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BENCHMARK


MELISSA NICKELL PLANNING+STRATEGY


BENCHMARK

THE PROJECT QUANTITATIVE RESEARCH QUALITATIVE RESEARCH RE-FRAMING THE PROBLEM THINKING ABOUT SOLUTIONS DON’T SELL ME THE IDEA TARGET PROFILE DEAR TARGET THE CREATIVE BRIEF


Instructor ERIC SOLOMON Class STRATEGIC THINKING Spring 2011 Planner MELISSA NICKELL Art Director MELISSA NICKELL Copywriter MELISSA NICKELL


The premise for this project was to find something we were passionate about and make something awesome out of that passion. My project focused around public seating, which admittedly I am not passionate about, per se, but as a disabled person with undependable knees the subject is particularly important to me.


THINKING.HARDER. //Quantitative

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Research

I walked as far as my knees would take me. Roughly a three block radius around Union Square, this is what I found: R2 bus benches RNumerous public benches in Union Square, but they were all occupied and the demand for seating was clearly greater than the supply. R7 restaurants/coffee shops (I counted these outside seating areas because I have been desperate enough to use them to rest my knees when I was not actually ordering anything.)

-Confirmed my suspicion that there weren’t any benches


THINKING.HARDER. //Qualitative

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Research

I asked several strangers the following questions: RDo you feel that there are enough public benches around San Francisco? Or, have you noticed any benches at all? RHave you ever needed or been with someone who needed to sit down but you were unable to find a bench? What did that feel like? RAre you familiar with the “Sit-Lie Ordinance?� How do you feel about it? RWhat are your thoughts on the homeless in San Francisco? Do you think they are too prevalent? Do you not give much thought or notice to them? RIf more public benches were added would you use them? Would you be concerned about the benches being overtaken by the homeless? This is what I found: People are frustrated about not being able to find a bench to sit on and have found themselves leaning against buildings for a few minutes to try and take a rest. People want benches and they feel like homeless people should be allowed to use them too, but they even had ideas on bench design that would discourage the benches from becoming beds for the homeless.

-People wanted to sit down on a bench and thought that everybody has a right to sit

-is there anything we can do to get benches reinstalled


THINKING.HARDER. //Re-framing

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the Problem

THE PROBLEM: R There aren’t enough benches/places to sit down in San Francisco. RThere is a lack of available seating around San Francisco. R Seating in San Francisco is not available in useful locations. THE REAL PROBLEM: Benches can be difficult to find when you really need to sit down.

IS THIS REALLY A PROBLEM? Yes. Really. Many public benches in San Francisco were removed a decade ago because they were primarily being used by homeless people and drug addicts, and since Jan. 1, 2011 S.F. has had the “sit-lie ordinance” which makes it illegal for citizens to sit or lie down on the sidewalks of San Francisco

-Needing to sit is often an urgent need


THINKING.HARDER. //Thinking

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About Solutions

Problem: Benches can be difficult to find when you really need to sit down. 1. Is seating difficult to find because the benches are already being occupied? If so then the solution may be that groups of benches are needed as opposed to just a single bench. 2. Are benches difficult to find because there are so many tourists in San Francisco who are not familiar with the city let alone locations of benches? A GPS based map would be useful so the user could see where a bench is in relation to where they are. 3. How many benches are there in San Francisco? Perhaps more benches are necessary. 4. Are benches placed strategically around the city, e.g. are they placed every four blocks? This information may just need to be made available so that the benches can be found easier. 5. Are there benches available but people do not want to sit at them because they are dirty, in a sketchy location, or are the benches being used as a bed for the homeless? There needs to be a way to identify desirable vs. undesirable benches so that the target doesn’t walk needlessly to a bench that they can’t actually sit at. Solutions: Add more benches, make a GPS based map that highlights benches throughout the city, a rating system of current benches.

-An app!


THINKING.HARDER. //Don’t

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Sell Me

Don’t sell be benches... Sell me relief from achy feet and tired knees. Sell me good locations to people watch and rest up for walking around San Francisco. Sell me clean seating and good views, the independence to walk around San Francisco without worrying about not being able to make it to your destination.

-Thinking beyond myself and my bad knnes and thinking about other people who also need to sit down


THINKING.HARDER. //The

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Idea

My ideaDevelop an app that would allow the user to locate seating while they are out in the city and are feeling the need to sit. The app would allow users to rate benches and even add benches that have not already been marked. Why an app? An app lends itself well to solving this problem in the best possible way. A website would allow the target to locate seating but they would have to be at a computer and that doesn’t help the target when they find themselves needing a seat at the last minute. A printed map would also allow the target to locate maps but it isn’t realistic to expect people to carry it around. A printed map would also not be able to keep up with added or removed benches throughout the city and would not allow users to interact with the information and rate the seating.

-But what if there aren’t any benches to put on the map? -Can we take the data to the city and demand for new benches to be installed? Awareness can lead to demand for seating


THINKING.HARDER. //Target

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Profile

AT A GLANCE People with bad knees women wearing uncomfortable shoes elderly people people watchers pregnant women People who need to sit down. INSIGHTS People who need to sit down frequently will often put off sitting because they don’t want to invoncenience the people they are with, they are embarrassed about needing to sit, or they feel like they are far from the “action” and being shoved in a corner. OBSERVATIONS People who are unable to stand or walk for long periods of time and need to sit often come upon this feeling suddenly and there is a real sense of urgency in the need to sit down quickly. TENSION With the lack of seating and the fast paced go-go-go attitude of San Francisco people who experience a sense of urgency in their need to sit down often feel embarrassed or ashamed about their need to sit down. The lack of seating makes it seem as though it is only O.K. to sit if you are doing it to eat. People who need to sit frequently are also reluctant to commit to long walks because they don’t want to find themselves needing to sit with no place to do it.

-They need to sit and they need a quick solution to the problem


THINKING.HARDER. //Dear

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Target

-Making sure I understood the target correctly and that an app was useful for them


THE CREATIVE BRIEFSTILL

T H I N K I NG

PROBLEM Benches can be difficult to find when you really need to sit down.

WHAT IF THERE ISN’T ANYWHERE TO SIT?

TARGET People who need to sit down.

TENSION

INSIGHTS People who need to sit down frequently will often put off sitting because they don’t want to inconvenience the people they are with, they are embarrassed about needing to sit, or they feel like they are far from the “action” and being shoved in a corner.

OBSERVATIONS People who are unable to stand or walk for long periods of time and need to sit often come upon this feeling suddenly and there is a real sense of urgency in the need to sit down quickly.

-How will people find out about the app? CREATIVE IDEA Develop an app that would allow the user to locate seating while they are out in the city and are feeling the need to sit. The app would allow users to rate benches and even add benches that have not already been marked.

CHECK YOUR WORK How have we made it easy for people to find a seat when they need one?


THE WORK My Location

bench mark find a bench

Other Location

GO

mark a bench rate a bench exit

home

-+

color key Public Restaurant*

*You may have to purchase something to use seating.

Bus*

*Bus driver may get annoyed with you for sitting at a bus bench with no intention of riding the bus.

New*



*Not yet rated or verified

White Dot

Top rated bench. Worth having a seat on.

home

?

Black Dot

A questionable bench. Sit on at your own risk.

ďƒ‹


THE WORK bench mark find a bench mark a bench

Sit on bench then press

GO

rate a bench exit

home

-+ Your bench has been marked. Thank you.

home

home


THE WORK bench mark find a bench

My Location Other Location

GO

mark a bench rate a bench exit

home

Are you here? yes

no

-+

Rate this bench:



home


THE WORK bench mark find a bench

Thank you.

mark a bench rate a bench

home

exit


LET’S TALK


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