MICRO UX | IBM - Week 5

Week 5 🗓: 11 May - 15 May

Brief 🔍

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

Teammates: 🤝 Pat, Lee and Ann

This week we focused on doing the prototyping and user testing on our idea. We started by setting up the toolkit principles. It helped us to align and develop our idea in a consistent way.

Below are four directions that we picked to focus on. We hope to design one object for each direction and put them together in our toolkit.

1. Move it, Move it

This is a "Game Mat" that encourages workers to move more. It aims to create ice breaking, competition and collaboration with their workmates.

2. Draw Something

The second idea is not just having fun but more related to embrace creativity in the team. This is a "Team Journal and Pen", which is included various creative tasks to let the creative team to do it together. Below is the mockup so it will be included in the toolkit. Team can decide their own team journal sharing moments. For example, we set every Monday morning, our team will have a coffee club together, then do the task and share the journal together. You just need to write and draw on your physical journal and it will automatically sync to the digital plugins. When you are having a video meeting on zoom, you can click our plugin and select the Team Journal section to view other team member journals.

User Flow:

3. The Attached

This is a physical plugins that plugged on your laptop. However, when we are prototyping it, we found out that it is not useful for improving their work experience. Then, we rethink the logic of this direction. We may change to add the physical plugins on our side so that the camera can detect the physical plugin. For example, add the physical plugin on our chair.

4. Drinking o'clock

This is a pub Quiz "Who is the most likely to..." to let people socializing in happy hour. The physical object is a glasses mat to detect.

We also have an idea about the measured pint. Here is the demo to show how it works when you are having a video meeting with your workmates

Project feedback & Reflection 🙌

After we presented the idea to professors and classmates on tutorials, we got some feedback to improve our idea. Overall, they like the first three directions - moving, drawing and making. But for the drinking idea, they said that not everyone will be willing to drink alcohol so maybe we should consider this case too. They reminded us to rethink the question: 
"how do you want people to feel together?". On the activities, we should create the share moments that workers will be motivated to do it. It may let them making something. We should also think again "What is the psychology of team building?". They also suggest us to think more out of the box. For example, can we change the medium to present the journal and pen? Using another creative way to let people draw in their physical world. It gave us a very good direction to improve our idea. Therefore, we have a team meeting to discuss what to do next in order to revise our idea. Below is the alignment for further work.

4 Team Building Aims

  1. Icebreaking - to know each other

  2. Trust Building

  3. Creative Collaboration + Competition

  4. Enhancing Connection + Socialising more

4 Interaction

  1. Making

  2. Moving

  3. Drawing

  4. Eating/drinking/ Hidden Talent/ listening/ smelling


Transforming the original format into a creative/ weird/ funny format

e.g. maybe use a 3D ball to be a yoga mat, and let people move with a ball

e.g. use paper to be the phone

Please have a look at the next blog for further progress.

References 📖 Fussell, S.R., Setlock, L.D., Yang, J., Ou, J., Mauer, E. and Kramer, A.D., 2004. Gestures over video streams to support remote collaboration on physical tasks. Human-Computer Interaction19(3), pp.273-309.

Ingold, T., 2013. Making: Anthropology, archaeology, art and architecture. Routledge.

Jiang, M., 2020. The Reason Zoom Calls Drain Your Energy. [online] Bbc.com. Available at: <https://www.bbc.com/worklife/article/20200421-why-zoom-video-chats-are-so-exhausting> [Accessed 1 June 2020].

Perec, G. and Sturrock, J., 2008. Species Of Space And Other Pieces. London: Penguin.


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