A week on my own — Ironhack week 3

For the third week at Ironhack Amsterdam we are asked to build a digital product to solve a wellness related problem. This is my story how I experienced this third week.

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Time is running out!
Now that the first 2 weeks have past stuff is about to get real. We have to come up with our own project that solves a wellness related problem. Well as easy as it sounds, it becomes quite soon very complicated. Not only because health is something rather serious and in most cases you need to have done some deep research about it, but also because we had basically 1 day to come up with your whole business idea.

· What problem are you solving?

· Why is this a problem, and why do you want to solve digitally?

· Which device / operating system should you design for?

· Who are the competitors what do you do differently?

· What is your business model?

· Is there a product market fit?

· Etc.

Well of course this is an iterating process, and in one day (at least) I didn’t had something in my mind that was entirely clear.

But starting your week with such a brain challenge was fun to do and a nice experience, but most interesting was that we had to do it individually this time.

All alone

Finding the problem, while not starting from the solution.

Although I know how important it is to start with a problem rather than a solution, it remains hard to do so. This because I get most energized by coming up with possible solutions to the “problem” rather than identifying whether this actually is a problem. So this time it happened to me again. But after some great guidance from my teacher Marjon Siero and TA Marcos Cisneros I was able to take a step back and as such I found what I believe to be a feasible and a significant problem.

As I wrote in my previous post, I believe key here is to find a right niche within the market. According to business strategy there are several ways to stand out:

Now that I’m not working together with my team anymore, I have to do and decide everything by my own. Of course, as I do interviews and surveys, I get more input. Thereby I’m not that socially awkward yet that I won’t ask my class mates, teachers or friends for some feedback. But still it is a lot different now. What I do like about working alone is the fact that I can go my own direction and plan for myself what to do when and how. However, at the same time I miss the good comments of my group mates that asks relevant questions. In the end a better product will arise when working together because we all know that two know more than one.

How did I deal with working alone?

First of all, I was always able to go to my teacher to ask questions when I got stuck. Thereby if I had no questions that day, that would still come to me to check up with me at the end of the day what I did. This was something I was really looking forward to and helped me a lot in finding my direction.

As I’ve already described above, I asked my classmates, friends and people I know for feedback. And also I try to speak to people from different backgrounds just to get myself a bit more out of my own thinking bubble.

The best insight for me was the interview with someone from a different environment, wherefore I left our building and interviewed my theater director.

Thereby I set clear goals for myself. What do I want to have achieved after this week, when do I want to achieve each day, and how am I going to make sure that I will achieve it?

As we learned here it is really important to focus on what is “The job to be done”? This becomes really handy when you need to know when you are done with a certain task. Cause sometimes I lose myself in a certain exercise while the most important information is already there.

Flowchart

The presentation

We had one week to deep dive the whole UX part of the product, including building a working prototype from Low fidelity wireframes. The final stage was presenting the work in a sales pitch. We we’re given 5 minutes to pitch our problem and the product. The key here was to sell the product, so I could explain which awesome features I have and why I have these, but if it is not clear to my audience what problem I’m solving, why should they care?

My presentation trick here is to start with creating urgency. Why should someone having no idea or even interest in your talk start to listen to you? How can you make this problem relevant to your audience basically? Big speakers use therefore often a personal story.

After you have an urgency, prove this with statistics from the real world. I mean everyone could relate to the fact that obesity is a big problem and could cause depression. Although if you want to strengthen your story use statistics, big numbers graphs etc. This will not only appeal the audience. It will show them that it’s not only them or like minded people who relate to this problem but (lets say) 90% of the world find this a relevant problem. But most of all attract the audience in your story, make them part of the presentation.

My product Moveme

I don’t want to share too much about my problem yet, cause this project is only half way through.

A huge problem we encounter in the Netherlands these days is that children don’t move enough.

As such I decided to build an app for parents & children that will help to stimulate each other to move more.

Here is a video of the wireframes showing a part of the Moveme app

Part of the interactive prototype

After this week I could use my own wellness retreat #massage!

Thanks for reading my post!

Best luck,
Maarten van Hoogdalem

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Maarten van Hoogdalem

Maarten van Hoogdalem

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I’m Maarten I share my journey how I became a Designer with no design background or art talent.