Planty

Academic Project

Instructor: David Acuna

Time Span: 4 Weeks

Contribution: UX Designer, Prototyping, Visual Design

Team Members: Yutong Chen, Marina Leao, Yingli Sieh

Mobile Service & Emerging Tech

Bakewiz

OVERVIEW

Product into Service

In this project, our goal was to provide Markel Baking Systems, a product-based company that sells baking machinery and systems, with a service-based mobile-app that utilizes emerging technology.

After researching Markel’s sale-cycle and customer base, as well as the value proposition of a mobile-app for Markel, we created BakeWiz, an app that utilizes predictive analytics to communicate machinery and system failure information to Markel’s customers in an way that non-technicians and machine experts can understand.

RESEARCH

Client

Markel Food Group is a company that specializes in the manufacturing and selling of baking machinery. Their company is a worldwide business and is divided into the four smaller companies as shown on the right.

Stakeholder Model

Our team started by creating a stakeholder model of our client. We used half of the available time to research more about the company and the other half to discuss the model. We first created a broader model in order to understand a bit more the stakeholders involved.

Now armed with more information about our stakeholders, we rearranged the overall layout of our model, trying to extract the main values exchanged by each.

The team then created a digital version of the stakeholder model to better visualize the flow and values exchanged. This was, again, a broader model, containing the main agents involved in the machinery selling process.

IDEATION

Product into Service

In the next step of our project, we listed assumptions about Markel as a company and as a resource for their customers. We then reversed the assumptions to generate problem space ideas and asked 20 questions to brainstorm ways to solve the problems generated.

Once completing the 20 questions activity, we had a group collaborative sketch session of our top ideas to determine which would be most reasonable in regards to Markel’s internal and external use, as well as its integration with an emerging technology.

Assumptions

The team then, based on previous research about Markel, came up with 13 assumptions that we thought would be applicable to the client.

We then reversed these assumptions, in order to visualize scenarios where the premises we assumed would not be true. This encouraged us to think about extreme solutions based on the reversed assumptions.

The team then, based on previous research about Markel, came up with 13 assumptions that we thought would be applicable to the client.

We then reversed these assumptions, in order to visualize scenarios where the premises we assumed would not be true. This encouraged us to think about extreme solutions based on the reversed assumptions.

20 Questions

The team then focused on a problem obtained from a combination of assumptions: “Machines are Hard to Operate”, meaning they are complex and present failure.

After this, we came up with 20 questions on possible modifications to solve the issue.

One Interesting Design Thinking Approach:

Questions-Reversal-Design Opportunity

Collaborative Sketches

of Concepts

The team discussed four possible solutions for the chosen problem:

  • Educational tool for retailers

  • Problem failure diagnostics

  • Remote control

  • Factory layout design

For each of them, we collaboratively created a low-fidelity screen map with the flow and functionalities of each solution. Each team member had two minutes to collaborate to a map and then had to move to the next one.

DESIGN

After creating four different sketches for four different applications, we narrowed our scope down to one design. We then evaluated the value proposition and the use case for our idea and created some low-fi sketches to envision our idea in person.

Our low-fi sketch was evaluated in class, and from there we decided to iterate again and create some hi-fi prototypes. During this process, we did parallel design work and created three different hi-fi prototypes.

Value Proposition

After the ideation process in the class we eliminated two options from last week. The team was faced with two different product goal for the further design. We tried to figure out which direction of this product will maximize value for our stakeholders.

In the end, we committed to configuration system to increase the consulting efficiency between Markel and consumer.

User Case

Our product aim to solve consulting problem for the sales team at Markel Food Group.

Our hypothesis is experts from Markel Food Group will spend lots of time on helping customers to select machines inside the whole production system depending on budget and what kinds of food they plan to make. At the same time, consumer always consider three factors when they are going to make their decisions: budget, productivity and space availability.

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