illustrator as well as the rest of the Adobe Suite. Simple HTML, CSS and general UX theories are also a part of Sarah’s toolbox.

Building on her design fundamentals and visual background, she hopes to add foundational Interaction Design tools that can be harnessed to create meaningful products that improve lives. CULTURAL DIVERSITY/GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE: Sarah grew up in Berkeley, California but has spent the last 10 years in Oregon pursuing education and stuck around for the beautiful nature of the Pacific Northwest. She is a proud and out lesbian with a fondness for small dogs, arcade games and anything eaten with chopsticks.

Matt Mitchell PAST AND CURRENT WORK EXPERIENCE: Matt worked in the marketing and advertising world for a few years. He was first a production artist, getting assets and materials ready for presentation in print and the web, and worked his way up to a creative director position. He then transitioned to developing and designing digital tools – first an interactive video platform, and later a tool companies use to get feedback about their website or app. SKILLS AND STRENGTHS: Matt excels in technical tasks. He enjoys understanding how things work and finding creative solutions that meet specific requirements. In addition to his skills as a designer Matt is a self-taught web programmer and app developer. He enjoys the process of creation sometimes more than the final result. Matt has experience designing for print, web, and apps. PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT AREAS: Matt hopes to increase his understanding of how people make decisions so he can better design for them. He hopes to gain skills as a researcher, high-level thinker, and desires to become a better teacher and skilled presenter. CULTURAL DIVERSITY/GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE: Matt has spent significant time in the following states: Utah, Pennsylvania, and California. He also learned Spanish and spent two years in Chile as a volunteer for his Church. As a tourist, Matt has spent time in Japan, China, and much of Europe.

PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT AREAS: Sarah dreams of crafting interactive experiences from start to finish. 17


APPROACH

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OBJECTIVE

RESEARCH METHOD

To understand how we can help remote borrowers navigate the Kiva Zip system without help from Kiva staff.

INTERVIEWS

Try to understand fears and uncertainties that Borrowers have with Kiva Zip.

Borrowers, Fellows, Interns

USER TESTING KIVA EVENTS

SF City Launch, two panels

COMMUNICATIONS MAP

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INTERVIEWS Our team carried out 11 in-depth interviews with Kiva Zip borrowers, fellows, and interns, to better understand where breakdowns in communication are taking place along the user journey. By identifying where stakeholders from each camp noted pain points, we were able to focus our continuing research.

“There is a noticeable difference in the quality of applications that come through from borrowers who haven’t talked with one of us before, and borrowers who have. I almost never turn down someone who’s worked with a fellow, but the few nonfellows borrowers I’ve seen have all needed a lot of work.” — FELLOW

“It was a little weird asking my friends for money. My business is online so I’m not used to that kind of thing.” — BORROWER

“I really wasn’t prepared for how awful I was going to feel. My mom called it my ‘little beggar loan’.” — BORROWER

“I was scared the loan would fail publicly.” — BORROWER

borrower, fellow, and intern we spoke with agreed that Kiva Zip * Every was a powerful, valuable, and positive tool — even borrowers that struggled to fundraise expressed gratitude for the opportunity to work with the organization. Moving into the next phase of our project, our goal was to help smooth out the pain points identified in our primary research, freeing up Kiva’s team to do more of their good work.

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USER TESTING We recorded videos of five small business owners across the country who had never heard of Kiva try to use Kiva Zip for the first time. We invited them to try to apply for a $3000 loan. Most first time visitors struggled to understand how it worked.

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USER TESTING Female, 30, “The hardest part for me would be having to ask my own network for investments. I don’t like asking for money from my friends and family.”

KEY INSIGHTS FROM USER TESTING RESULTS 1) First-time visitors struggled to understand what Kiva Zip is. 2) To understand what Kiva Zip is, users usually went from the Kiva Zip homepage to the About page and then the FAQ.

Male, 21, “Updating my personal profile seemed to be a challenge. I wasn’t sure what the tabs on the left were for. I wanted something to pop up and tell me what to do.”

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KIVA EVENTS Throughout the term, team members attended Kiva-sponsored events for another window into the Kiva organization, lenders, and borrowers. From the large Kiva City Launch at San Francisco City Hall, to design and development panels featuring Kiva executive speakers, to a walking tour of local borrowers organizations with a small group of fellows and interns — these opportunities offered valuable insight into the Kiva Zip organizational culture, and how we might craft a product that fit into it.

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COMMUNICATION MAP By plotting the sum total of static communications available on Kiva Zip’s website, Borrower’s Resource Hub, and through their existing email flows, we were able to identify where there was a lack in easily available, useful, and supportive information. These notable gaps in communication were a powerful validation of the pain points we had identified through our primary research, and shaped the direction of the insights and recommendations we prepared for our client.

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Kiva Zip’s messaging gaps became visible through this process.

The orange highlights indicate information relayed only through e-mail

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INSIGHTS

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KEY INSIGHT #1

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CLARIFY KIVA ZIP’S CORE VALUE PROPOSITION FOR BORROWERS.

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KEY INSIGHT #2

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PROVIDE CLARITY IN THE ONBOARDING AND APPLICATION PROCESS.

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KEY INSIGHT #3

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SET EXPECTATIONS FOR THE EMOTIONAL INVESTMENT BORROWERS MAKE IN THEIR LOAN.

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KEY INSIGHT #4

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SET EXPECTATIONS FOR THE WORK AND COMMITMENT REQUIRED TO SUCCESSFULLY FUND A LOAN.

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OPPORTUNITIES

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CLARIFY KIVA ZIP’S CORE VALUE PROPOSITION FOR BORROWERS.

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ELEVATE CORE BRAND VALUE PROP. ON THE KIVA ZIP HOME PAGE. Use empowering messaging to engage (and inspire) competent, confident borrowers.

“We aim to support the entrepreneurial spirit, to stimulate new business activity, and help great ideas grow.”

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PROVIDE CLARITY IN THE ONBOARDING AND APPLICATION PROCESS.

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STREAMLINE THE APPLICATION FLOW. Emphasize the importance of preparing now for the Private Fundraising Period.

“This is the story you’re telling to potential

lenders — your personal network, along with the larger Kiva network, will fund your loan based on this information.”

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SET EXPECTATIONS FOR THE EMOTIONAL INVESTMENT BORROWERS MAKE IN THEIR LOAN.

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PRIVATE FUNDRAISING IS PERSONAL. Outfit borrowers with the tools they need to tell the Kiva Zip story, and build valuable fundraising momentum.

“Momentum matters. Lenders look for

loans that are likely to succeed — the closer you are to your goal when you enter public fundraising, the more attention you’ll get.”

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SET EXPECTATIONS FOR THE WORK AND COMMITMENT REQUIRED TO SUCCESSFULLY FUND A LOAN.

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OFFER BORROWERS SUPPORT WHEN THEY NEED IT MOST. Remind borrowers that their own voice is the most valuable tool they have.

“Emails, phone calls and social posts are

more than just friendly reminders — they are powerful ways to tell your story.”

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Prepared for Kiva Zip at California College of the Arts LIVE EXCHANGE WITH SHARON GREEN | FALL, 2015

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Kiva Zip - Redesigning communication : Phase I  

Kiva Zip - Redesigning communication : Phase I  

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