AUGUST 2019 by DONGLIN KIM

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DOUGH Stretch your potential

Designing the first step

to think about your career

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This project was in partnership with Alpha, an innovation facility from Telefonica, for a mission to help Generation Z to optimise their personal decisions to increase happiness and well-being.

CLIENT

Telefonica Alpha

ROLE

User Researcher, Design Strategist,

UX/UI Designer, Service Designer

TEAM

Ally Rosam, Karen Rozenbaum

DURATION

Oct 2018 - Jan 2019

TOOLS

  • Illustrator
  • Photoshop
  • Flinto
  • Sketch

TUTOR

Dr Qian Sun

 

PROJECT OVERVIEW

How can we empower young people to successfully navigate life’s transitions by leveraging data?

THE CHALLENGE

How can we tackle the challenge of exploring ‘what I want to be’ in a context where the future of the workplace is uncertain and when you are in the process of learning how to work?

TARGET USERS

We focused on key moments in 16 to 24-year-old young people’s lives, when they had to decide what they want to be in the future. 

Workshop at Shenfield High School, Essex

INSIGHTS FROM USER RESEARCH 

Even with the information that exists on the internet regarding new jobs and technology,

young people had little knowledge of emerging roles outside traditional careers and they were often influenced by their immediate social environment.

 

Also, due to the high levels of anxiety and pressure from parents, teachers and society in general, they were struggling to envision what they could become in the future.

As a consequence, they were making an uninformed decision in auto-pilot mode. 

FROM INSIGHTS TO SOLUTIONING
  • Open up possibilities instead of closing them down

  • Changing the first step from picking a career to understanding yourself better 

  • Changing them from auto-pilot mode to making more informed decisions, allowing them to be more conscious and in control of their futures

THE SOLUTION: DOUGH

What is Dough?

Dough is a peer-to-peer discovery app for young people that will help them better understand themselves and others in the world of work. It provides opportunities to learn from and become inspired by videos shared by professionals sharing how they work and their work environments.

Discovering how you might like to work

Dough learns and analyses users’ reactions to each video and provides data in the form of a profile about how they might like to work and what might be important to them, which facilitates greater self-awareness.

Watch the video below to see how it works.

Inspiration from real professionals

By showing videos created by professionals themselves and providing them randomly to explore, Dough allows users to broaden their perspective on future possibilities regarding work. 

Details beyond traditional job descriptions

See how people work, what they do and what the environment is like. Users can learn working lifestyle and personal details that help them imagine what their life could be like and compare reality and expectation.

(Turn on the volume to listen)

 
 

PROCESS: HOW WE GOT THERE

1. THE BRIEF & MISSION

Alpha, an innovation facility from Telefonica, approached us to develop a service that can help young people to increase their agency they have upon their lives. Their vision was to create a positive social impact as well as grow business. 

 

The missions were to:

  • Target young people aged between 16 to 24 (Generation Z) who are learning to understand and wield their own agency at a time of transition from school to tertiary education and work. 

  • Enable positive behavioural change to help young people to optimise their personal decisions to maximise happiness and increase well-being.

  • Leverage data and AI to empower individuals to discover and understand the levers of their own happiness

2. WHY THE FUTURE OF WORK?

The fundamental nature of work is changing under automation, digital platforms and other innovations. Also, new ways of learning are emerging outside the traditional educational systems. We thought that tackling these challenges would be critical for our target group who are transitioning from school to work and are finding what they want to be in the future. 

The future of work is already happening, but there is a gap between Generation Z’s expectations and reality:

Gen Z’s dream jobs vs changing job market

Digital technology is leading to an increase in the variety of jobs and meanwhile some jobs won’t exist. But Gen Z’s‘dream jobs’ aren’t all that different from previous generations’

The entire ecosystem of job market is changing

By 2030, 43% of the workforce will be freelance and it is anticipated that they will have 15-17 jobs in a lifetime.

Little awareness of how future of work is changing

Despite the rise of digital technology and the fact that they are the first2 100% digitally native generation, Gen Z has little awareness of how jobs are changing.

3. WHAT DO YOUNG PEOPLE REALLY THINK ABOUT WORK?

     PRIMARY RESEARCH

1/2

4. WHAT ARE THEIR PAIN POINTS?

     SYNTHESIZE THE DATA INTO INSIGHTS

1. Little consideration about the future of work

Even with the information that exists on the internet about new jobs and technology, they had limited knowledge of emerging roles outside traditional careers. Their career decisions are often influenced by their immediate social environment.

2. Struggling to envision what they

  could become in the future

They have a high level of anxiety due to pressure from parents, teachers and society in general. 

They use negative language to reflect on their future and in describing what will make them happy at work. 

3. Pick a career first and adjust

   themselves afterwards

They were choosing a career position first and then thinking backwards to understand the necessary academic and technical skills that were needed.

What were the implications of these pain points?

Trade-offs

They make trade-offs with easier options, giving up what they like to do, not considering a positive reflection about themselves.

“I love writing but I decided to keep it as a hobby. I chose law because it was an easier path to get into.” - Steph 16

Auto-pilot mode

They feel highly pressured and make decisions in auto-pilot mode.

“There comes a point when we’re just NUMB about it.

-Nina, 17 

Uninformed decisions 

They make decisions without exploring future possibilities and considering their opportunities. 

5. EXISTING CAREER SERVICES FOCUS ON  NARROWING DOWN CHOICES

With the key insights in mind, we wanted to understand what services are already in the market. The existing services support young people but very much focus on narrowing down choices, which is possible once they already have a certain level of self-understanding and know what they are trying to achieve.

6. FROM INSIGHTS TO SOLUTIONING

How might we empower young people to imagine their ideal future selves so that they can positively reframe the decision-making moment by considering future possibilities? 

  • Open up possibilities instead of closing them down

  • Changing the first step from picking a career to understanding yourself better 

  • Changing them from auto-pilot mode to making more informed decisions, allowing them to be more conscious and in control of their future

7. STRATEGY: EXPAND THE 'PRE-EXPERIENCE' PHASE

Journey of making a decision

From our research, we came to understand that there are moments and phases of making decisions. This is characterised by high levels of anxiety and influences from the educational system, parents and society.

What is ‘pre-experience’?

This is when young people talk and interact with professionals and learn from their experiences. They often start to feel positive during this phase. This helps them to compare their expectations with reality and to imagine what their life might look like. It also enables practical exploration by gaining real-world insights shared by professionals. 

Our strategy is to expand the ‘pre-experience’ phase throughout the decision-making journey to harness the positive feeling and the level of understanding it allows

by enabling young people to interact with professionals whilst allowing them to

learn from those interactions.

8. INITIAL SERVICE CONCEPT

Young people can watch randomly-selected short videos recorded and shared by young professionals on how they work.

The service analyses and learns from the users’ reactions to each video.

It provides the data in the form of profiles, which help users to gain a greater self-awareness related to work.

9. DESIGN RATIONALES: HOW WE CAME TO THE INITIAL CONCEPT

Use the medium that young people highly engage with 

“Videos are engaging and simple to use”

- From the interviews with Shenfield High School students

Use System 1 mode of thinking

Reacting to a random video is based on the theory of the System-1 mode of thinking, which is intuitive and inspires creativity and open-mindedness. 

- Paul Norris and Seymour Epstein, Journal of Personality

Match with Gen Z’s short attention span

We chose short videos as people of Generation Z have an average attention rate of 8 seconds. 

- Nola Media Group, GenZ Consumption Habits Report 2018

Consider how they consume information

We used videos because this is the main way Generation Z consumes information. “We hate words”

- Nola Media Group, GenZ Consumption Habits Report, 2018

10. PROTOTYPING & TESTING

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11. THE MOTIVATIONS AND VALUE FOR PROFESSIONALS

     UNDERSTANDING THE OTHER SIDE OF THE SERVICE

Before developing our service concept further, which was based on peer-to-peer interaction (harnessing pre-experience phase), we needed to understand the motivation and willingness of professionals to share their experiences.

Entrepreneurs as a starting point

Professionals cover a lot of people. We focused on entrepreneurs as an initial engagement point because they are already working in new ways that many young people are not aware of. 

We conducted in-depth interviews with 10 entrepreneurs and the COO of a startup accelerator.

Through interviews, we could identify their interests, motivations and unmet needs and could receive videos that they recorded.

Inspiring the next generation

They are willing to support the next generation, often driven by either a negative experience whilst they were growing up or related to the support they have received from mentors. 

Recruitment issues

Due to their size combined with a lack of time and resources, they need to ‘find the right fit’ employee the first-time round. 

Increasing brand awareness

The entrepreneurs were very interested because the concept could help them expose their brand and start early engagement with the young generation.

Dashboard for professionals

We could privy to the data about what young people are valuing and how they might like to work. This is increasingly important as Generation Z is very different to previous generations and many businesses and industries are uncertain as to how to go about recruiting them. 

12. REFINED SOLUTION DOUGH - HOW DOES IT WORK?

(1) Record and upload videos showing

      how you work

Professionals upload a video and select keywords from a pre-populated list of categories. These are used to label the videos.

(2) Watch and react to videos

When young people start using Dough, the labels of the first 5 videos will be binary so we can start to learn about the user. For subsequent videos there will be multiple labels relating to each category, allowing the service to build a more sophisticated and personalised profile. 

(3) Receive a personalised ‘Dough Profile’ 

The service will collect the metadata from the videos that the young people like or dislike and it will calculate the most frequent data sets and create clusters, which will be visualised through the Dough profile.

(4) Access to dashboard

The professionals will be able to access data such as viewing stats and comments. They will be able to see what young people across the service are interested in in relation to work and provide the opportunity to connect with other professionals and young people based on their Dough profiles. 

We developed an ecosystem map with a systemic view of existing services and clarifying the opportunity space where Dough can be engaged. Dough could complement existing services and is best placed to be used in the early stages when understanding and exploring what young people want to be. 

14. VALUE PROPOSITION

1/5

15. SERVICE ROADMAP

13. WHERE DOUGH WOULD FIT INTO THE CURRENT ECOSYSTEM?

 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

Shortlisted by Telefonica Alpha

Our team was selected as a finalist among 23 groups to present the service at Alpha’s innovation facility located in Barcelona.

Pitch at the Department of Education

We were invited by The Department of Education

to present the project at their office, sharing

our approach to the solutioning. 

Motivation