Aalborg Militærpoliti

The Client

Aalborg Military-police (MP) share a lot of similarities with the regular police like helping with control of traffic, patrolling and investigating. Since the start of 2000 the MP have been using a specific container for their investigations which has to be portable, because their investigations are not only located in Denmark but also in different parts of the world.

The problem

The Military Police are currently operating with a wooden box as storage for their investigational kit. This wooden box is very unhandy when transporting it to places not reachable in a vehicle.
And it can’t even fit in some vehicles. We were therefore given the task to try and optimize the box in order to make it more practical for travels and transport as well as more flexible for carrying. The primary problem they wanted us to fix was to re-think the wooden box, such that they could get rid of it. But they would also be glad to have parts of the investigation kit optimized, in order to minimize the space required and the weight reduced.

Group members

Thomas Storm Pedersen - Entrepreneurial Engineering
Kasper Christian Nielsen - Interaktive og Digitale Medier
Søren Bjerg Boiesen - Industriel Design
Lilli Choora Rasmussen - Oplevelsesdesign

Week 1

The 7th of september we met at Aalborg Seminarium to have a joint lecture before getting divided into groups in the afternoon. We had our first meeting with the client and getting a presentation of the problem and short introduction to the container and what was in it. After the meeting we discussed what question we had for the next days excursion. The day after, tuesday, we met with the client at Aalborg Kaserner to see the actual box and getting a more thoroughly expection of the things in it. We met Captain Kasper Bie Jakobsen and Cheif-sergant Karsten Sørensen that told us about different scenarios where the container came into play, as well as what the different forensic tools where used for. We heard about their military-police work and different examples of where they were stationed in the world. We got to look, touch and feel the weight of the things inside and the box itself. The container was a woodbox and inside 4 briefcases marked ‘dna-test’, ‘fingerprinting’, ‘tools’, ‘cast’ (for gybsum).

In the interview they told us, that what they were looking for was something more handy and lighter than the original box. At this point they had to be two soldiers to carry the box because of it’s weight, which meant that all their energy went into transporting the box. The transport itself is difficult because some military vehicles (Eagle) are too packed already or too small to contain the container. So the request to make the container smaller was highly valued, because the transport was essential for the different cases and locations the MP are working with. Furthermore, we asked about storage of evidence and camera that, even though the box was big, couldn’t fit into the container. They told us that some of the things aren’t actually with them on the crimescene, but they usually take things out of the box and into their so-called daybags so they don’t have to transport everything. They told us, that they usually know what to expect from for example a road-bombing in Afghanistan, they can of course not always account for everything, but they work around it. But again this was an unorganized affair, dropping the different tools into one big room of the daybag. They told us that they had tried with different variations including a new bag and attaching wheels but it didn’t work and then asking us for help to solve the problem.

After our visit we began to gather all the videorecordings and note-scribbels, discussing the different tasks ahead. We met with group 24 the day after, who are also working with the same case, to share impressions.

Interview, usage and observation

We used a lot of observation and interview in the fieldwork to understand what the problem was with the product, both with opinions from the MP-staff and interacting with the product. By interviewing them, we got to understand their principles and their idea of the product, both positive and negative. We didn’t get to become ‘active’-users, but we got feel the tools by interacting, which broadened our horizon in terms of understanding the different problems that needed to be solved in order to make a better product for the client. Seeing the box helped us visualize the problem and the interview made us understand the usage better than seeing it on paper.

Object Theater

Thursday we got introduced to object theater and how visualizing our problems can expend the way we think about it. Each group had a sandbox and we commanded to find different objects around the room that felt drawing to us. We weren’t allowed to speak within the group while we found the different things. After that we had to analyse what we had made and explained to and with the others in the group why we chose to put things ‘here’ and not ‘there’. We began orally discussing what we had made in our non-spoken seance. Our sandbox showcased three different terrains, water, desert and jungle. We analysed it as the different climates that the MP have to get through with the box. Another scenario was the center of the sandbox which contained a treasure-chest (symbolized the container) alongside two figures representing the MP-staff. We began with opening the treasure-chest and inside was 8 marbles inside. We removed four of them to symbolize the wish of making it lighter. But, the chest was still there. One of the groupmember went out and found a new object (oxygentank) to replace the chest and litterally putting the bag on the MP’s back, causing us to remove the other MP away and giving the bag-carrying MP free hands as well. After that we talked about how much lighter the scenario felt after removing the chest and we began talking about a new shape for the container. With the visualization of the problem, we discussed the problem in another way than before. We got to see how our little idea actually meant a much more in terms of making travelling easier and also how important the exterior of the bag is due to different climate settings.

Week 2

After our work in week one, where we identified the problems with our case and started working on five ideas, week two started with a meeting with two representatives from the military police. During this meeting we presented the work we had done in the previous week. This included the ouroboros model, in which we included the “before, during and after” method. The ouroboros method was presented as a tool which could help us make a timeline of a process, or a customer journey. The case we are working with is very concrete, and the targeted audience is the sergeants of the military police, therefore we didn’t use a customer journey per se, but we did make a timeline. For the same reason, we didn’t use personas. Combined with the “before, during and after method?”, this timeline we made with ouroboros, represented what happened from when the military police receives a call about a mission, to their investigation and finally when they return to the base of operations. The ouroboros timeline was presented to the military police and we discussed some of the problems that we faced. The five ideas, we had worked on was also discussed and ended with them ranking the ideas after what they prioritized as the main concern that they would like to have solved.

Then we started narrowing the problem field and identified two problems that we would like to find a solution for. The first being the container itself and the second being an essential kit, or a bag suited for the most missions. To help us identify solutions, and see what would be possible and what wouldn’t be, we used the design fiction model to create concept scenarios. This model is divided in four corners; these being; 1: lessons, 2: necessities, 3: myths and 4: possibilities. We looked at what have been tried earlier and the criteria’s that the military police had for the design. We used the preunderstanding we had of the problems to develop “what if” scenarios. During our process we also discussed the usability, desirability and the utility of our ideas in the different scenarios. Our targeted audience, the military police, desired easy transportation, a better way to carry their investigation kit and a new way to store all of their equipment making it smaller in size and easier to handle. An example of our process, working with design fiction: What if the container of investigation was not a single unit, but instead two or multiple units. Then we started brainstorming on possible outcomes of this; what if the container were two parts, three parts and so on, then what would happen. What would the positives and negatives be? With these what if scenarios, we could furthermore explore possibilities and problems the design idea could bring.

After we were done discussing our different scenarios, we chose four to develop further and into a video sketch, a visual story. The next step was then to make a storyboard for this visual story, which could explain our scenarios and how our ideas could solve one of the problems we had come upon. The storyboard was our game plan, for how we would like to introduce our solutions in a visual manner. In making our video sketches, we used a stand scan. The stand scan enables the user to put their phone on top of it and take pictures of the ground below, which is where you put your sketches to make your stop-motion video. The stand scan is equipped with LED lightning on the “ceiling” of it, and the stand scan itself is shaped so an A4 paper can fit in it. This also means that your sketches need to be adjusted to this. Our reason for choosing to make our video sketches using a stand scan was that we thought it was easiest to get our ideas across, by drawing our ideas and then using them as part of a stop-motion video. An example of our process was that we did a lot of visualization in the group, by drawing, to explain our ideas to each other. Therefore we thought it easy to just continue with this approach and using the stand scan to make our drawings into a visual story.

These four video sketches can be seen in another tab, and will be presented Monday to the military police who then will decide which idea they would like us to develop further.

Week 3

The start of week three began with a meeting with a representative from the military police. The purpose of this meeting was to present the four video sketches that showcased our ideas, which we made during week two. The client then gave her immediate thoughts on the ideas, what was positive and what was negative, and then we discussed which way to proceed. When we decided which idea was the best, we also discussed the possibility of including parts of the other ideas, we presented, to the idea that we were going to work further with. The idea we chose were a solution to their main problem, being their large wooden crate. The idea to solve this problem is making a module system, where the big crate instead is 15 small units which can be clicked together. There were also several positive elements, from our other ideas, which the client were very open too, an example being a color categorization system so it would be easy to access the desired bag.

Then the real work began. We were now in the final stage of our three week long process, in which we had work on several ideas which could solve our client’s problem. Our final correspondence was done and we now had a clear direction of what they wanted and how they wanted it. Now we needed to make it into a concept, which best could illustrate and communicate how our idea could solve their problem and the benefits it would provide them with.

The way we wanted to present our idea to the military police, was to create a concept video. First and foremost we presented the overall problem, the wooden case and how we and the military police saw this problem. Next we would present our idea by showcasing our work process, the methods we used to come up with our design idea. Lastly our design idea was to be presented. The way we created this was by using some of the video footage we had taken during these three weeks. This video included meetings with our client, our work progress and use of methods. A green screen was also used to visualize how our module system would work when separating it and putting it together. We also used the green screen to show how one of the 15 units would be able to be ‘clicked’ together as a single bag, or onto the military polices daypacks. This was done by taking an ordinary bag pack and a couple of smaller bags and then combining them together to visualize how it would work in practice.

The final product, the concept video, was to be presented to our clients on the final day of the work week. This marked the end of our three week process and our cooperation with our clients, the military police. Our concept video, the final outcome of our work during these three weeks, was to be evaluated by us and the client.

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