After being introduced to the safety passport, we started the project by conducting research. We had a couple of meetings with the client and we analyzed the organization. We already had some assumptions and ideas on how to improve and promote the passport. Then, we were invited to an Air Force Base. Here we conducted interviews with employees with different functions from various departments across the organization. We verified our assumptions and discovered new insights. We wanted to acquire a deeper understanding of the safety issues that employees (might) face. Therefore, we asked questions about safety on the work floor, what employees think about an instruction booklet on safety, and what employees think about existing safety campaigns.
Back at our university, we organized a brainstorm session. We all came up with many (including crazy) ideas to promote (or change) the safety passport: from billboards to theatre performances and from posters to virtual reality. We prioritized the ideas, selected our best and favorites, and came up with three concepts.
One of the concepts we came up with was a digital version of the passport. During the interviews, we found that employees were not interested in a booklet. An employee said:
"I already have a phone, cigarettes, a pen and a notebook with me. I don't want a booklet. The less I have to carry with me, the better."
Besides that, the passport booklet has some other problems: what if safety regulations change? In that case, they have to print new booklets for everyone. This is why we came up with the Safety App. I was responsible for working out this concept.
The Safety App is a complete replacement of the initial paper passport idea. The Safety App is meant for internal use within the Royal Netherlands Air Force. All employees, e.g. people in the offices and Air Force pilots, can find important information regarding safety inside the app.
Directly after installing the app, the employee has the possibility to personalize it. He or she can select the department, role (e.g. technician or pilot) and the location where he or she works.
Within the safety app, there are a lot of possibilities. Some of the ideas in the concept are:
The knowledge base is the key feature of the app. For the Royal Netherlands Air Force, this is the most important feature too: here, employees can find all information regarding safety. In fact, this is exactly what the Air Force wanted to accomplish with the safety passport booklet. Within the app, employees can select a specific safety category, check out new articles, view articles based on department or location only, or save articles as a favorite. If employees still have questions about an article, or if there is an immediate problem, they can call the info number by clicking 'Call information number' on top of the article.
During our research, we found that employees often face unsafe situations they do not report to the management. Sometimes, employees don't report the incident because they think about it a couple of days after it happened (for example when they are going home and overthinking the day) and they forget to report it the next day. Or worse, sometimes they think it is not important enough to report it at all. This is why I created a report function. Within the app, employees can (anonymously) report a dangerous situation or incident everywhere and anywhere, even when they are at home and suddenly remember the incident.
Employees told us about the bad WiFi signal they sometimes have because some Air Force Bases, or parts of the Bases, are not covered by WiFi or network signal. Therefore, it was important that the app could be used offline as well. Also, because mobile devices are not allowed all over the Air Force Base - for instance in hangars or other specific zones - the app is optimized for tablets. Those tablets are hanging on walls in all departments where mobile devices are not allowed.
I visualized all the above mentioned ideas with Illustrator and created the mockups.
According to the clients' feedback, I made some adjustments. I wasn't able to show the visuals to the employees
and ask them for feedback because this project mainly focused on the conception phase.
We finally presented our concepts at the Air Force Base to employees and the Communications and Marketing department. The client was very satisfied with the concepts we presented and we graded the course with an 8.1 out of 10. Working on this project was an amazing experience. We got the chance to work in a unique environment and we were constantly guided by our mentors to come up with creative, thoughtful ideas. Because this project mainly focused on ideation and conception, we had plenty of time to conduct interviews, analyze existing Air Force safety campaigns and create graphic assets. The many meetings we had with the client gave us the ability to fine tune our concepts into something really useful.