How long are we willing to turn a blind eye to the vulnerabilities of essential workers on the bottom of the employment hierarchy?
Asked the Fairwork Foundation at: https://www.redpepper.org.uk/by/fairwork-foundation
Concerned about provide supporting to the community of cycle-delivery autonomous workers, I took the opportunity during my final graduation work to project, based on interviews with the target user, a delivery management tool that primarily met the needs of the service actor in order to increase their security and self-management skills.
Now that grocery delivery apps see record downloads amid coronavirus outbreak*, in order to keep people quarantined to reducing the risk of contagion, it is even more fundamental to pay attention to those who provide delivery services.
Taking care of the quality of experience of delivery workers in general - freelancers or by applications - to guarantee their own security in the provision of the service - from choosing routes carefully to the way of handling the delivering orders - is the idea around the "guider" project.
What it does
1) Manage daily orders; 2) Create safe routes; 3) Give instructions for safety and self-management tips; 4) Enable contact between delivery person and recipient to avoid waiting and ensure the receipt; 5) Be customizable to the specific needs of each delivery person.
How was the building
Through interviews with organizations and self-employed bicycle deliverers it was possible to hear their main demands - which were not about purchase customers, but about self-organization and to have a worthy work experience - and going deep in academics papers, that provided socioeconomic analyzes regarding the context of delivery and the problems related to this in Brazil (https://repositorio.ufmg.br/handle/1843/BUBD-99WF7X). Until design according to the university's recommendations regarding to the methodology and creating an first prototype that demonstrates part of the application's functions - the demands of daily deliveries and the map navigation.
Challenges it ran into
The first idea that was suggested to me when approaching the delivery audience was to develop a tool to help them acquire customers, but in the interview phase at the beginning I realized that this was not in accordance with the real demands of the category. This required me to change the goal of the tool as a whole and learn to develop requirements for more subjective and human needs.
Accomplishments to be proud of
- Have created an intervention proposal with the community for which it is intended to improve their security and attend their needs;
- To have been approved by the university's evaluation board and to receive a note from the evaluator regarding the focus with the user's experience;
- Have been approved to present this work at the 1st Brazilian Symposium on Digital Work in 2020.
All this motivated me to keep putting efforts on the project and to seek for support to develop it, once the work keep progressing it can be adapted to the purpose of reduce the risk of contamination of vulnerable people working during the coronavirus outbreak.
What I could learn
I believe that my main learning was to add listening to the development process of any tool. It is necessary to listen, respect your own rhythm and limits, as well as listen to what is happening around you and to the people interested and impacted by the proposition of your project before anything else.
What's next for Guider
1) Increasing the number of people involved in the development process; 2) Qualify the research of functional requirements with more data and develop a higher fidelity prototype to be tested; 3) Gaining more awareness about the technical programming requirements necessary for the application; 4) Gain feedback about the potential of the idea and to be a path to generate derivative projects that can serve professionals exposed to risks during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Try It out
apis, design, google-maps, material-kit