During my internship at PSA Peugeot Citroën in Shanghai in the research and development center, I had as subject the exterior HMI (Human Machine Interface). As a product designer, my objective was to think about the design of an innovative product and the experience that the user will be able to have.
This project is aimed at Chinese consumers, which is why it is important to know them but also to know the Chinese market. As a Frenchman, I didn't have the right point of view and the best immersion to answer this project. The best solution, in my opinion, was to learn directly from Chinese consumers in order to better understand their needs, wishes and demands.
So I had the idea of organizing a half-day workshop at PSA Peugeot Citroën Shanghai.
My role during this workshop was mainly to animate and plan it in order to have the most accurate answers to my questions. Furthermore, it was essential to motivate and re-start the speech when people didn't react.
To do this my request was to have an audience, on the one hand, essentially Chinese but also who drove at least once a month. The people present at the workshop were employees of PSA but also consumers of PSA on a daily basis. My objective was to have 12 people from totally different business sectors in order to have a diversity in ideas and discussions.
For this workshop I therefore had 12 people from different trades with an age range from 25 to 40 years old:
- Engine engineers
- 3D modeling
- Electronic engineers
In order for this workshop to respond precisely to my request, which was mainly to get to know the Chinese market and Chinese consumers, I divided the latter into several collaborative exercises around which it was possible to discuss.
First of all, "Download learning", this first step consists in giving Post-it notes to people and asking them to write or draw everything that comes to their mind about exterior HMIs.
The second phase aimed to classify the Post-its by theme or broad categories and give them a name.
« How might we ? »
Once the main categories are classified, the "how might we ? » exercise consists in transforming the themes found into questions.
The objective of this exercise is to find rather broad questions that we can answer with Need, Want and Demand. The principle of answering by Need, Want and Demand makes it possible to know the Chinese consumer better than if the questions would have been answered with a simple sentence.
Need - Want & Demand
For the next exercise Need, Want and Demand, I gave cards to the different participants on which they had to rewrite the question they had found and therefore answer it with Need, Want and Demand. I made some cards to help them.
One of the big positive points of this exercise is that everyone appropriates the questions they found through events they had already experienced (e.g. accident), the answer was then all the more precise and of high quality.
Once the cards were completed, several rounds of discussions took place so that everyone could express what they had found and explain their answers.
After all this process we arrived at the ideation phase, which simply consisted in finding ideas, whether absurd or not. To help the different participants I made cards that I distributed to them and therefore that could help them to create Use Cases very easily.
I gave them a little time to reflect so that they could think, after that I gave them other cards that were divided as if they were below.
The objective of this exercise was not only to gather ideas, but to know and understand how the Chinese consumer would see the different events that take place around external HMIs (Vehicle to X, Vehicle to Vehicle and Vehicle to Infrastructure).
Once everyone could write their different ideas several rounds of discussions were done so that everyone could express their ideas and how they would see things.
At the end of this workshop I made a round table discussion to ask everyone a positive and negative point of the workshop so that it could help me later. In addition, the results were collected throughout the workshop which helped me to continue working on the external HMIs. If you want to see the results, please contact me as they have a limit of confidentiality.
The word of the end
This workshop was very enriching, interesting and extremely formative in terms of organization and speaking. Great ideas and very interesting discussions were held.