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REMOTE WORK REIMAGINED;

Optimizing Communication, Efficiency, & Interactions 

OVERVIEW

RemoteTeam.com is a global integration platform focusing on optimizing the remote working experience. Their primary business sector centered around global payroll and HR. They came to us with a mission of entering an entirely different market, fast communication.

The Challenge: Develop a new product that quickly connects you with your most frequently contacted coworkers. Must integrate Slack, Zoom, Desktime, and a calendar app. This product will be marketed to an international audience and function primarily within the confines of the MacOS menu bar

Platform: Desktop/ MacOS menu bar

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TEAM: 3

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DURATION: 3 weeks

 
  • C&C Analysis

  • Interviews

  • Task Analysis

  • Design Studio

  • Persona Creation 

  • MOSCOW Chart

  • Quantitative Research

  • Qualitative Research

  • Usability Testing 

  • Figma

  • Wireframing

  • Prototyping

TOOLS AND METHODS

THE CLIENT'S PROBLEM SPACE

"The office is a prison of the mind" - CEO RemoteTeam.com, Sahin Boydas

Currently, there is no platform that integrates all the communication aspects of day-to-day business together in a seamlessly-connected, remote workspace. RemoteTeam.com is constantly looking to innovate and felt a desktop application, focused on quick communication was the direction to move towards to accomplish their goal of business optimization. 

Goal: Become the go-to integration platform that connects remote workers together in a simple and efficient way.

 
 

CONCEPTS

By creating cohesive access to all of the business’s commonly-used communication applications, we will provide quicker, easier, and more efficient communication for the business and its employees, increasing their overall workplace efficiency by 30%. We will know this by a click rate reduction of 30%.

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All-in-one menu bar app

RESEARCH

Wait, but why? 

Since we were given a fairly narrow “ask” early on in the project, we were adamant to determine the “why” aspect. Beginning our research phase with interviews gave us the validation needed to proceed. We conducted a total of 15 user interviews from remote workers worldwide, placing all interview points on over 200 sticky notes. After 2 rounds of affinity mapping, several themes emerged:

Interview Insights

Workspace

Disconnection...

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Desire for stronger interpersonal connections with coworkers and workplace comradery

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Isolation...

Lack of interpersonal interaction leads to employees feeling:

 

  • isolated

  • uncertain of the quality of their work and the work of others

 

  • disconnected from company culture

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Office

Frustrations...

Frustration with the lack of spontaneous professional and personal communication: 

 

  • “over the wall”/cubicle

  • running into coworkers in the break room or elevator, etc.)

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Workspace

Dissatisfactions...

Universal dissatisfaction with the feeling of disconnection that comes with remote work, as well as the platforms that are currently being utilized by respondents’ companies

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Persona Generation: Who is the user?

The key findings from 15 interviews were combined into this profile that represented RemoteTeam.com’s user base. Creating a Persona & Scenario allowed us to have a greater understanding of our user which informed our design decisions.

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We combined our qualitative, interview research with some quantitative tools to be able to immediately measure successes in efficiency.

MOSCOW Chart

Beginning with Feature Prioritization, the MOSCOW chart provided the visual understanding of what features needed to be included within our designs, and which features would be advantageous to include. The client heavily emphasized the need for diversity and inclusion worldwide, so multi-tiered communication, empathy, and connecting people were key aspects to incorporate into the finalized product.

Must Have

  • Calendar Integration

  • Messaging Integration (Slack)

  • Zoom Integration

  • Time zone/location

  • Online status

  • Multi-app Integration option

  • Time sensitive/send later messaging

  • One-click access (to everything)

  • "Top 8" frequently contacted

Should Have

  • Customizable Layout

  • Multiple login options

  • Notification if you didn't connect your zoom link to the meeting

  • Time tracker (clock in/clock out)

  • Time tracker (how much time is spent on what) (back-end)

  • Notifications in general

Could Have

  • Time tracker (clock in/clock out)

  • Time tracker (how much time is spent on what)

  • Remote Happiness

  • Announcements for comradery

  • Smart tracking that detects habits? (back-end)

  • Security guarantee/protection (back-end)

  • Linkable to current site

Won't Have

  • Payment integration

  • HR documents

  • HR onboarding

  • E-signatures

  • Their multitude of customizable integrations

  • Tax credit deduction

Task Analysis

The task analysis gave us concrete data to work with and highlighted opportunities for improvement. Our desktop solution managed to reduce a 16-step process of scheduling a recurring zoom meeting down to a 2 step process. This theme of capitalizing on microseconds not only boosts efficiency, but also mimics a more connected workforce. We recognized a more broad benefit of easier, more spontaneous and quick communication: it aids in the building of stronger personal and professional relationships, therefore building stronger businesses.

(From 16 steps to set up a Zoom meeting to 2 steps)

Design Studio & Sketches

Several user flows were created and restructured to reflect the most efficient and simple paths to completion, before jumped into sketching full force. In order to remain objective from all the previous competitor research, we conducted two Design Studios to bring fresh eyes to the problem.

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Participants were tasked with coming up with rapid-sketch solutions that could solve the issue of missing human connection and “over the wall” pop-ins to communicate with their coworkers.  

We incorporated several of these ideas into our finalized designs with the primary focus  of recreating the feelings of connection via digital interface. We predicted that by removing as many barriers as possible to quickly connect with coworkers, communication becomes simpler and easier, fostering a more holistic work environment. 

 

OUR SOLUTIONS 

Teammate's dropdown panel with local time, location, hours conversion cheatsheet, desktime time tracker, messaging, smart date detection, one-click zoom integrations and meeting setup, and their personal schedule
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  1. Top contacts in MacOS menu bar with status availability indicators 

  2. Local time & location, hours ahead/behind host's local time, Desktime time tracking integration

  3. Slack, email and Smart Date Detection integration

    • Smar​t Date Detection would pick out what it thinks are dates from messages that are typed and suggest calendar events

  4. One-click Zoom access or Quick-step meeting setups

  5. Daily schedule in real time

Teammate's Dropdown

We recognized that talent is worldwide and one of the benefits of remote working is the freedom for companies to hire the best talents. Keeping this in mind, we wanted to incorporate features that expressed appreciation for diversity, inclusion, and respect of other people's time.

Settings Panel 

  1. Customizable contacts

  2. Accessibility-friendly display status indicators

  3. Application integrations

  4. Mouse/trackpad shortcuts

Settings panel of RemoteTeam.com's desktop application. 1) customizable contacts, 2) accessibility-friendly display status indicators, 3) application integrations, 4) Mouse/trackpad shortcuts

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Having highly customizable features and integrations allows for businesses to utilize the applications that best fits the needs of their organization. We drew inspiration from RemoteTeam.com's existing online dashboard and leveraged the integration focused  platform idea onto the desktop application. 

Floating Dock

An alternative dock was created for flexibility and accessibility. Users can move the dock anywhere on their screen and scale to the size to their liking. Clicking on any avatar provides the same dropdown menu as the top menu bar avatars. 

Messaging & Notifications

  • All-in-one location messaging and notifications

  • Reply directly within notifications

  • Smart Date Detection

  • Real-time calendar updates

Full Tutorial Walkthrough

Providing an experience that feels natural and quick not only cuts down on extraneous actions, it provides the positive aspects of working in an office alongside the benefits of working remotely. Striking this balance and between business and interpersonal relations brings together the best of both worlds. 

 

REFLECTIONS & NEXT STEPS 

This was an amazing project to work on and the possibilities of further integrations and customizations are endless. Through research, we are suggesting the following next steps:

  • Capitalize on the branding opportunity for this Quick Connect application

  • Incorporate voice-activated control features

  • Integrate a mobile whiteboard for group collaboration

  • Include holiday and celebration information within the platform to continue on their inclusivity and diversity values

*This was designed as a new project; launch date is TBA. We have a good relationship with the client, so we will monitor and update launch date changes.