Narrowing down the problem
During this Hackathon, I had the pleasure of working collaboratively in a team. Our team consisted of 5 members: 2 Web Developers, 1 Data Scientist, and 2 UX Designers including myself.
As one of two UX Designers on the team, I led and owned UX research, concept development, and design execution. I also acted as the team’s leader, breaking down the project in smaller chunks, guiding the team through each phase, and keeping us on track to complete our deliverable in 24-hours.
With little time to spare, our team took to the World Wide Web to dig deeper into the problem space.
Two main themes emerged from our research:
Social bond is lacking.
Employees miss the social aspect of a non-virtual work environment. In one study, up to 39% employees reported lack of social engagement to be a source of frustration for remote work.
Teams are working in silo.
In a virtual setting, you almost exclusively interact with your own team day in and day out, with little interaction with folks outside of your immediate team.
“So disparate teams have little experience or knowledge about other teams except through scorecards or dashboards. Relationships don't form or get fostered. Innovation exists in a smaller setting with fewer interconnections.”
- Amie Devero, executive coach/strategy consultant to tech companies
With more narrowed focus, it was time to bring the research to life through a proto-persona.
Ever since the pandemic, Julia has been working from home full-time. While she enjoys the flexibility and convenience, she is having difficulty adjusting to the lack of social interaction with co-workers. She often feels disconnected from the company-wide team.
Creating a proto-persona was a key step in aligning our solution with the goals of our target users. Before ideating potential solutions, we revised the design challenge to reflect Julia's needs.