By UNI.CORN Team Connexion | Fion, Justin, Sharlene and Weilun
Reflections from our roller coaster ride
August 11, 2017
The past few weeks of discovery phase has brought us on a roller-coaster ride as we formulated insights and ideated on solutions. Other than getting a better understanding of the subject matter that we are working on, we also got to know each other a lot better!
Who are we?
Within this highly energised, organised and creative team, are four very different individuals who serve as supporting roles to each other.
First up, we have Justin, who strategises and maps out our next battle-plan. Followed by Sharlene, who executes our strategies and made sure that designs and visuals of the project are top-notch. After which, we have Fion who will from time to time inject her creativity into the team even at the most random of times. Last but not the least, we have Ben who keeps the team alive by energising them, mostly with his lame and funny jokes. Together, we form Team ConneXion, and each one of us had our specific roles and responsibilities in making sure this team functions well and are kept alive through the week! (Not ruling out the possibilities of having to flex our brains during the weekends)
What we have learnt from the past few weeks is crucial to us, which is that a successful team is one where its members come from different background, equipped with different working styles and abilities. The dynamics of the team is important in making sure that at every point of time, every one of the members has a task at hand, fully utilising and maximising the capabilities of the team. While at the same time being able to support and back each other up along the way.
As the saying goes, “If you want to go fast, you go alone. But if you want to go far, you go together as a team.” This cannot be more accurate as we learnt to work together as a team.
Ups and Downs faced
The past seven weeks as a UNI.CORN has been nothing short of exciting, fulfilling and challenging. We had our fair share of disappointment when results didn’t turn out the way we expected them to.
In retrospect, our team was lucky as we were given a clear problem to work with from the start, as compared to some other teams who had to rack their brains, go back and forth to identify a problem area to begin with.
The first few weeks of our internship during the discovery phase was hence smooth-sailing. We spent most of the time formulating interview questions and speaking to interviewees, gathering our findings and generating insights.
As the days went by, we learnt more and more about the industry.
One of the more memorable moments was during one of our immersion when an unexpected situation happened. We headed down to an event hall excitedly thinking we found ourselves a “gold mine” of interview targets, only to get chased out by the security guards just 10 minutes after we arrived! The guards said we are not allowed to conduct surveys within the compound, even in the capacity of students. We were completely thrown off guard and had no plan B; we could only turn our heads and return to the office both disappointed and embarrassed.
Strangely enough, this encounter in no way deterred us. We were still set on returning to the event hall, this time with a more tactical approach, hahah! By blending in, we managed to go back a few more times over the next few days and gained valuable insights for the customers in the process.
Fast forward to the week before experimentation; our mentors gave us a new direction to work towards. This meant that the interviews and insights we worked on over the past few weeks were no longer directly related to our area of focus as we did not delve deep enough into this direction. This threw our team into a mini state of panic - our first thoughts were whether we had to redo everything from one and a half months ago, and how we were going to find the time to do it. By then, we had already exhausted our list of interviewees, so we were pretty much at a loss.
However, we realised that our previous research, interviews and insights are of paramount importance. It helped us to fully understand and grasp the problems surrounding our problem, thereby forming the very foundation of our project. We pivoted from there towards our new direction.
We continued to move on per the schedule planned for the UNI.CORN programme, and did both ideation and insight gathering simultaneously with the new focus area set out. Ideation was made tougher because our initial insights were not deep enough meaning we had nothing concrete to work on. After a few futile days, we came up with a concept we thought was finally good enough for a preliminary prototype. We went off to experiment with our new prototype, and it was heart-warming to receive numerous good reviews and suggestions on how our idea could be improved upon.
From here, we can’t wait to bounce our ideas off more people, gauging their receptiveness and listening to their feedbacks and suggestions. The process of discovery and learning never stops, and we hope that our team will be able to come up with an innovative solution, one that will truly benefit the customers and make a difference in their life!