Team CHAUS: Mid-term Recess

After Mid-term Recess, Team Chaus continued to deeply understand the various problem spaces and gather user insights. After receiving over 240 responses to our initial survey, we spent most of this week interviewing those who opted for a follow-up interview and communicating with other stakeholders, such as employees (also known as “Keepers of Coffee,” or “KOCs”) and suppliers.

The initial survey sent out to the public. Graphic designed by Katherine Hui.

One of the most rewarding aspects of the design process became clear as we discovered more perspectives on sustainability. We learned that many customers were informed about the sustainability offerings at Coffeehouse, but there was a discrepancy between awareness and engagement. We became curious about this dissonance between knowledge and customer participation of the current initiatives, so we asked interviewees for their suggestions based on their personal habits. It was exciting to see that many customers were generally interested in improving sustainability. Many of them were involved in different ways to tackle the issue, which ended up providing many suggestions based on their personal habits and spurring more questions for us to consider.

However, after generating user personas, we gauged that different areas can- and should- be explored in parallel to our main focus to lead to creating successful change. We felt that the broadness of the issue of sustainability may be our greatest barrier since our goal is to implement a solution that is effective in the long term. Our interactions with customers and KOCs became ongoing conversations about the various issues related to sustainability. There are many opportunities to grow at Coffeehouse, so we discovered there were more paths to take than we could feasibly implement and test during a single semester. After digesting all the information gathered from our initial survey, customer interviews, and employee interviews, we pinpointed the most critical issues:

  1. Customer awareness/engagement with sustainability offerings
  2. Supplies and materials (recyclability and waste)
  3. Back-of-house spatial configuration (in particular, the dish drying rack)

After learning from both customers and KOCs about many of the opportunities for improvement at Coffeehouse, we hope to continue narrowing down our problem spaces moving forward and formalize a concrete, deliverable solution. The insights uncovered this week prompted us to explore many different possibilities that we are interested in approaching, but we are excited to further investigate the area that would be most impactful to sustainability at Coffeehouse.

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