The Client is one of the biggest European real estate service providers with over € 2 billion revenue in sales. With 20k employees, they manage and run real estate in all asset classes in over 30 countries. Their offer ranges from facility management, through installation and fit out services, to real estate management.
The Client, who strives to provide the best real estate services, recognized that a new digital solution can unlock a huge potential for their operations. The new digital ecosystem would be used by various types of users including customers, office workers, facility managers and system administrators.
Objectivity was tasked with designing a platform that needed to be versatile and flexible. It was important to translate the overarching vision into a working solution within a challenging timeline.
Objectivity worked closely with the Client to understand their vision of the system and to gather business and technical requirements.
At the beginning of the design phase, Objectivity focused on producing a Proof of Concept for the solution and defining the user experience requirements based on the Client’s MVP. The team identified the features that would deliver the most benefit and targeted these for early delivery. Based on this, the team created a set of drawings and paper sketches visualising the solution and the utilisation of IoT sensors. This allowed them to save time by quickly validating how the system should function with the decision-makers.
The vision needed to be translated into a working solution. The Objectivity team relied strongly on their UX expertise. During the project Objectivity ran extensive UX workshops including:
- Design thinking workshop — to gain a crucial understanding of the Client’s services, customers, competition and business context. Following this workshop, the team knew how the solution should look from the end-user and admin perspective.
- Shadowing workshop — A 1-day long workshop during which 2 UX designers and a Business Analyst shadowed a facility manager, regional manager and various on-site workers. Thanks to this workshop, Objectivity gained a detailed understanding of the processes and tools required in facility management. The team identified many of the challenges that end users encounter and was able to design a solution that would address them.
- Event storming workshop — to solve problems faced by facility technicians who (among other tasks) read electricity meters. The process of validating these measurements was complicated and error-prone, as it involved a lot of manual and Excel input. During a 1-day workshop, Objectivity worked with the Client’s stakeholders to co-create a vision and wireframes for a mobile application that would improve the efficiency of the technicians. The app would be stand-alone, but would feed data through the core ecosystem.
To reduce the future workload required for developing new solutions and extending the ecosystem, Objectivity created a Design System to be used for all future solutions and by all providers involved.
Over six weeks, the team built a backlog and delivered reusable UI elements for all future digital solutions, covering three aspects: development (code snippets, forms, buttons), user experience (form and table behaviour) and visual (user interface, branding, typography, sketches to be used in future graphics).
The first prototype was up and running within 6 months from the project start. The ecosystem is a cloud-based, scalable IT platform with an API open for third-party solutions. The chosen architecture enables custom solutions to be built on top of the ecosystem and delivered to end users.
The first version of the solution allowed end users to:
- Access a smart and efficient ticketing system through a workplace app.
- Optimise workplace occupancy using IoT sensors.
- Book assets (e.g., desks or rooms) easily.
- Manage third-party visits in the facilities.
The users can book and release meeting rooms and workplaces in real-time. The implemented functionality also allows the users to book a couch for a relaxing nap. The system is designed to accommodate multiple roles — from office workers to technicians and ecosystem administrators.
The ecosystem also has other commercial purposes, e.g., asset management including interactions with smart lockers.
The system was first presented at Expo real in September 2018 and was very well received by end users. The Client won a Handelsblatt Diamond Star Award for this ecosystem, marking its presence on the market with an innovative and pioneering product.
Key design approaches:
- User-centred design,
- Design thinking workshop,
- Event storming workshop,
Successful implementation of a design process where the Client presented an overarching vision, and Objectivity took the responsibility for delivering a working solution, confirming its understanding at regular touch points.
Handelsblatt Diamond Star Award.