With continuous development in (high-tech) crime, innovation within the Dutch Police is crucial. All projects have something in common: they contribute to a theme. A theme is a goal with a deadline that the Police reaches by completing its related projects. However, these projects usually stay within their unit, which isolates them. This means that one unit starts to work on solutions that another department has already figured out.
Our empathise phase taught us that not everyone is keen to innovate, as the innovation department suffers from a bad image. Employees often think that it costs money, is risky, and doesn't improve their job directly.
Most of them are unfamiliar with innovation or are even opposed to it. This is because of the nature of the organisation, which is reactionary. When society acts, the Police responds. This means that there is no room for error, as errors have immediate consequences on society and civilian safety. Therefore we had the challenge to make innovation accessible and attractive.
To understand the complexity of stakeholder layers, we asked our people of contact to fill in an impact model based on how helpful the potential solutions will be for departments.
In an organisation consisting of 64.000 employees, the largest employer of the Netherlands, there are many stakeholders with different needs. One of our biggest challenges wasn't identifying all the stakeholders' needs but choosing which ones to fulfil. Besides that, it took us a long time to understand the police structure due to its complexity and size. A stakeholders map helped us with decision making.
To understand the context of our brief and the organisation, we situated ourselves with our stakeholders and users. This allowed us to define what direction is necessary for our research and determine the problem correctly.
The MoSCoW method helped us with prioritising features. Parallel, the police worked on another platform regarding innovation, and we had to make sure not to create overlapping features.
Our problem statements and client feedback let us experiment with different data visualisation methods to explore how to visualise the relationship between projects and themes.
Because it was difficult for the client to communicate their needs, we crafted four concepts that could solve the problem space. They revealed that their preference was mainly the treemap view (upper right), and we decided to take this further.
A lo-fi prototype helped us to identify the needs of the stakeholders. Management, and therefore our people of contact, had to desire to have a budget-focussed approach. However, we found out that at least 80% of the organisation doesn't value the budget-focused approach, and it doesn't solve the identified problem of the bad name of innovation within the Police. Therefore, we let them interact with a timeline view as well, as scientific research taught us that this is an effective way of storytelling. This interaction was much more appreciated. We took notes of the test and continued in this direction.
Heading into the direction of a timeline, we ideated how projects can correspond with themes in a time-based fashion.
Timeline Lo-Fi UI
After defining our concept, we made a lo-fi prototype to finetune the user experience.
The result is an interactive platform that makes the status of innovation tangible with the help of storytelling and visualising the progress of innovation and its effects over time.
Projects & Themes
Themes are the overall goals of the innovation team. These themes overarch the projects and have their strategic goals and budget. Projects are what people are working on to meet the goals of its theme. This includes the outcomes of a project and the progress with GO/NO GO moments.
Team & Progress
Projects that contribute to a theme reveal an overview and the team that is working on the project and their progress. This expanded progress information let managers and staff get a better understanding of innovation.
For managers, we offer basic functionalities for strategic decision making, such as the designated budget for a particular project or goal and how much is spent.
To solve the problem of employees feeling that innovation doesn't help them in their job, we highly investigated in a dedicated filter.
For the officers on the street, a mobile version of the platform is convenient.
Admin users work for the innovation team, who have the desire to add and edit the platform's content.
User Test & Validation
We ran a user test with our final prototype and concluded that we should make the visual relationship between themes and projects more straightforward. Additionally, we find it essential for the innovation team to interpret the success of their efforts effectively. Therefore, we would like to formulate a way to measure results so the Politie can make future decisions based on past work successes.
In our mid-fidelity design, we made a progress bar and floating text. However, it didn't work once I tested the design on the colour blindness condition Protanopia. The red line and golden tect made it difficult to read the words and understand the progress bar. Therefore, we redesigned this element.
This project made me more confident in showing and test low-fidelity designs to steer direction. It can be dangerous to elaborate too intensively in a direction before showing your client as it might be based on a misunderstanding. I also found it interesting to work with a client of this scale as it makes you more critical on where to focus in terms of challenge and stakeholders.
Background & Team (A-Z)
This project has been commissioned by the Dutch Police (Nederlandse Nationale Politie) under the umbrella of the MSc Digital Design at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences. Throughout the project, we worked closely together with two stakeholders from the Dutch Police. Together with three other design students, we had a fixed start and ending date regardless of the final product or wished improvements. My role within the team was project management, UX/UI design, concept development (workshop and participatory design facilitation), and usability research.