Towards solutions via co-creation
On December 11th I attended an event called Redi*: Towards Solutions, in Redi*’s Vapaakaupungin Olohuone. Vapaakaupungin Olohuone is a open space for everyone who wants to hold an event, a workshop or just to be. It’s possible to organize events for free as long as they are free for everyone who participates. In this particular event was citicens, students, designers and Redi* workers who wanted to improve Redi*s services.
In the beginning of event the Director of Retail Consepts Patrick Sjöberg greeted us and explained that Redi* wants to be a place to meet friends ans spend time, not only for shopping. They hope to create a customer journey that is enjoyable and seamless. After Sjöbergs appearance Putte Huima from Palmu opened the concepts of this evening and why we all were there. Redi* is the latest addition to Helsinki’s shopping mall scene and it opened it’s doors in September 2018. According to the managers and designers Redi* is a wholesome concept, not just a shopping mall for shopping purposes. In addition to the physical spaces and shops Redi* also consists of interaction and encounters between people. Also the renters have their own goals, targets and numbers too that modify the needs of the Redi* concept.
The beginning journey for Redi* hasn’t been as fair passage that everyone had hoped
though. This commercial centre has received quite a lot qritique from the customers and the renters. The previous Director of Retail Concepts and the Main Architect were aware of the maze like appearance of Redi*. Later the Director of Retail Consepts got fired.
Related to this design process Palmu has started their own work that led to this event. They have even wrote a blog post about the designs of shopping malls that received an immediate response from Helsingin Sanomat in a form of follow up article.
The idea of this workshop was to create ways to ease the navigation process and help people to understand the whole concept of Redi*. In the next chapters I will try to unfold the things that I took up from the event.
Firstly, this event reminded me of that how important the right indicators are when you collect data in the beginning of a design process. Right numbers from rightly chosen variables can give you the crucial information for you to find out the problem at hand. Putte Huima and Tomasz Tracewski from Palmu explained us how they have used multiple different measurements and data collection methods to get enough information about the case they are dealing with.
Palmu uses double diamond method generally and in this case they have approached the situation in a form of design sprint. Palmu connects user experience with business measurements in aim for the right balance and better services. In this case they have collected information about peoples experience on how easy it is to patronise and navigate in Redi. They have done interviews with people about how easy they experience Redi to be, calculated info stand’s diverse questions, find out NPS’s and CES’s.. On the other hand they have calculated pure visitor numbers, because Redi expects to have over 30 000 patrons monthly. So fas the number has been around 20 000/month.
Second notice for me was that a lot of the times the issue is not about the design itself but the people using the service. One has to keep in mind at all times that to whom the design is made and why. Reima Rönnholm explained us that the problem might not be about the physical guidance itself but more about the doing business in Redi in general. People desire experiences that they are familiar with, can predict, sense feeling of the control and feel stressfree. In addition that one should be get things done in Redi, the experience ought to simultaneusly feel nice and hopefully rewarding.
Lastly and most surprisingly I learnt that co-designing process can be transferred into a competition! Instead of actually starting co-designing workshop in the end, Palmu revealed a competition regarding the matter at hand.
More information about the competition you can read from below. Dead line is January 31st so everyone still has time to attend!
The author Siru Sirén is MBA student in Futures Studies and Customer-Oriented Services in Laurea UAS// Licenced social service professional
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