How to contribute with technology to do without cars in big cities?
I start the BootCamp, at last! and it starts strong, as I expected. On the second day we are given a challenge: “How to contribute with technology to do without cars in big cities?” and to come up with a solution through a Design Sprint.
How its creator Jake Knapp says, “it is a unique and foolproof five days method for solving complicated business problems and getting a project’s viability implemented quickly”.
The truth is that when you are proposed a Design Sprint in a group, it seems crazy. In just 5 days you have to pose the problem, look for an alternative, make a prototype and on the fifth day test the prototype, so that you have the solution to your challenge. But it is a very coherent, organised and democratic method, so you avoid wasting time and a lot of discussions.
FIRST DAY: UNDERSTANDING, RESEARCHING AND DEFINING..
Let’s start! In this case the challenge we faced was:
“HOW TO CONTRIBUTE WITH TECHNOLOGY TO DO WITHOUT CARS IN BIG CITIES?”
I found it very interesting, because climate change is here and we have to do something about it. Those of us who live in big cities and move away from them, we see a cloud of pollution (the famous beret), and that unfortunately, is the air that we breathe. If we add this to traffic, acoustic noise, the impossibility of being able to park and a long etc. We realise that we have to react and try to do something about it.
In order to answer this challenge, we set ourselves a series of sprint questions aimed at defining our objective. For example, Could the user be helped to change their lifestyle?, Could the user spend less money on getting around and be as or faster than by car?, Could there be less waste/trash without traffic, could the user with a family and children live without a car?…
Once all the team’s questions had been read and thought about, we transformed them into HMW…? to turn existing problems into opportunities. For example, How might we make users aware not to take the car?, How might we make removals without private cars?, How might we make users save money by using public transport?…
And so with these questions, we began to glimpse the possible ways to answer our challenge, looked at them and took a silent vote. With this we could see the heat map of the opinions of our colleagues and know which was the most voted. There was a tie, although as you know the opinion of the “decider” is worth more than the rest, so he decided on one of the most voted, and it happened to be mine.
“How might we make it possible for hauliers to reduce CO₂, save time and money?”
So now we need to look at our customer journey. It is important to understand who the customers are, so it is vital to conduct user research in advance.
- Empathy map, is a visual way to better understand users and prioritise their needs. The map helps identify the key issues and problems affecting users based on their quotes, actions, behaviours, pains and feelings captured throughout the user research.
And, how could we make it our challenge? We focused on a more specific objective to solve our question and that was: “REDUCE CO₂ IN THE LAST MILE”. We had discovered that the journeys that take place in the last part of the delivery, that it, from the logistics hall to home (last mile), emit at least 30% of gas emissions and increase traffic by 20%. So, we agreed that these trips had to be reduced as much as possible. The delivery person would contact the user via chat, and if the final recipient was not at home, they could leave the package at a collection point in their district, avoiding another trip.
SECOND DAY: REVIEW OF IDEAS AND CREATION OF SKETCHES
The second day started with an individual research of ideas, concepts and solutions from other companies or projects related to our challenge. Once this was done, we displayed them on a moodboard, so that we could be inspired.
It’s time to squeeze our last neurons with a crazy eight, a technique in which you have 1 sheet of paper folded in 8 parts and you have 1 minute to sketch the craziest ideas you can think of in each section.
We finished the day, making wireframes (all the team members) to exhibit them the next day.
THIRD DAY: MAKE A DECISION.
We are almost half way through the Sprint, there is no time to lose, we have to start making decisions and to reach the best consensus on the solution, we have to do it in parts:
- Art Museum, display our wireframes where facilitators explain the functions of each sketch.
- Heat map, each team member receives 8 dot stickers to assign to the sketches or parts of the sketches they find interesting. This should be done in silence.
- Speed critique, each member selects a drawing that is not their own and runs through the solution quickly, using sticky notes to capture the big ideas.
- Voting points, each team member is given one vote (in this case the whole class participated) to choose the best solution and justify their decision. As there was no tie and a classmate’s idea clearly won, there was no “super vote” for the decision-maker.
Once the decision was made and the wireframe was clear, the team created a Storyboard, of nine highlights, which represent in a simple way how we imagined the delivery process.
FOURTH DAY: CREATING A PROTOTYPE
We’ve passed the halfway point of the Sprint! Today it’s time to build a prototype for transporters, this time on an individual way.
I created an app with main functions such as daily routes, direct chat with users, package status list… In this way, the delivery driver can contact the customer via chat and confirm where he leaves the package (at home or at a pick-up point).
The icons had to be easy and intuitive, as the carriers could be of any age over 18, and their digital skills varied. I prototyped the app with Figma, so that it would be as realistic as possible.
FIFTH DAY: TESTING WITH USERS
The moment of truth arrives, we have to see if the work of these 4 days has been worth it, we are going to test our app with users. I chose 6 users related to logistics, I let them use the app and then I asked them several questions in order to know what they thought. If they would change anything, what was the most complicated thing for them, how they would see the day-to-day use of the app…
In general, they found it easy to use, intuitive and the actions were limited to the necessary information.
Most of all, I am left with the criticisms, possible improvements and failures, people agreed:
“Overall I find it easy to use, the icons are intuitive. And the actions are limited to the necessary information. The only thing I found difficult to locate is the position of the chat when it is on the map screen”.
“Above the button where it says “Pending”, “Confirmed” or whatever it says, I would put in letters “Change status”.
“Perhaps, it would improve how its use is explained”.
The truth is that I have had a great experience with this Design Sprint, I loved the method and above all the teamwork and the joint decision making. I felt a bit overwhelmed at times, especially at the beginning because it seemed almost impossible that I could create a prototype in 5 days, but the truth is that if you take it step by step, in the end you get it and as a team, much better!