Footprint Apprentice Challenge Two: We’re Going on a Duck Hunt!

Published on February 2, 2017 by Alex Eade

(Disclaimer – before you all think we’re horrible people and stop reading immediately, no ducks were harmed in the duration of this Apprentice challenge, although a couple of toy ducks did feel a bit frost bitten afterwards).

Getting outside is important. As a young company, we think that it’s really important to stay fresh and invigorated, and sitting behind a desk isn’t always the best way to do that. Often, we need to come up with novel ways to help our clients, but we all know that offices aren’t necessarily the most inspiring places, and after a few hours of trawling through Google Analytics data, or putting together an SEO strategy for our clients, sometimes it can become a little hard to focus.

To shake things up a little, and get us away from our desks and into the great outdoors, Tom B arranged the second instalment of our Footprint Digital Apprentice Challenge. We were told to dress up warm, and meet at Highwoods Country Park Visitor Centre, in Colchester, at 9.15am sharp. So, on Friday morning we arrived, in an assortment of woolly hats and jumpers, to brave the cold (-2, and the lake had frozen) and to find out exactly what Tom B was going to have us do now!

The Duck Hunt 

It transpired that the task would be split into two elements. The first, a traditional treasure hunt – and the treasure? A rubber duck in the colour of our team. Blue for the Hannah-Help-Mes and Green for the Hungry Hungry Hippos. We split up into our teams (minus Terry – we missed you Terry) and set off to find the elusive rubber ducks! There were a series of clues that we had to find dotted around the park, although a major debacle; one of the Hungry Hungry Hippo’s clues was hidden in the wrong place…dirty tactic or genuine mistake…we’ll never know! (Chris is still upset about it). In the end, the Hannah-Help-Mes just pipped the Hungry Hungry Hippos to the post and won the treasure hunt point!

Product Design in a Park 

The second part of the challenge was a real Apprentice-style task. We were given 20 minutes to develop a prototype of a work station or system that would help get people into the outdoors. We needed a brand name, logo, concept, and a built prototype, and it all had to be done by the time Tom got back from collecting the clues that we couldn’t find (what can we say, treasure hunting isn’t our forte!) We also had the added distraction of hot chocolate and brownies.

The Hannah-Help-Mes design, Fresh Desking, worked on the idea that hot desking is no longer the way forward- now it’s all about having a fresh desk, and working on the wild side. The Hungry Hungry Hippos also went for a desk based idea- the Tree Hub. A play on tree hugging, their idea was about reconnecting people with the environment and having a symbiotic relationship with trees, using them to improve work whilst also protecting them. Tom had a very difficult decision to make – would Fresh Desking or the Tree Hub win a much-needed point?

This time, it was the Hungry Hungry Hippos who were victorious, winning the point for their designs portability and ease of use – better luck next time Hannah-Help-Mes! That means that each team now had two points – a very diplomatic draw on Tom B’s part! We’ll have to wait and see if one of the teams pulls ahead in the next instalment of the Footprint Apprentice Challenge…