Running thousands of trains each day, the Dutch Railways, (NS) always aims to improve their customer satisfaction along the complete customer journey. The digital experience is key to driving higher customer satisfaction scores and happier users. Raft partnered with NS to drive the digital strategy and experience across the customer journey with a focus on in-station and onboard experience.
After research and field observations, we developed a set of concepts that could be adopted internally. The concepts were intentionally visualized in a fidelity that felt feasible yet flexible. The visual fidelity of a concept influences how people react to it. If it is too detailed, people tend to critique rather than build upon the idea. When it's just right, it allows for an open discussion where the client becomes a part of the design team.
Working towards a common direction, it helps to have a shared framework. Typical design thinking tools like customer journeys and design principles are not familiar to people outside of design circles, and therefore not always the best tool for documenting a design system. Raft helped NS translate their cultural principles into a design philosophy. The philosophy consists of a set of statements which frame the relationship between the customer and NS. It can be used to help any employee understand how to improve the customer journey from the customer's perspective.
NS wanted to empower their employees to create new concepts to improve the customer experience. To ensure that the effort is focused the right way, those ideas must be put into perspective. We developed a list of heuristics questions that NS can use to evaluate new concepts. The questions allow people to dissect their ideas into its basic components and functions, and to rate them against the design philosophy. This system helps teams take decisions and guides iterations to improve ideas that work together towards a larger vision.
We delivered a digital strategy deck, extensive set future-thinking digital concepts, and a customer journey poster. To create excitement around the deliverables and their use within the organization, we produced a video that shows a possible future of train travel. The story presents the design philosophy and how it will help steer the creation of many smaller concepts into a choreography of ideas that work together and are intuitively understood by travelers.