Better Place Forests

Overview

Better Place Forests is a unique company; it's not every day that you get to design for a product focused around death, and an average customer that's over 60. Their goal is to provide a natural alternative to cemeteries -- spread your ashes beneath a personal memorial tree in one of their permanently protected forests.

I initially worked with BPF's lead engineer to design and build internal applications that expedite the sales process, and customer-facing tools that help a unique customer base (60+ yrs old) sign online contracts and use online payments.

The primary challenge for Better Place was developing a system that allowed the business to scale, and at the same time minimizing the need to scale a sales force. We focused on researching and building an online tool that would allow a small team to sell to our unique customer base with as little hands-on as possible. Since launch, the application has processed tens of thousands of dollars in revenue, mostly from consumers who have little to no experience with online payments or online contracts.

I started the project by understanding the complete sales flow and touch points for both customers and the sales team. After mapping this out, I evaluated each step for inefficiencies to see where we could automate portions of the processes and eliminate time and human error. This went through several revisions as I communicated with the stakeholders to arrive at a processes that worked for them, and BPF customers.

Online Tree Selection

Another project I word on with BPF  was around the online experience of choosing a tree. In our initial work, we had made an assumption that because of the weighty nature of the product (death), our process needed to carry that same weight, and most potential customers would want to visit the forest and pick out their specific tree. An emotional, and powerful experience. That ended up being true for some, but we also found a different segment of customers.

For many folks reaching the end of their life, dealing with the minutiae of death-related plans is a pain, and not an emotional experience. It's a transactional one.

This finding caused us to reasses some of our initial assumptions, and also revisit the idea of a more 'e-commerce' style experience around choosing a tree.


As part of the design process I also worked on a few possible animations using Principle. In conjunction with traditional wireframes it was helpful to have these rough ideas as a visual aid for stakeholders.

As part of the design process I also worked on a few possible animations using Principle. In conjunction with traditional wireframes it was helpful to have these rough ideas as a visual aid for stakeholders.

I went through a series of reviews with the BPF  team to reach a process and style that we thought best addressed the requirements and I'm excited to see how it performs -- and make adjustments from there.

"Kyle's working style and efficiency allowed us to achieve product goals and deliver functionality ahead of schedule. Kyle is comfortable with the entire product development lifecycle, sketching up wireframes all the way to digging into the codebase and implementing front end code directly. This makes it incredibly easy to integrate Kyle into an engineering organization. Functionality that Kyle helped launch has had a direct impact on our financials, and has enabled our company to scale out our product offerings and parallelize our sales processes."