To keep drawing the attention of employees to the importance of working safely, the Royal Netherlands Air Force initially created a safety 'passport'. This booklet contains information about safety and will be given to all employees. They asked for ideas on how to promote this passport to employees. Within a team of four, we started the project by conducting research to learn more about what employees think of this passport.
We had a few meetings with the client and we analyzed the organization. We already had some assumptions and ideas on how to improve and promote the passport. We visited an Air Force Base where we conducted interviews with employees with different functions from various departments across the organization. We verified our assumptions and discovered new insights. To acquire a deeper understanding of the safety issues that employees (might) face, we asked questions about safety on the work floor, what employees think about an instruction booklet on safety, and what they think about existing safety campaigns.
Back at our university, we organized a brainstorm session. We came up with many 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 started working on three concepts.
During the interviews, we found that employees were not really interested in a booklet. One employee said:
Because jobs at the Air Force can be very different - and each job has different relevant security issues -,
the user can select his department, job and working location.
Then, different features can be accessed, such as:
For the Royal Netherlands Air Force, the knowledge base is the key feature of the app: this was exactly what the Air Force wanted to accomplish with the safety passport. Here, employees can find all information regarding safety. This was an important feature to have within the app. Employees can select safety categories, read and save articles, or view articles based on department or location. If employees have questions about an article, or if there is an immediate problem, they can call an info number by clicking 'Call information number' on top of the article.
During our research, we found that employees often face unsafe situations, but 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. To solve this problem, employees can (anonymously) report a dangerous situation or incident everywhere and anywhere with the report function inside the app. 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 can be mounted on walls in all areas where mobile devices are not allowed, so employees still have access to the knowledge base.
I visualized the features of the app with Illustrator and created the mockups.
According to the clients' feedback, adjustments were made. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to show the prototypes to the employees
and ask them for feedback because this project mainly focused on the conception phase.
Finally, we presented our concepts to the staff and Communications and Marketing department at the Air Force Base.
The client was very satisfied with the presented concepts 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.