ServDes.2020
Pre-arrival Service
Role
UX Researcher
Project Manager
Skills
Service Design
User Research
Duration
Five weeks

Background

ServDes, the Service Design and Innovation conference, is an international conference event for exchanging knowledge and gaining insights within service design studies. ServDes.2020 was held for the first time outside Europe and in the Asia-Pacific region, taking place at RMIT University, Melbourne.

This project was part of the RMIT Service Design course. As one of the pre-arrival team, the objective is to ensure useful and essential information is delivered to attendees prior to the event. I was responsible for conducting user research, project collaboration and formulating a plan to meet the objectives of the project and deadline.

Identify key stakeholders and their needs

To identify the key stakeholders of our service, a stakeholder map was adapted to the project at the early stage and the scope of this method was narrowed down to only focussing on the potential attendees rather than looking into all types of stakeholders.

A list of possible interviewees was brainstormed from the map, leading the team to communicate with potential attendees from various parts of the world.

In-depth interviews were conducted with five attendees online, including 1 workshop facilitator, 2 presenters, 1 panel presenters and 1 practitioner.

2 personas were created from the interview result and qualitative research. We also broke down the attendees by their conference experience, concerns, goals and travel styles.

This helps us gauge user needs and pain-points that were felt by conference attendees. These insights included the need for:

Necessary and local travel information provided beforehand.

An alternative way of network socialising that allows attendees to engage with each other before the conference.

Brainstorm and Ideate possible solutions

Through the research, essential information and contents are categorised into three different stages of the pre-arrival timeline. All the findings and insights from interviews and researches on the canvas below were included for brainstorming and ideation.

After several discussions within the group, different implementations tha could help solve the attendees’s needs were proposed, which has been transformed into possible propositions below :

Essential information webpage

Touchpoint : Conference website

Online network socialising channel

Touchpoint : Slack

Pre-conference and welcoming email

Touchpoint : E-mail

Given the limitations of the resources and time, the team decided to focus on developing porposition one since webpage serves as a main digital touchpoint of the conference. It is an important channel to the audience in terms of finding important and essetial information.

Concept development and Limitation

Following the Website team’s guideline and information architecture structure, the team was advised to keep all information on two pages. This includes Travel + Accommodation page and Venue + Location page.

Prototyping

The prototype was created on Wix platform.

Travel + Accommodation page
The content is divided and placed into three different sections:planning your trip, arriving in the city, and travelling in Melbourne. Attendees can simply click on the section they are interested in and the webpage will simply scroll down to it.

Travel + Accommodation page
Since most attendees are interested in local lives and culture, traditional markets and Aboriginal culture information was highlighted along with a short city tour video done by previous students.

Venue + Location page
A map is added to show attendees that they are able to take different types of public transport to the venue.

Usability Testing

A usability test is employed at the final stage of this proposal. The main objective at this stage is to understand if attendees can find the information they want on our website during their pre-arrival time.

Testing Process
The whole test will be based on a fictional scenario. Four stakeholders were asked to project themselves as overseas attendees and is planning their trips at that moment. Within the test, testers are expected to use the webpage for acquiring travel information first before looking into other sources.

Testing outcome
The structure of both pages works well. However, the two pages are both overly text-heavy, due to the massive amount of essential information. The style guide needs to be adjusted and focused on improving legibility.

Takeaway

As the project was conducted during the pandemic and lockdown, all the collaboration, interviews and meetings took place online. It was a really refreshing experience to work with peers, lecturers, and stakeholders fully remotely through various platforms, including Slack, Miro and Zoom.

Although later on, the conference was announced as being fully online and our design could not be implemented on the conference website, I still think it is a very valuable opportunity to develop and design this project during times of uncertainty. My time in this class has also helped me to refine my user research skills in interviewing users from various cultural backgrounds and learn how cultural differences can really play a role in the interview process and results.

Brainstorm design methods with peers on Miro.