By UNI.CORN Team Major Fun | Zong Wei, Elvin, Jeniece and Shaun
Life on the inside – A UNI.CORN Experience
August 4, 2017
The past few weeks could not have been more exciting as our team moved from the Define stage and to the Develop stage. In this stage, we focused on refining and improving on existing ideas and concepts. Some key activities that were carried out include presenting our concepts to our mentors and senior business management, refining our ideas and persona, and conducting low fidelity experiments on our target demographics (the digital generation).
Through these experiments, we could test the assumptions that we made regarding our product. This step is crucial as it ensures that we are not creating a product based on false assumptions but one that our customers need.
In our low fidelity experiments, we created a prototype to help better explain our concept to our respondents. We hypothesised that the target demographic would increase their cashless usage rate if they were provided rewards based on cashless usage.
It was encouraging to learn that our product was popular amongst the target group as 90% of respondents provided support for our hypothesis. They felt that the value proposition of the product was appealing and that the social community element would prompt them to try the product.
To better understand the cashless landscape and how such products are developed, we paid a visit to the VISA innovation lab as part of a DBS collaboration. It was both a fun and insightful experience as they introduced to us several of their prototype products. One of which is the “Credit Car” concept which allows drivers to link their mobile wallet to their car’s operating systems thus enabling drivers to make payments straight from their car, so cool!
We also had the opportunity to present our insights and concepts to our department heads and several experts in the field. The presentation and feedback session allowed for meaningful discussion, including the validation of an idea regarding a group rewards programme. At the same time, they expressed concerns about other concepts we raised, prompting us to consider implementation limitations and potential issues that could arise when onboarding partners.
Ups and downs
The feedback sessions took us through various rounds of ideation. Our first three ideas were completely junked as the solutions did not connect strongly with the insights that we derived from our interviews. This was a particularly difficult time for the team as we mooted the ideas for a long period and had a strong belief in the solution. Nonetheless, we pulled together and forged ahead to undergo multiple new ideation processes to produce new ideas that would meet expectations.
Even after our initial pivot, some ideas we thought had the potential to be game changers in the payments field had to be put aside because there were several implementation complications. The fact that we are not subject matter experts in the relevant disciplines provided, even more, friction for this idea. Once again, we were rather disappointed that we could not reasonably pursue this idea but were comforted by the fact that we produced another idea that had good potential to be rolled to market.
After working as an in-house consultant for DBS’s Consumer Banking Group (CBG), the team realised that managing the expectations of different stakeholders is a crucial part of the entire journey. As a team, we thought of radical and crazy ideas that we fell in love with but quickly learnt that the needs of the client should always be prioritised. Our innovation mentor, Alvin Chia, advised us to use a “Star Gazer” which helped the team to evaluate a proposed idea against our client’s definition of success.
With the level of autonomy given to the UNI.CORN Interns, the success of the entire project ultimately rested on us. As such, it is imperative that we gather quality insights that reflect the reality of the Digital Generation’s experiences and use this to create a product that is truly desired by our target demographic.
The team is continuing to grow as a unit as each week passes by. We continue to commit our journey to create something that is ultimately an answer to our challenge statement. While knowing the answers to our problems earlier into the journey would have been much more convenient, missing out on the process of committing to our ideas and fighting for them would have deprived us of the opportunity to truly appreciate the true nature of our challenge statement.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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