EVENTIDE - USER-CENTERED design for services
This group project challenged us, as a team, to develop a deep understanding of the service users and create an offering intended for them. This included developing and testing a prototype of the service, and a dashboard of indicators ideated to monitor the expected performance levels and results of the system. Out team developed a system of products (goods and services) which encourage and foster healthier sun protection behaviors in the user. My overall role included being an active part of all the stages of the project development and refinement, from start to finish.
Group Members: Brandon Anderson, Shreya Dhawan, Jason Hwang, Siddhant Patel and Ada Sin.
Skillsets Used: Contextual research, Ethnographic research, Prototyping techniques, Evaluative research, Service concepting, Service Design tools and frameworks
The team saw skincare behaviors particularly sun protection as a unique challenge to develop a service. The skincare market is crowded with sun protection goods. A thorough market scan revealed strategies deployed by companies to avoid commoditization, marketing by customer segmentation related to the intended activity, environment, health and beauty focuses. However, use of sunscreen is just one possible sun protection behavior. There is a need to enforce complementary behaviors that can help protect skin against a number of harmful sun related skin cancer diseased and syndromes. The objective was to help the users foster healthy skin care behaviors to avoid skin cancer.
The approach was iterative and rapid, moving swiftly between the problem-solution spaces. This was done through understanding the problem space, user's and their challenges and frustrations, while capturing initial themes, concepts, insights and findings which could inform the solutions.
During this phase of the project a range of research studies, reports and journal articles about sunscreen, skincare behaviors and skin cancer were consulted. This included conducting a trend analysis of innovations in that space. Here are a few findings:
a. Children who experience sunburns are more likely to be diagnosed with skin cancer as adults.
b. Sales of sunscreen is increasing year over year while skin cancer diagnoses is increasing at the same pace.
c. Demographics - White older men are more susceptible to skin cancer risks due to possible optimism bias in their ability to "tan".
d. Sunscreen brands are attempting to differentiate their goods by elevating them to experiences, making them more social, fun, and easier to use.
e. Most significant indicator of behavior change in increasing sun protection practices, were events. Individuals who have experienced skin cancer in their family, or have been diagnosed with it, were more likely to adopt new sun protection behaviors.
The team also conducted primary research at two contexts in Savannah, Georgia, at the Tybee Island Beach, and Forsyth Park. These two contexts allowed the team to conduct a day long observation with a focus on understanding the journey of the individuals to enjoy at the beach or the park.
USER JOURNEY MAP
A user journey map was constructed, noting physical evidences, activities and touchpoints based on key observations from the primary research at Tybee Island Beach. This worked as a great way to address the interventions of service concepts that could be applied, created, removed, or extended at various points in the journey.
The team generated ideas from all aspects of skincare with an attempt to initially incorporate existing goods and services. A list of over 18 initial service ideas were generated after analyzing possible points of intervention and pain in the user journey map.
All of the service concepts were captured, documented and assessed by the team. Each idea was then evaluated in a decision matrix against factors like innovation, feasibility, novelty, sustainability and more. The top concepts emerged and the team realized they could be combined to form a system of goods and services to provide the user with better skin care behaviors
SERVICE DESIGN PRINCIPLES
To create a sense of coherence and efficiency, the team identified key design principles which acted as guides in the development of the brand, user experience, mobile application and other key elements of the service system we intended to assemble and prototype.
a. Add additional sun protection touchpoints wherever possible.
b. Extend the experience of sunscreen to other types of protection practices.
c. Leverage existing contextual behaviors to provide new services with minimal user effort.
d. Capitalize on turning awareness that users already possess into action using nudges and suggestions.
e. Increase the access of sun protection barriers and leverage technology as a facilitator.
SERVICE ENCOUNTERs MAP
We used the service encounters map progressively to describe the trigger and experiences of our user’s encounters with our service. It helped to reveal, how and which of their interactions can be further designed. We constantly iterated this map as we understood our offerings better with time.
SERVICE OFFERING MAP
The team put together a service offering map to visually describe the service offered to its users. The map contains the following parts: core service: the primary service offered by Eventide, facilitating services: the services enabling our core service and supporting services: the service enhancing and making our service unique.
The augmented offering map describes how users will get access, participate and interact with our service. This tool helped us to understand the service through different lenses and define our unique offerings that would attract our targeted user base, co-create value, and characterize the relationship between our service and customers.
BUSINESS MODEL CANVAS
An analysis of the business was conducted through Osterwalder’s Business Model Canvas to articulate our customer segments and their value propositions, our key partners, revenue streams and how they will be balanced with our running costs.
The result was a high level business examination and analysis of what it might take to operationalize the service.
Branding of eventide
The team converged on key themes and characteristics to inform a brand identity and development which resonate with our users and target customers. We referenced the design principles we developed as a team, especially the “make it fun” principle in developing the brand. The team settled on the name “Eventide” for the following reasons:
Ritualistic associations: The word eventide describes the evening time and often is a term for a religious service which take place in the evening. Borrowing from this, the theme supports and reinforces the service’s aim to create and sustain behaviors to become new rituals for users, which quite literally revolve around sun protection.
Descriptive associations: The word eventide when broken into its two root words, “even”, and “tide” suggest a connection to the service which conveys both a sense of quality (even, e.g. even application, even protection) and context (tide, e.g. connection to the ocean or beach, sense of the environmental).
The logo design chosen conveyed a sense of fun, the sun and features an umbrella, a lighthearted allusion to a key element of our service system provided to our customers. The color scheme chosen is bright, refreshing and playful. It was chosen because of its perceived appeal to families and suggests the hues reminiscent of the sun and surf.
Eventide required a powerful facilitator of the service system. The team evaluated various technical approaches and platforms to bring the range of possible services together for the user. The best approach was to develop a mobile experience for the user to interact with at various touchpoints of the goods and service system in the form of an application. This application was developed using two scenarios and based on user stories and tasks needing to be performed such as, profile creation, subscription selection, and key business process integrations for Eventide. This process was initiated by developing early wireframes to construct the structure and the flow of the mobile experience. The team worked on fleshing out tiny details of each interactive screen and ways to incorporate the branding into the mobile application. The mobile experience went through multiple rounds of feedback and iterations to be ready for the prototyping day.
To validate and refine our service concept, the team created a series of working prototypes based on three user stories that were inspired based on the customer segments and activities which the team drew from the secondary and primary research.
These stories helped to guide the creation of the prototypes and bound them together in an attempt to convey a cohesiveness to the prototype tester. The prototypes included a working version of Eventide’s mobile application, Eventide’s sunscreen dispenser with membership recognition sensors, models of Eventide’s monthly skincare goods subscription, and Eventide’s sunscreen misting umbrella rental. Together, these prototypes represent the key elements of the system of services designed to create better skincare habits in the user.
We created a conceptual “servicescape” using a tent on Tybee Island Beach during a busy day full of events at the beach on a main thoroughfare of foot traffic. We marketed ourselves through signs along the way, and even created a SnapChat geolocation based filter for Eventide to advertise to beachgoers. This helped to draw users to test and experience the Eventide system of goods and services. The team worked various stations to introduce the prototype tester to the overall concept and prototyping activity at each station. We deployed several methods of capturing feedback from our users, from recording behaviors on the mobile application, documenting with photographs and video, and logging probing conversations and feedback from the prototype testers.
In total, the prototypes engaged over 25 testers who provided valuable feedback to the team for improvement and validation of the Eventide system.
FEEDBACK AND IMPROVEMENTS
The insights gathered from individual and group experiences were collated and affinitized to conclude the learnings into two aspects - service improvements and prototype improvements. Some of our key learnings were:
Our service is desirable to younger users who value subscription models and rentals. Customer demographics and segments will require higher level of sophistication for positioning and marketing of various offering. Customer engagement and preference feedback with various elements of the service were marked by age and gender.
Customization is key; the choice of offerings have to suit the targeted user in context. Feedback indicated customization and user preferences for particular goods in the subscription were perceived to be highly valuable to customers.
Additionally, the team identified ways in which we would improve the prototype execution and experience itself, what went well, and what could be improved for next time. Ultimately, these findings reiterated the importance of planning, storytelling, flow management of prototype testers, and the careful consideration of context for prototypes
Our team decided to think of Eventide as a newer business in the early stages of getting established, building a brand and delivering value to its customers. As such, the team considered strategic goals for a company at this stage related to the user and customer experience and serve as the guide for development of key performance indicators. The following are Eventide’s strategic goals:
a. Deliver an excellent customer experience.
b. Keep innovating goods and services which surprise and delight customers.
c. Make goods and services which cater to all customer segments.
KEY PERFORMANCE INDICATORS
Using the strategic goals as a guide, we created Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for Eventide, using the Balanced Scorecard as an initial framework and then distilling down to only the customer related indicators in accordance with the course focus on user centricity.
The team went through a list of possible KPIs and considered which would be the most important and effective at helping the leadership of Eventide see leading and lagging indicators of customer growth, satisfaction and adoption.
POSSIBLE FUTURE SCENARIOS
Go it alone: Eventide would set out on its own, and along with key partners continue to refine their value proposition and offerings as they gained further insight into the user preferences and behaviors.
Avoid commoditization: Eventide could have been developed and deployed as a bold marketing move for an existing sunscreen or skincare brand or health conscious lifestyle brand (e.g. health club brand, or spa brand) seeking to extend their reach beyond providing a commodity, but an experience or lifestyle to their customers.
Take a public health angle: Eventide could be reimagined as a public health or corporate social responsibility initiative though this scenario focused on the reduction of skin cancer diagnosis. Though it would require completely different business models.