Royal Netherlands Air Force

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Internal safety is highly valued in the Royal Netherlands Air Force. To keep drawing the attention of employees to the importance of working safely, the Royal Netherlands Air Force wanted to introduce a safety passport. This passport, a booklet containing information about safety, will be given to all employees when they join the Air Force. The Royal Netherlands Air Force asked for ideas on how to promote the passport to employees. I worked in a group with four other students and we came up with three concepts.

Team: 5
Timeframe: 2 months
Work: Concepting, Design
Tools: Photoshop, Illustrator

Project Goal

How can we promote the 'safety passport' to our employees?

The first step: Research

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.

Ideation

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.

Safety App

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.

Personalize | Safety App Royal Netherlands Air Force

Possibilities

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:

  1. The Knowledge Base
    All information regarding safety;
  2. Personalized Notifications
    Check out important, personalized notifications (based on the employees' location, role or department) and check out recent changes in safety protocols;
  3. Safety issue reporting
    Report safety issues to the management;
  4. Campaigns
    See all running safety campaigns by the Air Force;
  5. Tip of the day
    Every day a 'tip of the day', personalized for the employee (based on location, role, department, day, time, season or weather). For example, an alert to pilots when heavy storm is coming.
(Screenshots in Dutch)

Menu | Safety App Royal Netherlands Air Force

Knowledge base

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.

Knowledge base | Safety App Royal Netherlands Air Force

Safety issue reporting

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.

Safety issue reporting | Safety App Royal Netherlands Air Force

Offline use

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.

Offline use | Safety App Royal Netherlands Air Force

Presentation

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.

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