Sonim Technologies is a company that specializes in phones that are built to withstand the most rugged and hazardous conditions. But being tough isn’t always enough so they partnered with our Stanford class and asked us help them find opportunities for growth. My team was tasked with finding any unmet needs of these extreme workers and developing a solution for them.

User Research

User Research.png

My team and I shadowed the water utility workers of Palo Alto for a period of two weeks. During our time with them, we observed them both in their offices and followed them to various job sites. After conducting our interviews and observations we arrived at several key insights about our workers:



From our observations, we realized that the job of the modern utility worker has evolved to include work that is both highly technical as well as physically demanding. However, public perception has not kept up in a similar way and frames workers in two different ways: the Professional and the Laborer. The Professional wears a suit and tie, is smart, and works in an office. The Laborer wears jeans and a hard hat, is uneducated, and works with their hands. However, the modern blue-collar worker doesn’t fit either of these frames. Instead, we can reframe them as the Professional Laborer.

Design Principles

Design Principles 1.jfif

Design Principles 2.jfif

Design Principles 3.jfif

Design Principles 4.jpg

The Professional Laborer has a need to be seen as a professional and smart worker, that still believes in the value of a hard day’s work. We came up with the following design principles to guide our work:

Powered by Fruition