When I started my graduate journey back in September, I was placed in the newest team in the business, the Innovation Lab. Being fresh back from travelling and finding it difficult enough to wake up in the mornings, this sounded like an exciting, but also difficult challenge. I had never really thought about innovation or how this could impact our business, but I was ready to embark on a whirlwind 4 month journey to find out all about this.
My first task was to explore Smart TVs. With this vague brief in mind and without knowing what a Smart TV was, I did the typically newbie thing of nodding my head enthusiastically and saying that I’d find out.
A month later I had prepared a huge presentation with research on Smart TV brands and how we could benefit from building an app for the new Apple TV. Thankfully, everyone agreed with me. As a keen Apple lover I was very excited by this concept and also by the fact that it meant we could get an Apple TV for the office that I went on to take home every night (I became very addicted to Netflix). However, this again presented me with a huge challenge as I had no idea how to go about creating an app for anything, never mind a TV!
Luckily, I had the support of the Innovation Team and we decided to embrace the ways of innovation and create a prototype (a working draft version) of the app using the method of a design sprint (a 5 day working process in which you generate ideas, design, prototype & test). Using my research on what customers expected from a TV app and my knowledge acquired from all of my evenings spent with the Apple TV, I was able to host a workshop to generate initial ideas and designs on what the app should look like. Through the hard work of our own UX expert, an external developer and our content & design team we had a very exciting prototype on our hands and loads of positive feedback by the end of the 5 days.
I got the chance to test this prototype with the other grads in the office and our own customers in Birmingham to see how they used the app and gather feedback. We took this on board built the final version of the app in around 6 weeks. It was amazing to see how an idea could turn into a reality, use new ways of working in our business and get the insight of our own customers to create such an exciting product in such a short space of time. I gained so much from stepping out of my comfort zone and being given the responsibility to drive something forwards.
For those of you that haven’t already download Thomson Holidays on the Apple TV App store now (it’s worth it)!