Title: Guided Welcome
Time: 2 weeks Speculative Design, 2 weeks Implementable Design
Tools: People centered Research, Brainstorming, Speculative Design, Illustrator,
Interviews with employees, Premiere Pro, Rhinoceros
Team: Melina Pyykkönen, Akshay Verma
Task: Data Driven Service Design
Understand the needs, desires and challenges of the Copenhagen municipality
and their newly arriving citizens, to empower the phrase, ´Smart City, Smart
Faculty: Chris Downs, Marei Wollersberger & Jenna Date
Cooperation with the "International House Copenhagen"
The goal of this project was to speed up the process of immigrant registration at the International House in Copenhagen, and at the same time provide a more personal service. We divided the service personnel into three different areas to allow for multiple touch-points with the visitor at different stages in the process:
Greeter: Welcomes the visitor and checks them in
Runner: Walks around with a tablet, offering help and answering questions
Host: Gives an official welcome to Copenhagen and explains the formalities
By allowing the visitor to fill in the forms online and giving them a list of the documents required before they visit the International House, time is freed up for addressing individual needs rather than processing a mass of people. By offering visitors appointments through an online and a telephone service, the amount of people waiting in the visitor’s room becomes greatly reduced. This allows for restructuring the floor plan, creating a more pleasant ambience.
The Guided Welcome provides three services to make sure that people from different age ranges and different cultural backgrounds can choose the service they feel most comfortable with. This is necessary because the International House is the first touchpoint with Denmark for most of the newcomers.
I did a lot of interviewing people about their welcoming experience in Copenhagen and at the International House (Copenhagen municipality). Further on in the process co-creations and formulating design challenges laid in the responsibility of each team member separately as well as in a team. Everyone prototyped during our week one speculative design process in which we tested a fast and impersonal service.
The visualization of the final service map and service user journey is the outcome of my work in close collaboration with another team member.
Week 1 - TESTING A FAST AND IMPERSONAL SERVICE
How can the International House deliver an efficient service that respects visitors time and invites newcomers to become part of the Danish culture?
To better understand the current service offering and the context, we used the first half of the Data Driven Service Design course to speculate and research on possible futures of the service. Speculative thinking helped us to explore the service as a part of a larger entity, to develop our understanding and gather data at the conceptual level which gave us direction for the next phase.
Based on our interviews and insights, we took the McDonald’s model as a metaphor for a fast and impersonal service that delivers what you expect. The McDonald’s model reflects on the current service in a provocative way where the International House aims to process as many people as possible as fast as they can. Simultaneously, it comments on the world-wide and Danish development towards self-serviced digital interactions such as Mobilpay.
At the International House most of the time is used on delivering what people ‘need to have’; the documents that allow one to open a bank account and go to the doctor. Yet, the goal of the current service is also to share useful personal information, such as cultural and recreational events. However, there is no time for that.
From these insights we made a suggestion for a self-service vending machine where there is no need of interacting with a service employee. Interacting with the machine one receives a package containing the ‘need to haves’ such as CPR card and some of the ‘nice to haves’, such as biking rules and how to design your living space by Danish design standards.
Week 2 - TESTING A SLOW AND PERSONAL SERVICE
What if the citizen registration service at the International House was so personal that it became an unforgettable experience, the ultimate welcome that would make people never want to go back?
Following a fast and impersonal approach, our team ideated on a very personal and slow service. From the interviews with the service staff we found out that they need to understand the nuances of different cultures, and not hold prejudices. Therefore, we speculated on a service assistant’s role that would be much more than a clerical office job where welcoming the newcomer was of essence.
As a result, we used the wedding as a metaphor where the ritual of welcoming a newcomer personally becomes a central function. Weddings are generally an ultimate showcase of culture. Even if the ceremony does not take long one perceives it as being slow, as it is easy to follow and essential to be pronounced taking time and with attention.
We felt a wedding metaphor fosters mutual understanding of rights and responsibilities between the persons providing and receiving the service as well as sharing of trust – aspects that can also be acknowledged between a state and its citizens.