Hello class,

I would like to start gathering submissions to this original database of obstacles to save time in the food delivery process – the deliveryman’s daily cycled itineraries (the process that starts at the time when the deliveryman receives the package to be delivered).

From field observations and informal interviews, I have gathered a comprehensive list of “obstacles” to save time. I have also jumped onto my bike to support these findings and observations. However, I was only able to capture a few (for example, I have tons of images showcasing the difficulty to find a spot to park the bike; however, I was not able yet to capture images of deliverymen riding under the rain, or talking on their cellphones while riding, or of a parked bike missing a wheel, etc.).

Here is the list of obstacles. I’d like to ask you for any help in capturing (through images, sounds, etc) these obstacles. I only need for these captures to be geo-located. That’s it. I am not asking you to go to the street with a camera. Just to take a quick shot with your cellphone camera, in the event that you are exposed to any of the below…

I appreciate your help a lot. Please, send me any multimedia capture to Stolarz.ariana@gmail.com

Thank you, thank you!


Extra steps:

  • “The Doorman” – In some cases, there is an extra step that needs to be taken at the time of the delivery.
  • In some cases, the doorman is out of his desk, which delays the process even more.

Logistic considerations:

  • It’s a walk-up!
  • Limited amount of orders that can be carried by one deliveryman and his bike (e.g. heavy bags).

Weather considerations:

  • It’s raining, it’s too warm, it’s snowing, or it’s too cold.

Technical and other difficulties:

  • e.g. the chain of the bike has been displaced, old bikes that need to be replaced, etc..

Traffic considerations:

  • Both, cars and public transportation on the streets, and pedestrians on sidewalks.
  • Traffic lights.

Parking considerations:

  • Lack of places to “park” the bike (after my observations, this one ranks first!).

Human factors:

  • Deliverymen out of shape, or sick, cold, tired, etc.
  • A “tourist” asking for directions stops the deliveryman who’s on his way.
  • The messenger meets another messenger friend on his way, and stops for a quick chat.
  • Language barriers while calling the customer (in many cases, English is not the first language for one or both communicants).

Urban considerations:

  • Street is closed (under construction, street fair, etc.), needs to find alternative routes, bike (or some of its parts) is stolen, etc.
  • Address cannot be found, even while using maps or GPS-based technologies.

Examples of street closed & “no place to park”…