We have just released a private beta version of Giki – a new app for finding information about the products you buy and the companies you buy from.
Giki allows you to scan products using a barcode reader to find out how sustainable, healthy, and fairly sourced they are.
Currently, the app pulls in product data, saves it and performs analysis using elasticsearch against Giki’s three core foundations (sustainability, health and fairness). Data is analysed weekly so users can be confident that the information is up to date.
Future iterations of Giki will pull product and company data from a number of sources so that users will be able to reliably find information on more of the products they want and the companies they buy from.
Giki isn’t about endorsing products, but encouraging users to discover what good looks like, so there needed to be a way to flag items against Giki’s three core foundations without bias. Giki decided on a badge system where products are assigned a badge for each of the following categories:
- Ingredients checklist – does the product contain any ingredients of concern such as e numbers or potentially harmful chemicals?
- Healthier options – does the product contain a higher than recommended level of fat, saturated fat, salt or sugar?
- Locally produced – was the product made in the UK?
- Responsibly sourced – does the product have a certification that indicates responsible sourcing?
- Organic sourcing – is the product certified organic?
- Animal welfare – has the product been made following good welfare standards indicating it’s fair to animals?
When you scan an item with Giki, you are shown how many badges a product has been awarded. As a general rule of thumb, the more badges a product gets, the more in line it is with Giki’s, and ideally the consumer’s, values.
Because the app is currently in beta, we’ve made it super simple for users to email feedback if they don’t agree with the information they see about a product. The email form is automatically pre-populated so the Giki team can look up the item in the database and report back on exactly why the product scored the way it did, and make improvements to the algorithm to deliver better results in the future.
At this early stage, it didn’t make sense to include all potential functionality in the app, but we didn’t want Giki to miss out. We knew that at some point, users would need the ability to browse items by category and view other additional content.
With that in mind, we designed simple placeholder screens and added event tracking to see which screens users are viewing and which buttons they’re clicking. This will help Giki to prioritise what they should focus on during the next development sprint.
Giki uses Google’s Firebase platform for tracking user behaviour within the app and Fabric to monitor crashes.
Visit iamgiki.co and take the survey to be informed of upcoming tests of the app, and watch this space for news on future releases.
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