To immerse ourselves into the user’s experience, our team decided to actually go through the serveries on the mobility scooter. We had Adam and Stephanie go through the North Servery and Aitash went through the West Servery. Some of the insights each of us got from the experience are as follows:
- Adam: I think that getting in the line in order to position yourself to access the food was the singular most difficult part of the whole experience.
- Aitash: The biggest challenge was not being able to see and thereby reach some of the food items in the salad bar.
- Stephanie: The biggest surprise was how hard it was to maneuver the scooter to the food, not reaching the actual food.
- Shane: For me, the hardest part is putting the food on my plate and carrying anything liquid.
Additionally, our findings were corroborated by our community partner Felix, who faced similar issues.
Our two main takeaways were that both reaching and carrying food is the challenge facing mobility scooter users.From our experiences and interviews, we created a user persona to map the user’s journey:
“Sammy” is a Rice freshman and uses a mobility scooter – his juvenile rheumatoid arthritis makes it painful to stand or walk for extended periods of time
- Sammy swipes into West Servery for lunch
- Sammy uses a paper plate because the ceramic plates are heavy and difficult to carry
- Sammy faces challenges with serving himself food – the counters are too tall and the counterspace makes the food difficult to reach
- Sammy asks another student for assistance
- The other student helps place food on Sammy’s plate
- Sammy leaves the servery with his food and eats lunch in Duncan commons with his friends
Therefore, we now know to focus on a more narrowed problem space: reaching and carrying food.