I was with a colleague today returning from lunch when we passed a construction site on the road. We passed the usual gang of workers and the expected construction equipment. Just past this, we saw a man in an orange vest looking like he was "praying" or sitting in "child's pose" from yoga. (Really wish I had a camera...) We both stared and wondered what was going on. Upon closer inspection, we realized he was crouched on the ground writing some site notes in what looked like a most awkward position. Being people well versed in user experience, we marvelled at the fact that this man had not found the simplest of tools, a clipboard, to use in the field and help him do his job.
In retrospect, I wonder what would have helped. Can his tools be made digital? Is there a way he can carry a fold up writing surface on the job site? Should every construction horse have a fold out desk? We think often of mobile workers as those with cushy desk jobs who are out on the road, when in fact, many of our mobile workers are literally in the field every day, or on the streets or climbing lightpoles. What can we do to simplify the work of these ever mobile crews?