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The Antreem tutors at Politecnico di Milano

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Service design in action for breaking down, reviewing and unhinging the ritual of shopping – the online world and physical stores meet the user experience.

This is the challenge set by Calzedonia for a group of twenty young students, taking part in the professionalization workshop of the Specialist Degree in Service Design at Politecnico di Milano.

Antreem was called upon to guide the students’ work, suggesting ideas and work tools for the work groups to use.

The workshop started with a dive into the world of Calzedonia, to discover the vision, distribution channels, strengths and weaknesses of a company with over 4,500 stores worldwide and 4 e-commerce websites, one for each brand, reaching 23 countries, using 14 languages and 10 different currencies.
The students were then invited to get themselves into groups according to their propensities. Apart from some review sessions during the various days, each team was free to follow their own work method, so as to apply to the workshop all the knowledge acquired during the degree course and before.

A significant point of interest for the workshop activities and the expected solutions was certainly the composition of the class: about twenty young people from all over the world. There were four Italians – half of whom had studied abroad for 2 years – along with Indian, Chinese, Thai, Romanian, Bulgarian, Spanish and Austrian students. This led to reflections on the world of shopping that came from different cultural experiences and it was interesting to note how the proposed solutions aimed to solve common problems, identified by each group in parallel. This is a sign that the globalization of international brands, like Calzedonia, tends to push users towards the same user experience. For example? Women all over the world find it a big problem when they get a hole in their tights when out and about. Is it possible for the only solution to be always having a spare pair in their bag?

The international group in the classroom also brought with it very diversified approaches to the work. Almost all the students came from different educational backgrounds: some from communication, others product design and yet others engineering. The result was positive: a non-standardized path to reach the solution. Although various service design tools were considered by all the groups, their use was not linear. Some used the “journey map” in the initial brainstorming step and others for developing an already defined concept. Some used “personas” first and others “storyboards”. Some interviewed users in the field and some tested physical and digital stores in person, doing research in the field and ethnographic observation.

In conclusion, the workshop at the end of January created fertile soil for ideas for the company and educational success for the students who found out what it means to work in a real situation. It was successful both in terms of the proposals illustrated by the students, who touched on innovative, but also implementable solutions, and for the Antreem team, who had the chance to engage with young new talent.

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