Service Design | Research | UX Mapping & Storytelling | Experience Design
Designing an immersive virtual experience connecting small local Italian producers with consumers worldwide.
Tourism, Travel, Virtual Experience
Service Designer | Researcher | UX Mapping & Storytelling Designer | Experience Designer
November 2020 — April 2021
Physical distancing doesn’t have to mean social distancing
As an American living in Italy, the pandemic made me feel even more disconnected from my family and friends. Additionally, I noticed that small business proprietors who heavily rely on tourists were also suffering from this travel standstill. I met with the small agritourism owners of the San Donato Fattoria to discuss a conceptual virtual experience project to connect small producers with tourists and continue selling their products despite physical movement restrictions. Thus, Glocalli was born.
Italy has over 20,000 small, artisanal product producers
Small agritourism farms in Italy were hit hard by travel restrictions. Based on interviews and observations, because consumers worldwide were unable to travel, they craved immersive experiences and wished to support small local businesses in Italy. Additionally, many producers lacked in-person tourism, needed to expand their client market, and had weak online presence.
Artisanal Italian products and virtual experiences connecting the world with small, local producers
Glocalli is a project that offers an immersive experience by offering unique, artisanal products sourced directly in Italy from small, local producers. The physical product + virtual experience structure allows producers to interact and talk about what they are passionate about, and consumers can learn, share and try authentic Italian products while supporting small, local businesses conveniently shipped to them directly.
Results & Takeaways
Solving for virtual cross-cultural interaction barriers
Connecting people from every corner of the world requires a clear understanding of how time zones, languages, and shipping times would play into scheduling the virtual experience. For community experiences, the first language booked for a time slot is the designated language offered for that time + date. Anyone can opt-in to participate in a community experience, and with a private experience, it is closed only to that group.
To measure how many potential users would show interest in Glocalli, we ran a week’s worth of social media ads and set up a temporary website. Users who clicked/showed interest were redirected to an online form they could fill out to stay updated on the status of Glocalli.
Overall, Glocalli offers a unique solution to the challenges posed by the pandemic and provides a much-needed connection between small producers in Italy and consumers worldwide. It offers an opportunity for engagement and immersion, and it supports small local businesses in Italy.