MICRO UX | IBM - Week 3

Week 3🗓: 27 Apr - 1 May

Brief 🔍

Design a way to counter some of the alienating effects of remote working online.

Teammates: 🤝 Pat, Lee and Ann

After getting some valuable feedback last week, we all agree that "in-between moment" is an interesting area to explore, then we thought of "Team Building" and we narrow down our direction in exploring how to connect people to the "Share Moments" so they can build better workmate relationship. We thought it could surely beneficial for remote working. We divided our works by researching "What is Team Building?", "How we come up with this direction?", analyzing " the Physical Activities - Case Studies" and finding out "the Design Opportunities". At the end of this end, we came up with a possible design solution to design a "System & Platform", which may solve the remote working problems.

Research Methods 📚

We used the "AEIOU methods", "Literature Review", "Case Study", "User Journey Analysis" and "Artifact Analysis" to do our project. It helped us to get a deeper understanding and find out more insights when we narrowing down the direction into "Share Moments" and "Team Building" this week.

Process and concept ⛳️

As we know people have different social activities with their colleagues when they are working at the office, such as having a coffee break, snack break, smoke break and happy hour. Those little shared moments they have created the Relationship between colleagues. In some big companies, they will have regular team building activities. It aims to build a better team relationship, company culture and train the staffs with better skills. However, with a sudden change under the lockdown, the chance of having team-building activities become less and lacking of options. For remote working staffs, they are hard to build a relationship through the screen. Therefore, we found that it is a potential area to design something in order to help them keep or even improve the team relationship during the remote working period. Below is the content analysis of colleagues' communication.

Physical Activities - Case Studies ⛹🏻‍♂️

After we all agree to go for this direction, we start looking at some case studies for physical activities. We draw below map to list out some physical activities and define their function, duration and venue. We found out some team building activities are just for fun, short term and indoor. Some are having specific aims, which may about trust-building and in the long term and outdoor. Below is the map.

Below is the key aims that team building does:

  1. Trust Building

  2. Relationship Building

  3. Team Ability Building

  4. Identifying culture of the team and its strengths

Then, we research online and found out some platforms which is for online team collaboration. But those platforms also have problems with building the team relationship. Users can only create their own topics/ games or social activities when they are using these platforms to collaborate. There is a lack of online creative solution which can engage with the existing collaboration platforms. Below is some platforms or software that are doing team collaboration:

Design Opportunities 💡

After analyzing the above research, we had a meeting to discuss the design opportunities. We all agree to include both physical artefact and digital design to solve the problem so we listed out some existing mediums of remote working.

It helped us to clarify the design opportunities of digital and physical areas. And we though designing plugins can be a great opportunity to integrate with other platforms. Then we draw the user journey between home office and office. It helped us to find out the opportunities before, during and after the working hours.

Office Journey

(Click the photos to enlarge)

Home Office Journey

(Click the photos to enlarge)

Then, we picked the "During working hour" period at the office to identify the AEIOU - Activity, Environment, Interaction, Objects and Users.

AEIOU- Short Break

AEIOU- Lunch Break

AEIOU- Working hours

Here are some artifacts we found out at home offices.

We brainstormed some physical-digital activities and drew some sketches, but we still thought the ideas are not good enough to tackle the problem. Therefore, we just came up with the digital plugins and physical plugins idea.

Some ideas sketches

System & Platform 🖥+📦

For the digital system & platform idea, we plan to create a digital and physical experience through these mediums.


Firstly, we were thinking to design a website to drive download. In the website, it will have all the content, Demo video and tutorial to introduce our plugins. So users can learn easily to download.

Here are some plugins website examples. Like the snap camera website, they also provide the content to drive download. So user can use their camera effect in zoom.


Secondly, when users downloaded the application to their computer. They can launch the platform to set up their profile. User can see their own profile and the team profile. And we will show them all the interactive activities that they can do by dividing the categories and features.

Below are the application wireframes and the user flow to let people add the plugins to whatever collaborative software that they are using. This is just a wireframe draft, we will clarify all the user flow and design all the wireframes to test and do the interface design in our next step.


Then when they added the plugins to zoom, slack or email, they can engage in video or text format. In Mental, social and learning, we will have somethings just for fun and social to help them enhance the relationship, somethings are for personal growth. They can check the process and records. They can keep the record for their own reviews or even share some teamwork to LinkedIn if they like to.

Physical Plugins

And lastly, we will design a physical plugins, which are the artifacts that we have mentioned a bit. We have some ideas like designing a physical kit set that can link with the digital experience to engage with users. We are still brainstorming what they are and will update next week for this part.

To conclude what our "Share Moments" idea is, we hope to enhance the share moments for remote working online and to motivate people to work better and connect better with their colleagues through building company culture, team relationship, personal growth, rewards and recognition. For our idea, we also create various b2b business opportunities, it can cooperate with different exiting remote working software and even some team building companies.

Project feedback & Reflection 🙌

After presenting our progress, we got some valuable feedback from our professors and classmates. They like our direction of focusing on "Share Moments" and "Team Building". But they reminded us not to focus too much on the digital web design, but to look at the physical part. They also thought the Physical Plugins, which is the toolkit, is a more interesting and potential design opportunity for our project. They suggested us to think of the company culture in leverage point/ Generation/ maintenance. We should also analyze more of Team building activities (Characteristics/Why/How) (To make people happy?). Here are some key questions that they asked us:

  • How to build a virtual team online?

  • Who? What kind of team? (competitive/friendly?)

  • Why are we making those design decisions? on what ground we doing?

They also want us to reflect more on our design process on the IBM process (loop graph), which is beneficial to present to the client. We agree with all the comments and found it very useful. Then, we had a team meeting to plan what we should do for the next week. We listed out the key questions to explore.

  • Who are we designing for? Why?

  • What is our design for? (Principle)

  • What is our design tool kits?

We will all look into existing Team building as a reference and build up an initial idea for tool kits (Interaction/Scale/Aim/Scario). Our aim is "Design something fun and surprising. " Please have a look at the next blog for further progress.

References 📖

Fapohunda, T.M., 2013. Towards effective team building in the workplace. International Journal of Education and Research1(4), pp.1-12.

Fried, J. and Hansson, D.H., 2013. Remote: office not required. Random House.

Fortune. 2020. The 100 Best Companies To Work For - Google. [online] Available at: <https://fortune.com/best-companies/2017/google/> [Accessed 25 May 2020].

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