Inspiring young people to discover the world of work
UI UX design
Adobe creative suite
(Ai, Ps, Xd)
Alpha, an innovation facility created by Telefonica, has partnered with RCA Service Design to explore how a service can increase people’s happiness and enable positive changes in behaviour by bringing together design, technology and business.
How might we help young people explore their purpose in work when the future of the workplace is uncertain and quick to change?
Our main challenge was to explore and design a service proposition that supports young people in finding purpose and learning how to work.
I immersed myself in secondary research on the future of work and Generation Z to understand emerging trends and technology. After that, my colleagues and I used multiple design research methods, such as guerrilla and one-to-one interviews, to understand young people’s experiences in the decision-making process.
We found out that the process of deciding ‘what do I want to be?’ starts after they choose their GCSEs subjects (approximately year 10). It is a very stressful and anxious moment and it is at this point that they start to form a negative opinion about work, which is why we identified this as an interesting moment and space to explore.
| Journey of deciding what I want to be
Based on interviews with 12 young people and workshops with 8 high school students
By mapping journeys and running a workshop with 16-18 year-olds at a high school in Essex,
we identified key moments and phases of the decision-making process.
We identified that:
Young people struggle to envision what they could become in the future.
They make decisions based on immediate priority and in almost an auto-pilot mode. They have little awareness of how jobs are changing.
They use negative language when describing what they think will make them happy at work — e.g. ‘work in a non-toxic environment’.
The only moment when they seem to have an optimistic view is when they interact with professionals to compare their expectations with reality. We named this interaction the ‘pre-experience phase’.
To develop the strategy on how to tackle these issues, we harnessed the
‘pre-experience phase’ — expanding it throughout the whole decision-making
journey by enabling them to interact and learn from young inspiring professionals.
What is Dough?
Dough is a digital peer to peer discovery app aimed at helping young people better understand themselves and others in the world of work.
Get inspired from real professionals
Dough uses short videos created by young professionals to help inspire young people about the future possibilities of work.
Unlike existing career services that require young people to have a certain level of understanding about themselves and often narrow down choices, ‘Dough’ shows videos that are randomly selected, in an attempt to open up possibilities.
Learn details beyond traditional job descriptions
The videos are authentic and informative and show subtle details like the work environment, culture, and the team that job descriptions don’t convey.
Discover how you might like to work
Dough learns and analyses users’ reactions to each video.
Then it 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.
(Turn on the volume to listen)
Our project was selected as a Finalist by Alpha Telefonica. Our competition included 23 teams and 95 people. You can see further details here.
Also, we were invited by The Department of Education to present the project at their office. We received very positive feedback from the Department of Education around our approach to the solutioning
APPROACH & METHODS
How do young people think about the future of work? What are their challenges?
What are the services that already exist?
With the key insights from research 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.
How Might We's and Ideation workshop
Turning research insights into solutions
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
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
Low-fidelity prototype & testing
Initial service concept and low-fidelity prototypes
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.
Testing with 16-18 students at a high school in Essex
Interview with professionals
Will professionals be motivated to share videos?
Before developing our service concept further, which was based on peer-to-peer interaction (harnessing the 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.
Branding & UXUI design
Refined service concept and developed high-fidelity prototype
Where Dough would fit into the current ecosystem?
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.