A place for mobile payments

Why can mobile payment methods fail in certain contexts and succeed in others? That was the focus of my final thesis. During March, April and May 2018, I did an ethnographic research about the usage of mobile payment in different contexts. I interviewed 16 users and non-users about MobilePay, a mobile payment application that was deployed in Denmark first in 2013. At the time of the research, MobilePay was used by more than half of the population of the country. To achieve this investigation, I construct a research in three municipalities of Denmark: Copenhagen, Frederiksberg, and Vordingborg. Through those three months, I examined the ways some individuals interact with the concept of money, the different mode of payments and opinions around it. With a focus on mobile payment, I analyzed the type of payment individuals favor or choose in different contexts like social (ex.: family, friends), spatial (urban versus rural areas) or commercial (ex.: shops, restaurants, flea markets). External factors were also taken into consideration whether it was conceptual like trust, taboo or time. The selected interviewees had different backgrounds, ages as well as motivations (or not) of using MobilePay for personal or for commercial purposes.

I examined some of the factors that can influence the mode of payment selected based on the context throughout the payment process. And if innovation in payment modes has changed individuals’ perceptions and habits or transformed their behavior towards money and related artifacts. With the emergence of new technologies like mobile payment, I was interested to look through this topic and see how it is transforming or shaping different kinds of contexts. And if there are some contexts that are more favorable for mobile payment than others. Denmark, like other Scandinavian countries, is becoming more and more a cashless society. This part of the world represents a great source of inspiration for digital innovation as well as transactional and financial solution development. Based on data collection and other types of resources I got information on mobile payment transactions when chosen over other types of payment methods in certain given contexts. Findings from the outcomes of my research encompass the paradox that mobile payments fail in some contexts and succeed in others. In an honest manner, I aimed to analyze this paradox, respond to the problem and reflect on perspectives.  

Malmö Aquarium

First open in 1937, Malmö Aquarium is located in Malmö Museer, Scandinavia oldest surviving Renaissance castle. It is the only aquarium in Malmö, the third biggest city in Sweden. In 2013, a redesign project started and this to improve employees working environment as well as animals living one. And, to create a better experience for visitors where digital tools were implemented for communicative devices. It reopened officially in 2016. The year after, I participated in a small research group about this redesign project.

We investigated the main challenges faced by the team during the process. In addition, we analyzed some issues and aspects in relation to the redesign process such as being part of the municipality, being part of a museum and being an educational institution. Different target groups had to be considered in the communication angle and in the site redesign. Combined with designing for animals and other living species, the team had to ensure a proper environment following security regulations and rules of the Museum.

Biowaste in Copenhagen: An evaluation of the implementation

In 2017, The Technical and Environmental Administration of Copenhagen Municipality began the implementation of a new sorting possibility for all households in Copenhagen. Before the end of 2018, the municipality’s goal was to provide to its 602 481 citizens the possibility to sort biowaste and reach 45% of household waste for recycling.

Based on ethnographic interviews with citizens living in apartments on Vesterbro and Nørrebro districts, I worked on a report with three other Master’s colleagues. The aim of this report was to provide insights into recycling practices in homes and to suggest recommendations on how the municipality can encourage more citizens to sort biowaste.

By doing so, we did observations on the biofraction implementation in everyday life and how the practices of recycling are related to opinions and motivations. We found out that sorting biowaste is often integrated into already established practices, habits, and opinions, both on positive and negative sides. For some, the main motivations to sort biowaste are to be environmentally friendly, to follow a global trend of sustainability and to feel like a part of a community. From generated ideas that came along the research, we concluded with strategic communication improvement for the municipality with concrete examples.

Rejsekort: online purchasing case

Through my studies, I had an introductory course on User Experience Design in relation to interactive systems. This course gave me knowledge around the concept where I explored some of its elements like designing methods and user experience evaluation. Topics like user-centered design, visual structure, usability dimensions (effectiveness, efficiency, and satisfaction) and inspection were presented.

During the course, to reflect and apply UXD concepts and design, I had the opportunity to work on a real-life case with two other colleagues. We did a research on Rejsekort (translated; travel card), an electronic ticketing system for public transport passengers in Denmark. More precisely, we analyze the process of online purchasing on rejsekort.dk. Our focus was on a limited target group, international students wishing to buy a travel card for the first time. Our research was based on a lifecycle template called The Wheel (Hartson-Pyla, 2012). This consist of a four stages process which is analysis, design, implementation, and evaluation. Combine with collected empirical data, we used four main methods and techniques. First, The Flow Model, a designing-informing model to illustrate the system and the faced problems during the process of purchase. Second, Persona to conduct the research with our target group and select the right user for the test/evaluation phase. Third, The Think Aloud useful method to detect usability problems. Fourth, Low Fidelity Prototype to sketch and discuss quickly new ideas for the faced problems and think of potential solutions.

Photo: user during the evaluation period which was recorded throughout the entire process.

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