Here at Werkspot, we like to work together with educational partners. As part of our innovation network, Strategic Product Design (Master) students of Delft University of Technology worked on design cases. The projects of these students were a little different than usual. Students are used to working in the waterfall approach. The cases here at Werkspot were coached differently: They did three sprints according to the agile methodology and Scrum framework. Within those sprints they adhered to the lean approach. Multiple experiments were conducted, ranging from interviews, paper prototyping and smokescreens via email campaigns. One can discuss what makes an MVP an MVP; what is sure is real end-users generated insights to form the concepts and strategies on.
Two hours before the pitching starts the students start to shuffle in. A mixture of excitement and nerves can be seen on each of their faces. Each of the groups prepared a 5-minute pitch on the concept they worked on for 10 weeks. After a short energizer which filled the meeting room with loud youthful noises we went through all slide decks. Everyone was well prepared and ready as a duck. One student asked: “How many people can we expect?”. When I estimated fifty, her eyes opened wide with delight and anxiety: “Wow, that’s more than I expected”. When the students arrived upstairs, one could easily spot who was going to present of each group: wiggling on their feet and drinking a lot of water. The bar was opened and Werkspotters started to gather around. Time for the first pitch.
Pitch 1: Offerty streamlines communication
The first pitch was done by 3xA Design (each grouped named themselves). They envisioned that Werkspot should help in facilitating easy and open communication between the service professional and the consumer. Their concept was Offerty, an app that gives an easy to use overview of the jobs they are working on. Consumers can receive updates about their job as the SP works on the job.
Pitch 2: First aid for theft
The second pitch found an interesting insight during their research: Service professionals are all afraid their equipment gets stolen. The app EHBD (‘Eerste hulp bij diefstal’, Dutch for first aid for theft) aims to get rid of the hassle after a theft. Easy communication with their insurance, a digital overview of their tools and an overview of what info you need to supply to the police. Click here to see a demo.
Pitch 3: Chatpro engages in conversation
One of the cases focused on creating a more delightful experience for consumers. Describing their job can be hard. Customers feel misunderstood about the job that they want to get done. Chatpro’s team proposed a strategy of layering on various interaction methods, ranging from an improved form, a Werkspot Expert and AI supported chatbots to enable a conversational UI.
Pitch 4: Werk+ enables a community
Werk+ was the fourth pitched concept. They found that trust and quality are hugely important for consumers to use our platform. Their proposed vision was to enhance the feeling of community to enable this trust. An interactive map with social media integrations would enhance the feeling of community.
Pitch 5: Werkplan visualizes the job
The last pitch was done by Bananabrand. Their research showed that service professionals like to feel appreciated. A consumer-first oriented app allows the consumer to ask for advice on more specific details in the entire job. This is a standalone app, yet allows for a direct job posted on Werkspot. This way the consumer is better informed and the service pro can offer advice where needed.
Werkplan wins the audience award
50 minutes down the road and the first award ceremony was about to take place. The audience gets to vote on their favourite concept. Voters take out their smartphone and rethink which concept should win. As the votes started to pour in it soon became clear that Werkplan won the audience award by a landslide. A warm applause and cheering sounded from the audience and the team moved forward to collect their award (an engraved hammer).
And the jury award goes to…
The jury, consisting of Ronald (CEO), Kris (CSO) and Jaap (CTO), retreats to a meeting room. While the door shuts slowly, the sound from the audience gets softer and becomes inaudible. The jury expressed their appreciation of the proper presentation skills but comes down to business right away. Two concepts were closely tied to their potential and the link with Werkspot stood out.
The jury walks out of the meeting room. For one last time that afternoon I passed the microphone to Ronald. The audience went silent and all the eyes were aimed at Ronald. He goes over each of the pitches. As he announced the runner-up, the winning team looks excited and confused. Later one of the members will explain: “I was not sure whether we won or not.” When Ronald said the words “Which makes us come to the winner, Chatpro”, cheering followed. Based on their strong integration plan and direct integration potential, Chatpro snatches the jury award from their competition. They have shown that they understand the problems a consumer faces and offer a technically feasible solution. Well done!
After one and a half hour, the formal part is over. Teams are happy the semester has been put to an end. They happily grab some drinks from the bar and discuss their concepts with the Werkspotters even further. Some of the students went on to discover the nightlife of Amsterdam. All I can say is that as an innovation manager and as a teacher I can recommend this kind of collab to anyone.
Written by Jeroen Coelen. I’m an innovation manager at Werkspot and a part-time teacher at TU Delft, focusing on design strategy and entrepreneurship.