Ready, set, BUA

Making sports equipment accessible for young people by digitizing “Buer” across the country.

BUA, what?

All over Norway, there are equipment facilities where you can borrow sports-and leisure gear for free, also called “Buer”. The equipment you find there is usually brand new or more or less unused. Sporting goods like cross-country skis, snowboards, bikes, camping goods, canoes, penny boards — you name it — are up for grabs. This might be a well-kept secret, but Norse has helped BUA in making it known and available all over Norway.

The goal

The new digital BUA aims to make it easier to locate each lending hub, check what kind of equipment is available, and in some of the lending hubs, you will be able to pre-book equipment for your upcoming trip. By digitizing a previous manual solution, we’re making it easier for young people to use BUA and getting children and young people more active. Access to equipment might be a barrier to joining sports clubs or leisure activities. Together with BUA, we aim to put an end to this. We believe that everyone should have the opportunity to try new sporting activities without breaking your wallet. Needless to say, this is good from a health perspective and good for the environment. Instead of having stalls and garages full of tents, bikes, and skis, you can now easily borrow the equipment you need whenever you need it, for free.

How the new BUA came alive

Together with BUA we started the product development process with an insightful service design sprint where we identified the core of the user-journey, came up with potential solutions, and validated the prototype with real users. Over a few weeks, we had five young people and two adults testing the prototype and validating the hypothesis that we defined from the start. By using a well-tested service design process, we are able to iterate, test and validate before launching the service to the market. The service design process gave us valuable insights enabling us to create a product the users on both sides of the lending platform wanted and found useful.

After gathering all the data conducted in the first sprint, we started building the product. As the product matured, we made sure to involve BUA in every step in order to validate our thinking and the direction we were heading.

The solution that we’ve built is catering to multiple use cases and end-users. It is a mix of an e-commerce platform and a booking solution. This type of solution needs a whole lot of logic when it comes to calculating availability and handle equipment logistics, which again required extra focus when testing all scenarios before the solution could be released for testing for BUA.

In addition to doing a full redesign of BUA’s public site, we developed a new digital platform for handling BUA’s locations, users, equipment, loans, and reservations. This is both used as a tool for BUA’s operators to use behind the desk, as well as a CMS for BUA’s administration. Each location gets their own local admins, who can edit local attributes and manage operators and other admins for their location.