How can we revolutionize the world of banking by developing new products and services that really satisfy customer needs? USEEDS° arranged a Design Thinking co-creation workshop for Hello bank! by Cortal Consors, in which users could participate locally and online to create custom-tailored products and services.
The Hello bank! initiative took place from May 16th to June 21th, 2013 and consisted of two stages: In the pre-workshop phase, we gathered general ideas and questions regarding banking services on a previously launched website. A rapidly grown online community submitted over 1400 inputs, which were then divided into clusters for the workshop. On that basis a group of experts from various professional fields worked during five days on designing new banking solutions, while interacting with online community members face-to-face as well as through a broad multi-media setup:
- Six selected members of the online community personally participated in the workshop on location in Berlin.
- Live video streams and a live ticker allowed online users worldwide full, real time access to the workshop. In a moderated chat the users were encouraged to further ask questions and to pitch ideas.
- At the end of each day the online community was able to vote on the ideas they wanted to be polished for the final presentation at the end of the week
An unique Avatar Mechanism enabled the community to participate directly in the workshop: The Avatar was a real person who sat in with the expert groups. Equipped with a tablet computer and a head camera, he represented the online community by feeding back questions and reactions from the chat into the discussions, thereby conveying a real workshop experience for the online viewers.
How did it work out?
The implementation of this concept was very challenging:
- We launched three responsive websites to accompany the initiative.
- During the workshop, static and moving live cams provided an enhanced audiovisual experience for the online participants, which required major technical support.
- For the duration of the workshop sessions, a team was responsible for the uninterrupted moderation of the chat. As the workshop moderator accompanied the workshop team on location, the community moderator translated the tasks for the online users.
- Every day, a backstage team prepared the six newly generated ideas for the website voting and finalized the winners in motion graphics videos.
Despite the complexity and thanks to quick troubleshooting of occasional issues, with no major disturbance of both online and local participants, the workshop turned out the be a success. A online participant wrote me: “I really enjoyed to work with the team members!”. And Markus Hormeß, Service Innovation Expert and expert team member, concluded: “It was wild, we explored new ideas and came up with cool results!” (own translation, video).
As in every experiment, there are some improvements to be considered: While the pre-workshop phase of four weeks was necessary for planning and executing the numerous aspects of the project, the time span between the first web launch and the actual workshop somewhat mitigated the great initial involvement of the newly formed online community. A tighter schedule could have attracted even more participants and therefore improved the user experience. However, it should not be disregarded, how much work and time it takes to get everything ready for the workshop. With this in mind it becomes clear, that there is also potential to cut back on some “little things” for example by just using two instead of three live cameras to cover the workshop.
One of the main messages to anyone who is considering attempting such an experiment would be, that it can not be done half way: if you invite users to collaborate in such a transparent innovation process you must be willing to get challenged, tested and surprised. If you are prepared for that, such a co-creation workshop definitely creates many new ideas, provides a lot of insight and an outstanding experience for you and your customers or prospects.
- For further information please visit the Hello bank! Webseite.
- Please also read the blog article of Lothar Lochmaier about the workshop.