Tim Brown’s assertion that projects begin with periods of “intensive observation” provided me with a great excuse to visit a local cafe a few times this week. Here’s my sketch and a few observations:
I predict that the morning rush at Echuca’s Johnny and Lyle’s cafe is not much different than other popular cafes around the country. Takeaway customers enter regularly, wait for their coffee then depart.
My initial concerns were for the extended wait times that customers including myself can experience. My group work with Jacques and Lora this week focused on ideating potential solutions for this. Many things were brought into consideration here including: creating a mobile coffee station, extra coffee machine, extra employees at peak times, converting the window into a takeaway service window, ordering online/coffee app, staff undergoing additional training.
For a potential solution to the extended wait time problem, another suggestion sparked my curiosity and led me back for a second round of observations; something that I clumsily termed “other time distracting services”(ex. having newspapers and magazines to read). Thinking about this idea further, we realised it wasn’t to do with the operational, management side of the coffee production but a different issue altogether (So yes, I did find another excuse to get some delicious coffee and do some more observations before school!)…
This time, I was interested in what people were doing after they were ordering and how that could impact the design of the store. I observed people: heading to the bench and reading newspapers, chatting with the baristas, checking their phones, entertaining their babies, waiting patiently. I began to wonder what would interest the diverse clientele (professionals, trade workers, mothers) to make their wait seem shorter. Yes, empathy will be key to further exploration of this problem.
Brown, T. (2009). Change by design: How design thinking transforms organizations and inspires innovation. HarperBusiness. p.43