Alm Brand Design Challenge

Skills: Service Design, Interaction Design, Prototyping, Contextual Inquiry, User tests, Design Thinking and Design Sprint

Analyzing customer groups to find meaningful touchpoints for an insurance company. 

The Iterative Process

Design Brief

Alm Brand is a Danish insurance firm, who issued a design brief at Aarhus University. They wanted to create the future of insurance, through IOT, and to create a new view on insurance companies, from the customers perspective. We used this case to test our use of methods and applying gained knowledge to a final artifact.
We used this case to test our use of methods and applying gained knowledge to a final artifact.

The Process

The process has been a longer journey through different knowledge creating methods and workshops. We entered three larger phases; Knowledge creation, Knowledge analyzing, and prototyping. All of these methods were applied and configured to the context. Overall the process was very iterative, and we shifted from phase to phase.


1. Contextual Inquiry

Before this method we had been gathering data through questionnaires and interviews. This data was analyzed with the adjusted use of the Critical Incident Technique. We looked at the most significant and meaningful answers instead of pure quantity.

We found our main focus, which was losing one’s checked-in luggage when traveling.

We decided to visit Billund Airport and use the contextual inquiry as presented by Löwgren and Stolterman. We interviewed and followed the staff around at the baggage claim and conducted unstructured observations. 

From the interviews with the staff, we gained insight to the complex airport systems and the stressful and sometimes aggressive feelings the passengers have, when losing their luggage. From the observations, we could gather information about how people interacted and talked about their luggage. This visit’s direct impact on the final design can be seen directly in the feedback loops and how it is built into the current airport systems.


2. Design Sprint and Protoyping

Before this method we had done the contextual inquiry and received feedback from Alm Brand and our professors.

We decided it was time to apply all the gathered insights, and physically transform them into a testable prototype. We knew beforehand we wanted to create something visible to the user, and something by which the insurance company could easily determine, whether the luggage was stolen, lost, or retrievable.

To find out, what we wanted to create, we used an applied Design Sprint. There are many different ways to understand a design sprint, but we went about it the following way:

1. Understand the user is usually the first part of a design sprint. We had already done this part in the first phase of the process. Instead we gathered inspiration by looking at what others have created in this genre (luggage), and how other design products looks and feels like.

2.Diverging was then done by sketching as many possible solutions as possible.

3. Deciding three final sketches, was done by comparing them all and gathering liked aspects and creating final sketches.

4.Prototyping is of course a key aspect. We made use of parallel prototyping, so that it was easy to compare them with each other. We gathered suitcases, where we could test our prototypes on which made it easier to replicate the usage situation.


5. Validate is the final stage, which we dropped and did lab-tests instead. This was done out of time pressure, otherwise, testing at an airport with real users would have been preferred.

After this process we knew what technologies should be used, and that we then only needed to test and readjust aspects of the design, which was done through the lab-tests.


The Insurance aspect

The outcome was a GPS tracker, which could be accessed by the insurance company, when the customer wanted to. The insurance company would then be able to tell, if the luggage was in the airport, on a different flight or airport, or even out in a city somewhere. Then it would be possible to determine, if the luggage would return or not. By having the possibility of this, the insurance company could pay-out the full insurance claim, and the customer wouldn’t spent time wondering, being nervous, or getting as aggressive as before. This would speed up the process and take a lot of the responsibility of the user.

The user aspect

The GPS tracker would be inside a buckle on a strap. To activate it, the user simply closes the buckle and LED’s would light up, like when a car is locked. This would inform the user, that the GPS is active. These LED’s could later be activated inside the Airport, if the luggage was lost, to make it recognizable to both the user and the personnel. This would also deal with the issue of privacy, as the personal don’t like to go inside others luggage to find personal items as medicine. This final design is a product of the knowledge gained in the aforementioned methods.