In the past two weeks, we developed a concept to improve the everyday life for employees and clients of the Bahnhofsmission München.
To do so, we conducted interviews with our target group to identify their needs or problems. We then decided to focus on two topics: On the one hand, we wanted our concept to achieve a shortened, more pleasant and meaningful waiting time for clients and find a way to strengthen their self-esteem. On the other hand we were looking for a way to reduce the employees’ work load and provide them with a system that allows them to identify and refer to their clients unambiguously.
Our solution primarily tries to enable communication between clients. It consists of a simple infoscreen in the waiting room, which shows the requests a client has entered into a specially designed app on a tablet at the front desk. Other waiting clients can then identify the person seeking help through the unique colour-combination of their mug, displayed beside the request on the infoscreen, and may approach that person if they are able and willing to help.
We choose mugs as objects for identification because they are already widely in use (tea is offered for free at the Bahnhofsmission). This solution also respects two fundamental requirements: It allows the clients to stay completely anonymous but does not use a bureaucratic and inflexible numbering system.
Clients now have the possibility to not only seek help, but to help their peers. They may discover that they are not alone in their particular situation. Furthermore, this reduces waiting times for clients and working times for employees.
In the future there might even be an online platform for client-communication, regulated by the Bahnhofsmission. In the end, we are quite sure that the clients would quickly adopt our concept and it could be easily introduced in the Bahnhofsmission in general.