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Case Study: Sibyl

A Solution for Industrial Washing Machine Maintenance Loops: Sibyl


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Timeline: 10 weeks

Deliverable: Prototype concept

My Roles: Design Researcher, Visual Designer, User Champion

Skills: Design Thinking, IBM Design Methods, User Research, Journey Mapping, Storyboarding, Story Telling

Tools: Adobe Illustrator

Collaborators: Lindsey Thompson, Will Kuglen, Tess Horany, Katherine Kykta


How can we use IBM Watson and the Internet of Things to improve the lives of people in the industrial washing machine maintenance industry?


an unfamiliar problem space

On the first day of the sprint, we were placed in interdisciplinary groups with an unfamiliar topic dumped in our laps: industrial washing machines. Even more, we were told to consider maintenance loops for the people who have to fix them.

We knew absolutely nothing.

field research

 

We were responsible for our own research, which proved to be a difficult task. Among countless cold visits and 15 calls, we had 5 responses and 4 meaningful conversations, resulting in 1 site visit. This visit propelled the rest of our process, as we now had a user to champion around. Owen the Owner, as we called him, gave us insights to the issue that we never could have guessed, including that his maintenance records were not digitized, and that machine malfunction had caused a fire at his previous facility.

developing a concept

 

Outdated processes were causing industrial washing machine facility owners to lose time and money when diagnosing maintenance issues and waiting for machine repairs. Machine downtime causes employees to work overtime, clients to receive late deliveries, and thousands of dollars lost. We thought: what if our solution could be like a dashboard light on your car: it lets you know about breakdowns before they happen, so you don’t end up stranded.

Our plan was a preventative maintenance approach - capable of prediction, purchasing, and scheduling - in order to reduce machine downtime and costs.

our solution: sibyl

What if our solution could be like a dashboard light on your car: it lets you know about breakdowns before they happen, so you don’t end up stranded.

Named for the oracles of Ancient Greece, Sibyl is a preventative maintenance service that brings control and efficiency back to owners of industrial washing facilities. Sibyl is a personified digital solution that predicts maintenance issues, pinpoints parts that need replacing, performs price comparisons, and allows preventative maintenance visit scheduling.

final playback

 

In our final playback to members of the Austin design community, our team took on the colossal challenge of making washing machines sound exciting. As well as presenting to people who have been with us all semester, we also delivered our story to those who were hearing our presentation for the first time. Our strategy was to express the problem as a story through the lens of Owen the Owner. We emphasized his pain when the current system cost him valuable resources, and his triumph when our solution provides him peace of mind.

Our strategy was to express the problem as a story through the lens of Owen the Owner. We emphasized his pain when the current system cost him valuable resources, and his triumph when our solution provides him peace of mind.

as-is journey

to-be journey

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explore our final playback deck