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iRobot

Service and Business Strategy Project

My team worked on a business strategy project in partnership with iRobot that involved the creation of a novel service concept for lawn care.

Note: This project is under NDA and can only be discussed at a high level while keeping details confidential. 

Date: Mar 2020 - Jun 2020

Team: Chris Baggott, Jenny Nguyen, Lily Smith, Janice Zhou

Skills Used and Developed:

  • Service Design

  • Insight Discovery and Synthesis

  • Journey Mapping

  • Low-Fidelity Prototyping

  • Business Strategy

Challenge

Understand the behaviors, pain points, and desires of current lawn owners around the maintenance of their lawn.

 

Create a novel service concept to expand the capabilities of the iRobot lawn care products, along with a business plan and detailed "pitch" presentation.

Consumer Interviews

Our team conducted in-home interviews with eight people in the project-specified target audience. We leveraged these discussions to deeply understand our consumers' habits, pain points, and desires related to their health. These initial findings helped us understand the design opportunities and guide our initial design direction. 

Synthesis

Our group discussed the interviews at length to comprehensively understand each user and their desires related to their health. We mapped out all the important takeaways from the interviews and then extracted key insights and behavior models (in the form of journey maps and other frameworks) from the patterns we saw in interview responses.

Prototyping and Testing

Next, we created more than a dozen low-fidelity prototypes based on our synthesis from the in-home interviews. All of these prototypes were based on "how might we" statements and design requirements we identified. Then during the testing phase, we used various activities involving our eight interviewees to refine our design direction and delve deeper into our user behaviors.

Our testing included two cycles of consumer interaction through which we gathered prototype feedback. After each round of tests, the team refined the prototypes and converged on our final proposed solution. 

Presentation & Final Deliverables

At the end of the ten-week project, our team introduced our service concept to the iRobot team through a full "pitch" presentation. Our final deliverables included: 

  • Novel lawn care service concept with digital prototypes

  • Detailed consumer insights and research synthesis

  • Feature breakdown and consumer journey

  • Business model canvas

My Key Learnings

Consider a Roadmap: It was important to consider that not all elements of the service concept could feasibly be introduced by iRobot at the same time. We wanted to think about the logical order of implementation, and used a three-step framework of "step," "stretch," and "leap" to imagine the stages of our concept from varying timelines of six months to five years into the future. 

The Value of a "Solo"-storm: An alternative to group brainstorming is "solo"-storming, where team members individually develop ideas and sketches that are then brought together for a group shareout. For this project, the "solo"-storming technique worked well and generated some great discussions. 

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