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“The students’ open outlook is very inspiring”

Key partner ANWB is enthusiastic about the collaboration

13 Nov 2017 10:11 | Faculty of Digital Media and Creative Industries

‘Restructure the ANWB website so that it is easier to navigate.’ This was the brief the Dutch national organization for traffic and tourism gave to four international Master’s students in Digital Design. “The ANWB itself has been looking at this for a while. It’s been inspiring to see what the students come up with”, enthuses Frank de Wit.

Frank de Wit, Manager of Customer & User Experience at ANWB, a ‘key partner’ of the Master’s programme in Digital Design, considers the resulting intensive collaboration with its students extremely valuable. “They came to The Hague every week to discuss project progress and to get more input. The students were doing real ‘design thinking’. And it was good to see how they put their methods and theories into actual practice; in business we don’t always have the time.”

Iris shows the way

The students, who all come from different backgrounds and nationalities, decided to completely revamp the website’s navigation style and to develop a custom-made interactive communication design. They conceived of an entirely new role for Iris, a red-haired miniature virtual customer care assistant with answers to frequently asked questions. The students turned her into a much more sophisticated figure, helping visitors move through the website by asking them questions – to help them find their ideal holiday destination, for instance.

ANWB

Let's meet Iris

An excellent idea, in Frank’s opinion. “They gave the existing assistant a much more prominent role, and made her much smarter. We want to invite the students to come and present their work. We won’t be implementing their plan straight away – but we will definitely be using it as input for our own project.”

Existing image

Frank is also very happy with the input given by the international students, most of whom were unfamiliar with the Dutch brand. “They thought we were primarily an emergency roadside assistance organization – an assumption we have to deal with quite often, even though we offer many other services.” The international students did some in-depth research: what does the market look like, what ideas are already being floated, and how should the ANWB market itself?

“The result was a valuable piece of design”, says Frank. “And looking at this problem with the students was a really enjoyable process. The ANWB is a forward-looking team, and we can learn something from these students: how to develop an innovative concept, fast!”