POC Design Thinking
To run their “Mobility” program, Ores – leading utility company in Wallonia – wanted to try a new, user-centred approach. The program’s ambition is to improve the experience of field workers, by endowing them with a set of mobile applications that would support their daily tasks. To this aim, the company decided to test design thinking in a sample Proof of Concept, and evaluate its adoption according to the outcome.
We structured the project in different tracks: the creation of a POC, to depict the ideal application for field workers, its confrontation with the technology of SAP Asset Manager, to test the feasibility of the off-the-shelf app, the definition of a vision for the ‘Mobility’ program and, finally, an evaluation of the outcomes and possible future adoption of design thinking methods.
Field research (credits to Marie Mervaillie)
To frame the scope of the Proof of Concept, we conducted workshops with the project team/stakeholders, along with four days of field research with different gas and electricity operators. The input gathered from both the project team/stakeholders and the field workers, allowed us to map personas for different operators, their as-is journey and related pain points. Based on these, we agreed to move on with the conception of a portal which would be the operators’ personal dashboard. We co-created wireframes and tested the mock-up with the project team and end users, during remote workshops and usability test sessions.
Co-creation workshop to review the first version of the conceptual design
The ideal application would then confront the constraints of SAP Asset Manager, to test the adequacy of the existing app in relationship with our functional requirements. In this phase, we followed up the developers to ensure the main functionalities would be in place. In addition, we provided an introduction to design systems, by creating a sample UI toolkit with limited components, following the company’s styleguide.
The final Proof of concept’s look & feel, applying the style guide and components described in the sample design system
In parallel, we organised a set of stakeholder interviews and remote workshops to come up with a clear vision for the Mobility program. After conducting iterative collaborative exercises on the vision, its values and principles, we summarized the strategy in a document, supported by sketched scenarios which would depict – like a story – the ideal future for users and stakeholders.
The final evaluation, consisting in a survey and “retrospective” meetings, gave positive feedback about the process and highlighted possible future barriers. Still, it confirmed the intention of incorporating design thinking methods within the company.
After the project, the company decided to move on with the human-centred design track, and kicked off the creation of an extensive design system for their applications.
Future scenarios for field workers, to support the communication of the program’s vision
Throughout the whole project, I wore the hats of project lead and designer, and worked in close collaboration with our design lead. I took care of project planning and execution, organising the work with both my teammates and the client, as well as taking responsibility for the quality of the deliverables. I conducted user research, co-facilitated the stakeholder workshops and client meetings, and contributed to the UX and UI design of the POC, as well as the creation of all the deliverables.
Thanks to this project, I acquired a greater strategic outlook, and evolved not just as a designer, but also as a lead. Beside combining different design disciplines to kick off a transformation in the company, I also improved in the way I guide a team, orchestrate our work and delivery.
In the team
- Garifalia Kannellopoulos (design lead)
- Marie Mervaillie (designer)
- Alessandra Rodilosso (designer)