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Appti, a new loyalty platform for the Colmar restaurants

Challenge

Connect with the Colmar customers

Colmar was interested to gain more insight in the behavior of their customers, to increase customer retention in their restaurants and to communicate more efficiently with their clientele. Achilles helped Colmar to create and develop a loyalty platform that enabled them connect better with their customers. Essentially, the platform gives additional benefits to the customers of the restaurants in order to increase customer loyalty.  
Achilles Design was involved in this project from Strategy formulation to creating wireframes and prototypes, performing user tests and developing the ultimate design. Achilles designers deployed their strategy, UX/UI & branding design skills to merge modern technology and user-friendly design with the Colmar Brand.
Strategy

Workshops together with the Colmar team

During a series of workshops, we guided the Colmar team in defining the strategy for this new service. We helped them in determining the goal and purpose, and to match the business requirements with customer needs. This process led to a decision in the loyalty program’s mechanism and requirements for the minimum viable product.
Brand design

The Colmar brand

However, part of the Colmar universe, the new loyalty platform needed its own distinctive voice. We helped in creating this new brand extension from brand name to final visual concept. By adopting elements of the Colmar brand identity as a basis, we made sure that the new platform fitted perfectly with the existing Colmar brand. The introduction of Appti-specific illustrations and graphics makes it recognizable and stand out in the restaurant
The development

The Appti app

The development of the application was coordinated by us, together with our development partner Cubitec. The platform is built as a responsive web app, to enable perfect usage on both desktop and mobile devices. It integrates with the existing cash register system and the CRM system to create a seamless loyalty experience for the customers.  
The result
the loyalty platform is currently being rolled out in all Colmar restaurants throughout Belgium and France. At this point, the platform has a user base of more than 6000 users and it is still growing.

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Cleaning polluted air with moss

Challenge

A modular moss panel that removes PM from the air

BESIX Group, the largest Belgian multidisciplinary construction group, joins the battle against air pollution in urban environments. Academic research indicates a high potential for natural moss to remove PM (particulate matter) from polluted air. BESIX Group contacted Achilles to work out a solution that takes advantage of this promising natural phenomenon. A modular system consisting of active panels was conceived which can be installed on wall next to congested roads, tunnel exits, construction sites,…
After testing a variety of irrigation and ventilation principles, Achilles Design created the system layout, designed the product and engineered the complete system. For a pilot project, several panel modules were assembled in-house and installed at a construction site in Leiden.
System architecture

Creating the optimal climate for the moss.

Only if the moss is kept in good shape, its full air-filtering potential can be unlocked. Elaborate experimenting and testing identified the optimal substrate, irrigation and ventilation. During this process Achilles Design converted the academic knowledge into a practical biosystem solution.

Building a system around the moss

The overall system architecture has a major impact, not only regarding the product cost but also with respect to performance, the ease of maintenance, modularity, durability, etc. That’s why we systematically considered different approaches of subsystem decentralization, component layouts and materialization.
Pilot project

Bringing ideas to a real life situation.

Quite early in the development, we had the opportunity to build an actual first pilot project in Leiden. The short timeframe forced us to make quick decisions and immediately bring ideas to reality, combining off-the-shelf solutions with a first production batch.
Digital design

Natural moss with IoT technology

The moss wall is packed with sensors to monitor all relevant parameters: the humidity of the moss, the PM concentration of incoming (= polluted) and outgoing (= filtered) air, temperature, etc. Through an online platform, we were able to manage irrigation and ventilation regimes and monitor the effect on the performance of the moss wall.
The result
The first pilot project with 45m² of moss is up and running. Close monitoring of the moss itself and the measurement of PM concentration will provide us with valuable information to optimize the design for future industrial upscaling. This project was subsidized by the Brussels-Capital Region Innoviris.

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Help people achieve a desired state-of-mind

Challenge

Create a identity that reflects the positive energy and vibe you get by using the Yasu trainer and app

Moonbird researched the importance of the human breathing rhythm and how it affects our mental state. The company came to the conclusion that breathing has a major impact on our wellbeing. As a result, Moonbird developed the device and app called ‘Yasu’, a handheld biofeedback tool that supports users in their breathing exercises, it helps users to find their inner peace and increase focus and concentration in an easy and interactive way. The device can literally be used everywhere and whenever needed. Achilles Design was asked to develop Yasu’s brand identity that fits the purpose of its solution and that supports the emotional goal of using the device – an identity that looks humanly intuitive and that blends well with its natural purpose.  
Before we started designing, we organised a brand sprint. Together with the client we try to get a better understanding of the purpose of the product and to define the user persona they want to reach.
Approach

A strong name needs a strong logo

The client had already defined the brand name ‘YASU’. With a bird as a key symbol and a mood board, we started brainstorming and developing different impressions and generated a number of options Yasu could look like.
Identity for Yasu

Colors and forms

The brand identity had to reflect associations with calm, guiding, balance, care, nature, and sensitivity, which guided us in the creation of a pallet of soft and emotional colours. Positivity, curiosity, science, and coaching were additional characteristics that needed to build a modern and out-of-the box personality. We used the recognisable ‘Yves Klein blue’ to highlights the scientific background.
By adding organic and abstract forms we gave the overall look-and-feel fun and energy without being too explicit in our message.

Colours and photography

Breathing is a natural phenomenon. Therefore, using natural elements in natural light as well as calm surroundings is meant to support the feelings that are related to inner peace and inner self. We worked with certain colours to express the feelings that are associated with using Yasu. Besides that, we also used specifically suitable photography that shows the personas who use Yasu and who have found their desired state-of-mind.
The result
A beautiful and balanced design.
Achilles designed our product, our branding and our website. We wouldn’t hesitate to do it again. The collaboration was fantastic. We could jump in if there was a problem and we loved the end-to-end approach.

Stefanie Broes, PhD

Co-founder Moonbird

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New horizons in long term EEG monitoring

Challenge

Using the brain in the prevention of severe hypoglycemia

Hyposafe SubQ is a project dedicated to the prevention of severe hypoglycemia. The human brain, which lives primarily on glucose, begins to demonstrate recognizable electric patterns approximately 20 minutes before hypoglycemia. By continuously measuring the electrical activity within the brain, hypoglycemia can be detected, and people with diabetes get alerted before the situation becomes critical. When alerted, the patient can take the necessary action required to avoid hypoglycemia and thereafter adjust his/her glucose level to the appropriate interval.
The hyposafe SubQ technology allows to monitor your brain activity continuously. The challenge is to create a product that is only minimally obstructive as it has to be worn continuously. When designing the external device we had to make sure that the product is as invisible as possible, yet still able to interact with the user, especially when an alarm occurs. Being used 24 hours, the reliability of the product is of extreme importance.
Achilles Design took the lead in the mechanical design & engineering of the external device in close collaboration with Zenso who was responsible for the overall design of the external communication device and designed all the electronics, firmware and PC-based software from feasibility phase up to design and production. Focus on superior quality and reliability was key to achieve the Uneeg quality requirements.
Product Design

Slink design

The product consists of a tiny implant and an external communication device that is connected with the implant through an inductive coil. The final design of the external device is a highly miniaturized flat product that can be magnetically fixed below the patient’s clothes. The magnet has a circle shape allowing the patient to blindly find their way to the button positioned on the inside of his shirt. The optimized magnet will ensure a strong fixation allowing the user to be very active, perform sport etc. An auditory and visual alarm is given in case of a nearing hypoglycemia.
Engineering

Engineered for production

Achilles Design took the lead in all mechanical design & engineering, while Zenso was responsible for the design of the external communication device and designed all the electronics, firmware and PC-based software from feasibility phase up to design and production. Focus on superior quality and reliability was key to achieve the Uneeg quality requirements.
Future vision

And next...

The Unique Uneeg technology can be used to treat other diseases. Identifying the seizure burden for the uncontrolled epilepsy patient. Getting an objective measure of the individual patient’s epileptic seizure burden can be a challenge for the treating physician and it is crucial for guiding treatment. The UNEEG 24/7 EEGTM SubQ will offer medical professionals more accurate knowledge of brain activity and seizure – 24 hours a day.
The result
The Danish company Uneeg succeeded to develop a disruptive system for ultra long-term monitoring EEG. The UNEEG 24/7 EEGTM SubQ is CE marked and ready to offer medical professionals more accurate knowledge of brain activity and seizures. Thereby, physicians gain a solid foundation for optimizeing the use of medicine, thus improving the patients’ quality of life and potentially avoiding seizures altogether.

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Manage your bicycle fleet

Challenge
Kipando believes that cycling is one of the key mobility solutions in a changing world of movement. Target is to increase the availability of bicycles through an electronic bike lock integrated with an online service that let bikers locate, and rent a bike. By focusing on the B2B market, the system had to incorporate several points of views from the various stakeholders.
Being a start-up, Kipando needed a partner with a proven track record in designing smart products as well as bicycles. They therefore joined forces with Achilles to develop their service solution. We had to combine strategic service design with state-of-the-art product design, engineering and digital design. We were responsible for the development and total project management.
Customer journey

Mapping out all aspects of the solution from the user’s point of view

We explored different product-service-systems and examined how they affect the use case scenario. Alterations in these product-service-system have a major impact on the user experience, the complexity of the device, the reliability and flexibility of the system and even the overall business model. For example, a GPS antenna in the lock could be great for locating the bike, but it would also consume a lot of battery power, require regular recharging, etc.
Mechanical design

Small, smaller, smallest

A major challenge in this project was to create a bike lock that can withstand brute force, and is still compact, lightweight and allow the bike to be safely locked. We came up with a patented mechanical solution that combines all requirements in a simple and reliable design and that can be easily attached on all standard bikes.
Prototyping

Functional prototypes to validate performance

Prototyping is generally very essential in product design, but it was particularly in this project. Early in the design process, raw prototypes gain insights e.g. on how easy a specific shape would be applicable on different bike frames. Further detailing of the design results in more advanced prototypes that allow verification of functionality and extra performance requirements such as water tightness, durability, etc.
The result
The solution is a bicycle lock that can be accessed either with a smart- phone app using BLE or phoneless with a keypad.. Need a bike? simply order your bike with your mobile phone, and with your mobile in your pocket you can access your bike with a simple push on the button!

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The royal way to explore

Challenge

A high quality e-bike with a revolutionary navigation cockpit

We helped Kingo to provide sightseers with a fun, novel and healthy way of exploring the places they visit, while being at the wheel of their own experience.
“A smart guide e-bike, equipped with fascinating routes for tourists to explore."
Approach

Everybody Kingo?

The hotels and the tourists are only two groups of stakeholders within the Kingo service system. To thoroughly understand all of Kingo’s players, we organized co-creation workshops with users, who fit the Kingo profiles. This helped us to form a complete picture, to cater to their needs and wishes and to provide them with exciting value propositions.

Shaping our ideas

Through sketches, basic 3D models and rough breadboards, we explored valuable solutions for the many challenges at hand. This included the general cockpit build-up, attachment to the bike, waterproofing and integration of connectors, speakers, power button and other design constraints. Thanks to our experience, a thorough analysis of the e-bikes market, and Kingo's company values, we could quickly list requirements for the bike frame and all of its components. To start talks with potential suppliers, we created a smart photo montage of existing frames, newly developed components and graphic decals which simulated the perfect Kingo e-bike.

Innovative electronics

Zenso, our privileged partner for state-of-the-art electronic design, took care of the internal hardware. Together we selected components and checked for potential interference with the housing and their detailed 3D model of the PCB. Joining forces, we solved problems regarding thermoregulation, cable management, and faster assembly.

User interface of the navigation cockpit

The digital user interface has a 1024 x 600 resolution touchscreen and provides the user with different route options. On time notifications of points of interest and points of eating and drinking give the user information in a way that was never seen before. Using barebone wireframes we constructed the structure of the app, the icons, and the animations that will support the user having a new way of experiencing an e-bike ride. In every wireframe iteration the icon design and styling of the app were evaluated and redirected to meet the needs of the end-user until it was deemed a perfect fit.

Prototyping

By sourcing the right parts and materials, within budget, we could quickly perform tests on the first prototypes. Checking waterproofness, finetuning antenna placement, and evaluating readability of different displays we were able verify these critical functionalities in an early stage of the design process.
"Customer journeys, experience maps and service blueprints delivered a list of challenging requirements.”
Concept

The most comfortable way to discover an area

The Kingo Smart Bike is a connected e-bike equipped with a 10 inch cockpit that operates as a true bicycle board computer. It displays real-time telemetric bike data, such as speed, battery percentage and distance, and has a high-end bicycle navigation system. The Kingo Explore App itself offers an on-board digital touristic cycle map with three different navigation options. In the ‘discover the region’ modus, tourists can freely explore the region. The map on screen shows the cycle networks and touristic highlights of the region. Together with the ‘search by address’ option, the cyclist is in full charge to adapt his journey at any given moment. Finally, ‘predefined routes’ with points of interests to visit offer tourists full guidance for their trip.
The result
The royal way! After a few iterations, Kingo could launch the bikes at a fine selection of hotels. At this very moment customers are enjoying the Kingo experience.
Achilles Design was the perfect match for us as a startup: from first design thinking and ideation sketches to photorealistic renderings and prototyping techniques. All steps made it easier for us to validate our assumptions."

Cédric Langer

Co-founder - COO

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It’s in the bag!

Challenge

Develop each year a range of school bags for all ages

Kangourou, a private label of Colruyt Group, offers a wide variety of school related products. Together with the rebranding of their writing supplies, Achilles Design also helped to develop their range of school bags.   Kangourou offers satchels and backpacks for children of all ages, from toddlers to tweenies to teenagers. With all of these ages having different needs and ideas about what is trendy, it is hard to create a line which seems coherent and lives up to the brand, unless you have a solid handle on the core values of the brand. From this foundation you can build up the range. The functionality of the individual bags and the look and feel are thoroughly analyzed and improved upon year after year.
Inspiration

Trendwatching

Mood boards on current trends inspire our fashion designers to create new characters, illustrations, prints, patterns and color palettes. They also take a closer look at different fabrics and sewing details.
We invited children in the age groups ranging from kindergarten to teenagers to our co-creation workshops. During these workshops, we gathered feedback on our first designs and let them work on their own ideal school bag. Like this, we learn what is trending.
Survey

The children choose via custom made online survey

In the next stage we ask a large group of children to review our designs in a custom made online survey tool. By scoring different designs and adding comments on why they do or don't like a design, the favorite designs come forward.
Ready for production

Optimizing the functionalities of all different models

Handy zippers, additional pockets, attractive labels, durable velcro, reflective piping for safety and a rain cover for common Belgian weather conditions.
The result
Working with children gave us the fresh perspective that allowed us to set up an inspiring range of products.
"I prefer story-doing over storytelling. No fairytales but real stories, made by children."

Sofie Priels

Brand Manager

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