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The Challenge

A solution for remote design

Have you ever worked for clients or stakeholders dislocated by thousands of miles? Physical separation presents numerous obstacles to building the productive dialogue necessary for effective design research, exploration, and execution. Think BrownStone, Inc is a Experience Design firm located in Greater Philadelphia area. As TB works with more clients scattered across the country (and globe), they’re wrestling with kicking off a project. Usually, they conducted a Think Session including one part introduction, one part expectation-setting, and one part brainstorming session, for which they bring the client team to one of our Philly area offices. How can we capture this same spirit when working with clients remotely?

Pain Points

  • The lack of a person-to-person interaction limited the participation, and makes it hard for people to stay engaged.
  • Distance makes critical design activities like brainstorming difficult to execute. Instantaneous collaboration is needed.
  • Many designer use whiteboard colloboratively, but remote user loses its control of the ideation process, and fails to contribute more

Early design concepts

The problem requires a work mode that makes collaborators in two different places feel as if they are working together. How might we create facilitation technology that encourages active participation for both onsite and remote users?

How about a whiteboard app?

Based on the pain points I discover, one idea thus generated that we can create a digital space for collaborative brainstorming. The user can put everything that support their brainstorming activities in to an artboard, and share their artboard with each other.

Or a text broadcasting?

Another idea is to digitalize the design process of meeting so that people could follow what's going on much more easier. The interface will be specifically visualize the results of each step so that clients without design background would have time to understand and digest.

Learn more about the context

We analysed the context of the meetings and found that various online collaboration tools have already enabled designers to collaborate on web-based whiteboad remotely. But the physical value of whiteboard could hardly be copied in that way.

What if people in different places can contribute through whiteboarding simultaneously, and overlap their ideas together? We believed this is the desiderata of remote kick-off meeting.

User interface presents the real-time image of whiteboard for remote users, and give them the tools to contribute directly on the whiteboard.

 

STORY BEFORE

 
 

Story after

 
 

Project Detail

Teammates: Prianka Rayamajhi, Shengfan He

Date: 5 days on September 2015

Link: Final Document, Final Video

It was a lot of fun working with you, and I'm still impressed by your submissions. We'll be presenting your submission to the rest of Think Brownstone at the end of October. Everyone wants to see what you all cooked up!
-Stephen Miller Experience Designer at Think Brownstone, Inc

My Contribution

I fully participated in all stages of the project including research, ideations, video shooting, video editing, storytelling for presentation, user interface design and video prototypes.

My reflection

It's a really great experience for this project. The most memorable part is the ideation. We explored a lot of different ideas, and felt a little confused to choose. What we did is we analyzed the design situation in detail, and put our concepts in the context. This helped us get the right design in the short given time. And it's so luck that three of us had different skill sets that complemented each other very well so that we could tell a great story to convey our idea.