A digital destination for community spaces


A digital destination for community spaces


You can hire pretty much any physical space you can think of online, from a castle in Ireland to someone’s garden in Toronto, however community spaces were one category that had missed out on the digital treatment. Which due to its “community” nature typically relied on handshakes and notes in diaries to secure bookings for venue hire. Having run several enterprise companies herself, startup founder Suzanne Campbell had a vision of how this could be achieved, through a product called Vennu.

From zero to startup

Suzanne and her small team enthusiastically presented their vision for this new business. A new digital platform to give community spaces including surf clubs, scout halls and community halls etc etc the opportunity to derive value all year round. By utilising these often unused spaces, they hoped to increase host’s revenue while providing more opportunities for people to interact with their community.

We set about quickly validating the product proposition by evaluating the competitive landscape. We also conducted workshops with venue owners and prospective clients. From there, we were able to define a set of potential requirements to prioritise.

Working closely with the Vennu team, we prioritised over 100 features to form the basis of our Minimum Viable Product (MVP). To do this, we evaluated each feature scoring it’s potential value. Evaluating customer value, viability for the business’ success and feasibility to develop quickly. We then mapped them to the customer journey to inform the requirements of each screen.

Exploring multiple solutions fast

To ideate and design the Vennu experience we applied our Product Sprint approach. This provided a flexible framework that compresses months of planning, design and testing into five days. We used it to quickly explore, conceptualise and validate solutions. Within the sprint we:

— Understand and define the problems

— Ideate and sketch screen flows

— Decide and design solutions

— Prototype solutions to be validated

— Validate prototype via user testing.

We planned three sprints, each focusing on key stages of the customer experience. Continually iterating on user insights captured during the previous sprint. The first sprint focused on onboarding hosts, and venue search for guests. The second on enquiring and booking. With the final sprint focusing on transacting, rating and reengaging.

Setting an achievable vision

The three design sprints resulted in an interactive prototype that provided the right balance of future state and current state requirements for the team to develop the MVP. We worked with their development team who leveraged an existing marketplace platform to launch the pilot for the Illawarra area in New South Wales.

Since launching the pilot, Vennu has successfully expanded its available community spaces. Now offering results for greater New South Wales as well as Victoria and Queensland. We continue to work with the Vennu team to optimise the product.