The Postal Service Project

2010 Design for User Experience

10-week term project in collaboration with the Umeå Postal Service

During this project's first week the APD students made visits at the regional mail terminal, situated at the local airport, and conducted participatory observations in smaller groups at two different mail delivery offices around the centre of Umeå. This gave the students an insight into the impressive and professional service the Swedish Post provides and the opportunity to follow mailman and woman during a their working day, both inside the office and outside while they delivering the mail by either car or moped.

In the project's second phase the students presented their findings and were introduced to methods for sharing information and generating ideas from this common pole of insights. The outcome of these activities was used to identify and establish a number of "design opportunities." After this, each student was asked to choose a design opportunity, carry out further research if necessary and to write an individual design brief, specifying the problem waiting to be addressed by the student.

During the project the APD students had continues contact and dialogue with the interviewed mail personal. This included a joint feedback session roughly half-through the project, where the mailmen tested full-scale mock-ups of the students initial design proposals.

The result of the project was 11 different concepts providing potential solutions for a wide range of problems and design opportunities such as: Wearable solutions for unburdening the mail carrier from the weight and strain of the mail, new solutions for wearable information devises, a proposal of a new interior of the next generation postal car, a series of different moped designs and a concept for both the interior and exterior design of a new type of postal vehicle.

The result of the project was present to the Swedish Postal Service both in Umeå and later at their development department at the main office in Stockholm.

External lecturers:

Michael Frederiksen, industrial designer and partner at Spindoc, Denmark 
Professor Pete Avondoglio, senior advisor for the APD programme

Course responsible:

Thomas Degn, Programme Director for the APD programme

  • UID students

    Alastair Warren
    Apurba Pawar
    Doris Feuerstein
    Hanako Arámbula
    Jiawei Zhang
    Gosha Galitsky
    Marco Peter
    Melanie Becker
    Nilas Pleje
    Salim Dogan Sekercioglu
    Simon Fredriksson