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Flying communication


The design challenge

The main design challenge of this project is that we want to design a product that enables the employees to contact the supervisors more easily, when they have a communication challenge.

Definition of contact: finding,searching and communicating.

Product use

The Pigeon consists of two products: the PigeonBox and the PigeonCarrier. The box is shaped like a bird house and will be placed on a wall in the place of use. With this box people can easily reach people with the PigeonCarrier. The carrier is like a portophone with which people can talk back to the person who calls from the box.


This concept applied to our context, employees can call supervisors when they need help. By pushing one of the buttons they can reach a supervisor of a certain workfield. Each workfield has a different color and supervisor. 

The employee holds the button to talk and releases it to listen. Before they can push the button they have to open a door with a flowchart on it, to let them think about the urgency of their question and prevent misuse of the system.

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This is the flowchart which asks the employee to first look for a solution themselves, secondly asking a colleague for a solution and if that does not work, to call the supervisor.

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The PigeonCarrier has a few other functions as well. It has a battery indicator to show battery life. The device can easily be charged with the USB-charger. With the mute function on the volume turning knob, which is also the on and off knob, the supervisor will not be disturbed anymore. The employee will recieve beeps like a non-used telephonenumber.

Another turning knob let the supervisor freely choose the channel that represents their workingfield for the day.

Pigeon Carier final design zonder achter

For project Designing for specific users, a product has to be made for the care-farm “de Viermarken”. The people working on this carefarm differ a lot from each other. The ages go from 18 to 88 and the reason they are here go from recovery after surgery to having a mental impairment. This is because the growing number of care farms allow the care farm to be less strict in selection.


This broad target group is also visible in the communication, as some can barely speak whilst others could talk for days. Most people have no physical impairments. The area of the carefarm is large and variable. Having a lot of facilities such as fields with vegetation or animals and a little shop where the made products are sold.


On the care farm there are two classes; employees and supervisors. The employees know each day in advance what they will approximately do as they are already divided in one of 6 working areas; Kitchen garden, MTO(machine/transport/onderhoud(maintenance), life-stock and grassland, Shop, housekeeping and product processing or Farm Oldenhof. The picture shows the current situation of area, employees and supervisors division; an excel table on a smartboard.

The design challenge
Product use
The Viermarken


Our concept empowers users by relieving them from the feeling of dependence. When they do not know what they have to do, they are quite literally lost on the care farm searching for answers, this makes for a really uncertain situation and amplifies the feeling of dependency. Having the pigeonbox in this situation makes it that employees instead of wandering around know where to go, which takes the uncertainty and thus the feeling of dependency away. For further development is neccesary to improve some critical points for our concept.

• Making asking for help easy might take away from the idea of the employees working independently, even though they do need the help sometimes.

• The device could be a little bit too accessible, which can create unintentional use (or misuse) of the product (e.g. annoying the supervisors by calling a lot).

• This product is put in a place in the market with a lot of well developed competition, it will take more development to guarantee that our product is the best for this problem.

• We use an existing technology and put it in a new jacket, this made our product not revolutionary or open a new market.

• Right now the caretaker has to always have multiple communication devices with them. In future research it should be looked into how these can be combined, or scratched entirely.

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Groupmembers of group 4 Project Design for Specific Users Bachelor IDE:

Marien Baan s2000229

Anna Bokdam s2111535

Huub Rijnders s2178249

Jan Schagen s2119803

Thanks to:

Suzan Leemreis

Armağan Karahanoglu 

Module coordinators:

Jelle van Dijk (

Cristina Zaga

Marie-Fleur Woolderink s2112906

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