We spent the past three days talking to experts from factory42, IDnow and brigk.
factory42: In terms of teamwork, employees’ consensus was that the many meetings held are required to keep the software and sales teams on the same page. Common issues mentioned include their dependency on the internet as well as their clients’ lack of modern communication platforms.
IDnow: Collaboration and teamwork are key because different departments work together to handle customer enquiries. This is facilitated by the openness of the office and its layout: Teams that need to collaborate sit closer to each other, so the needed colleague is never far away. This is very different from factory42. Employees there prefer to message because their colleagues may be sitting further away or be out of office (e. g. in Home Office).
The founder of Coworking Space brigk had a unique perspective of the modern workplace. At brigk, planned meetings are less important than personal conversations. In this very diverse environment, the largest issue is the lack of a shared calendar. This is the area that could be improved upon the most.
In today’s world, where technology continues to grow, more and more different ways of working appear to be more flexible and useful. In interviews with knowledge workers we want to find out how “new work” already influences them in their daily work, how they will work in the future, which advantages and disadvantages and difficulties they will encounter and which possibilities there will be through a change in working life.
So far, the interviews have shown that working life already differs greatly from that of a few years ago and that the development of new ways of working is progressing more and more. For example, we had an interviewee from a company who changed from a permanent office to an “open space” office. We also notice that the possibilities for “home office” are increasing and that there is a growing interest in it.
We have also been able to identify some suggestions for improvement and are looking forward to processing this data and are excited about the results that will ultimately be achieved.
“I don’t want to measure by 9-to-5, but by tasks that are done and goals that are achieved”. This thought by a young founder from a marketing agency shows that current developments in the labor market are moving away from the traditional job with eight-hour compulsory attendance. Employees want to work more flexibly. They want to work more flexibly instead of marking time in the office even though they have successfully completed their tasks.
Our focus with the user researches laid on how the different persons would describe their perfect job and how it might look in ten years. We were also very interested in the challenges digital workers are facing:
– the distribution of tasks internally,
– productivity and efficiency and
– the communication with colleagues working on the other side of the world.
The interviews show that rigid working models are outdated and that the digital industry is looking for alternative solutions.
The main idea of New Work is to give people freedom to be more creative and to support each individual to develop their full potential. For most it means getting rid of traditional ways of working and moving on to modern work concepts. Some might even say it is a lifestyle.
Wondering in which ways to enrich the daily work life, we decided to take a look at different companies – some with a lot of experience with New Work concepts and some who are still in the process of figuring out how to introduce it. In Interviews we were fortunate enough to gain insights on how those companies implement their work concepts. For example we were able to take a look around Werk1 and experience how a co-working space is utilized.
During these interviews we collected lots of helpful information and were already able to identify some problems. Ultimately we hope to create a tool to improve and support the everyday life of a worker in the future.
In this day and age traditional working methods have become outdated and a demand for more modern techniques to cope with globalisation and digitalisation has emerged. This development has led to the concept of “New Work”, where teamwork and efficiency are a major priority and the goal is to optimise the individual’s work-life-balance.
For our project’s UX Research we conducted our interviews with the company “Serviceplan”, which is based in Munich and has embedded the concept of “New Work” in their firm. They provide flexible working spaces, like stand-up desks, large conference tables in an open space, lounge chairs, etc., so the employees are not constricted to one cubicle or desk anymore. Furthermore, outdoor working areas are implemented and “HomeOffice” is an option as well.
We noticed that even though the business is a forerunner regarding “New Work”, there are still areas with room for improvement, e.g. meetings and the combination of various communication tools.
Since the industrial revolution, work consisted of executing a certain task that was part of a process, serving to craft a certain product. In today’s world, humans want to have fun at work, they want it to merge with their private life and to eventually reach self-actualization. This is where the concept of New Work and work-life-blending comes in; a new work environment which is supposed to be more fun, social but individualized, flexible but productive, more creative but more affordable.
Open offices, coworking spaces, and home offices are meant to be offering all of these features. Their concept drifts away from separate office rooms and permanent working places to large, open spaces with flexible work desks and working times, offering comfortable places to network and exchange ideas.
While all of this sounds great at first sight, we contacted companies whose employees are working in such environments and that were kind enough to let us speak to some of them, to find out if the new work concept is as flawless and what one could improve to make it even better.
While online shopping is growing in the market, retailers had to improve or change their concepts to attract customers to come and visit their stores. Our user research is all be about retail experiences and their opportunities and challenges.
Through five observations and interviews with different retail staff and manager we had a great insight in their working process and interactions with the customers. We wanted to know why people come to their stores and if there is something that can be improved in order to make a special shopping experience. There are always new challenges for the retail stores because there is much competition in this industry. As a retailer, you should be able to keep up with trends and the customer expectations. But people still value the personal support and advice that they get from the retail staff. Moreover, finding a good technology for the retail industry is not always easy and challenging, too.
We are really looking forward to the results of our project.
Unsere Gruppe hat vier verschiedene Läden besucht, um sich dort die Arbeitsabläufe anzuschauen und erklären zu lassen.
Unser erstes Interview in einem Getränkeladen barg so einiges an Überaschungen. Der Besitzer ist ein Mann dessen Lebensphilosophie es ist: “Alles was Technik kann, kann ich mit meinem Hirn schon lange”. Obwohl er selbst keine Technik verwendet war es sehr interessant die alltäglichen Probleme die es in einem Getränkeladen gibt zu erfahren.
Der zweite Laden gehört Frau Janosch. Sie leitet ihn bereits seit über 30 Jahren, weshalb sie viel Erfahrung hat und auch den Wandel im Einzelhandel bzgl. Online-Shops miterlebt hat. Sie betreibt zusätzlich zu ihrem Laden einen kleinen Online-Shop, der aber eher weniger Profit erzeugt. Zur Erhaltung des Einzelhandels würde sie sich vor allem mehr Unterstützung durch die Städte wünschen, für unmittelbare Verbesserungen im Laden selbst hatte sie keine Ideen.
Das Gespräch mit dem Storemanager des dritten Ladens, der Bierothek-Filiale, zeigte, dass dieser größtenteils an innovativen Ideen interessiert ist. Wert legt er auf die persönliche und individuelle Beratung der Kunden und klagte z.B. über das komplizierte Pfandsystem.
Am letzten Tag waren wir im vierten Laden, einem Comicbuchladen, welcher sehr viele analoge Wege der Waren- und Kundenverwaltung geht. Der Besitzer war so freundlich, und diese sehr ausführlich zu erklären und uns auch auf die Besonderheiten des Buchandels aufmerksam zu machen.
Can physical stores still keep up with the digital age nowadays? Which gadgets are being used for that? Why should people buy products in physical shops and what is the differences between the big chains and individual stores?
The user-research of group 4 concentrates on the interaction between mobile devices and the internet and the real, physical shopping experience in sports stores, clothes shops and sportswear stores. We interviewed six people, shop assistants, as well as managers and owners, and asked them about the topic “opportunity or competition- ‘internet’ in retail”. Issues we talked about were about the pay desks, service schedules, communication between staff, social media, homepages and so on.
Together with the staff we applied for memberships, bought items without queuing up and looked up social media appearances and put our balance to the test in a familiar environment.
Books are something that most people possess today,
regardless of their age, gender or income. They inform or advise, distract
after a long day, fill beautiful looking bookshelves and are also ideal as a
gift. In bookstores you will find a wide range of books, you can have a closer
look at a book, get advice on the purchase and maybe even order a book for
Nevertheless, bookstores today are increasingly
confronted with the challenge of keeping up with online shops like Amazon in
order not to lose customers. Especially young people appreciate being able to
shop quickly and easily on the Internet and consider a bookstore only as a
waste of time. That’s why it’s important to make bookstores digital and
For a deeper insight into the topic, we conducted interviews with various bookstores. To get a comprehensive overview, we talked to both employees and owners. Most bookstores already offer digital content, they own an online shop and sell also audiobooks and eBooks. However, the size of the digital offering varies from store to store.
Using the information we gathered in the interviews, we will work out a concept over the next two weeks to improve the customer experience in bookstores using digital contents.