Making Consumer Rights Simple and Attractive

This blog post reports on work-in-progress within the DfG course! The post is written by one of the two groups dealing with the Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority’s (running under the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Trade) brief on ‘Boosting Consumer Rights for Finnish SMBs’. The group includes Natalia Villaman, Yu Chen and LiangYan Shen, all designers from Creative Sustainability program and Aino Piirtola from Information and Service Management program.

Our team started to seriously work on the project in the beginning of March after the kick-off workshop was held with the key stakeholders. After that, we have interviewed professionals in the consumer rights sphere and have continued to discuss about possible solutions for boosting consumer rights with other relevant people. Finally, we’ve come to the conclusion that what really matters is that we can package consumer rights into a simple and attractive format for early stage entrepreneurs.

Team workshop: mapping what matters. (Photo: Natalia Villaman)

As a team, we then need to respond to the question: What is simple and attractive enough for entrepreneurs who are already going through multiple pages of legal texts to build their business right? In order to find an answer, we have gathered together to brainstorm and discuss. After sticking a countless number of post-it notes on posters, we came to the conclusion that consumer rights compliance is a process that affect businesses in different phases. Entrepreneurs need to take the regulations into account when launching a business, in its daily operations, when growing it and in case they end up in trouble. At this point, we decided to focus on the launch and find a way to dissolve the overwhelmingness of existing information. In our opinion, this is the right way to go as when consumer rights are implemented from the start, less problems will occur in the future.

Team workshop: finding a final solution. (Photo: Natalia Villaman)

Marketing campaigns, multimodal content, proof of excellence, checklists, platforms and educational concepts are all ideas that have crossed our minds. From these, we have chosen two that fit our scope. Next, we’ll try validate our ideas with a couple of entrepreneurs and see whether their behaviour would be affected. Later on, in two weeks to be precise, we’re already to present our final solution. We’re to prove that there is a way to bake consumer rights into something we Nordics find attractive – something simple.

The DfG course runs for 14 weeks each spring – the 2019 course has now started and runs 26 Feb to 21 May. It’s an advanced studio course in which students work in multidisciplinary teams to address project briefs commissioned by governmental ministries in Finland. The course proceeds through the spring as a series of teaching blocks – Human perspective, Systems perspective and Intervention perspective – in which various research and design methods are applied to addressing the project briefs. Blog posts are written by student groups, in which they share news, experiences and insights from within the course activities and their project development. More information here about the DfG 2019 project briefs. Hold the date for the public finale 09:00-12:00 on Tuesday 21 May!


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