‘Design’ is the world of the possible and is concerned about how things could be or ought to be, as opposed to the ‘Sciences’, which are concerned about how things are. The beauty of a design solution is relevant only when it materialises, gets traction and can effectively provide value to end-users (or in other words have an impact).
Therefore, design is set to be a constant and intentional act of balance between aesthetics, technology and business drives. With this willful act in mind, the journey was structured around a series of 4 loops, aiming at narrowing progressively down the level of resolution of the La Grangette home gardening experience:
Iteration 1: user modelling, UX/CX movies, business modelling and user evaluation
We initiated the ideation work through a collaborative workshop with La Grangette, aimed at defining user personas and their journey as users and as customers, providing high-level answers to understand how they would order new seeds, grow them and harvest the plants.
Back to our Pininfarina HQ in Cambiano, we crystallized 3 contrasting experiences into 3 concept movies that were then shown to potential users to gather their feedbacks. In parallel, we explored at a high level the definition of 3 different business models to gauge what would it take to bring such a product/service to the market.
Iteration 2: high-level functional requirements, interaction paradigm, low-fi mockups, and user evaluations
As a result of the first loop, we detailed the first round of functional requirements, between needed and nice-to-have-features. On these, we explored service blueprints starting investigating what was the design package, the service package and the interaction between the two and the digital world.
All of this was again made tangible for the user in a VR model, a physical low-fidelity mock-up and a digital, mobile mock-up. The three of them combined were used again to gather insights from the users in another evaluation round.
Iteration 3: detailed functional requirements, industrial, service and detailed interaction design, high-fi virtual physical and digital mockups, and user evaluations
These feedbacks were used to build the brand values, detailing what the product should and should not represent. Building on in, a full round of industrial design, service refinement and interaction design was carried to bring La Grangette as close to reality as possible.
During this phase the interaction with the mock-ups was more realistic, allowing users to pull the shelves, plant salads and engage the object through a digital interface. VR complemented the experience using sound and images to simulate also those features too expensive to be fully built, thus permitting users to assess and compare a broad range of different solutions and features.
Iteration 4: component and supplier search, pre-engineering and design refinement, marketing package and detailed business modeling
The detailed feedback gathered at this point were redirected to define the go-to-market strategy: together with the client, we identified supplier and components refining the costing side of the equation and pre-engineering the product, built the sets of necessary assets for the marketing and the funding campaigns, as well as building the full business case, including P&L and detailed cash-flow.
Pininfarina is now performing an artistic direction over the construction of the first fully functioning units, which will be soon ready for the market test.