Magic Carpet

UX Design
Project Overview
In the User Experience Design Studio unit, my colleague Ethan Pemberton and I designed and prototyped an interactive floor projection that guides a team leader through an effective meeting. It aims to empower team leaders to lead effective meetings.

My Contributions
My role included UX Designers + Researcher.

I worked alongside Ethan Pemberton, Zoe Janssen and Nick Gunning.

My roles and skills included-

-Background Research

-Conducting Focus Groups

-Synthesising Data

-Ideating Concepts

-Generating a journey map and final design

Covid-19 rapidly changed the nature of the workplace through the implementation of a hybrid work life balance. The brief tasked us with this new workplace, there was three areas we could focus on including office or not, work/life balance or the four day work week.

Although many workers perceived this as a positive work outcome we questioned what does this look like for collaborative projects.

This then resulted in us to focus on office or not which allowed for us to explore potential solutions in creating an equitable working environment for everyone.
The Problem
Due to the broad nature of the brief, we conducted research to on ten participants who worked in a range of industries including office workers to teachers. This research provided an insight into what could create a fun collaborative working environment whilst working seamlessly between remote and in-person workers.

Our problem was highlighting that the future of the workplace is changing rapidly. Breaking down this problem into questions helped us clarify targeted segments of information we hoped to understand.

1.What does an equitable working environment that supports collaboration entail and how does it accomodate everyone?

2.What are the procedures and processes required for effective collaboration in a hybrid work environment?

3. How can collaboration in a hybrid environment be enhanced and what determines successful collaboration?

4.What are the implications of engaging in collaborative work in a hybrid team?
User Research
Based on the focus of our research, we decides to prioritise understanding the current experience of team members working on collaborative projects.

To conduct out research we utilised context-mapping as it allowed for participants to reflect and share their own stories about past experiences within a collaborative context.
Research Methods

The focus groups were conducted on ten participants who were involved in collaborative workplace environments. However, the focus groups were split into two seperate groups with Nick and Zoe conducted one whilst Ethan and I conducted the other.

Prior to the context mapping sessions, the participants were tasked with completing a seven day synthesising exercise. The tasks that they were provided with allowed for them to reflect on their collaborative experiences before conducting the context-mapping sessions.

Sensitising Participants
Sensitising Participants

Collages were one of the context-mapping exercises that we chose. This process of cutting out images and words onto a page allowed for participants to present a visual representation of their collaborative experiences. Whilst they were placing images and text they were reflecting on past experiences and allowed for conversation on why they chose certain elements that were points of interest.

For the collage process, participants utilised images onto a dual axis which featured 'LIKE' & 'DISLIKE', 'PAST' & 'Present'. This then allowed for us to probe deeper and open conversation about past pains and the needs of the participants.

Sensitising Participants
After conducting the collages we then performed a cognitive map. Cognitive mapping allowed for users to recall past experiences of times within the workplace that they had a collaborative experience. They would then create a series of certain events during this experience along the timeline.

The cognitive maps main aim was to reflect on the participants journey of the collaborative experience from 'START' to 'END'. The participants would place simple icons and annotate them with their emotions and decisions along the way.

After completing both activities we asked the participants to share what their creations represented and how they felt about their experiences.
Key Findings

To make sense of all of the qualitative data we collated and sorted these insights into statement cards which were created by key quotes from the work shops. Each card was given a summarised interpretation and were placed into categories which were used as our findings. After this stage our group was then split into two. (click the screenshot to check out the Figma file!)

Key Findings

1. Participants were more likely to engage in productive teamwork when in an environment that was supportive, relaxed, and fun.

2. Participants were more effective when working under steadfast leadership and had an outlined list of clear objectives to meet.

3. Participants were comfortable in voicing opposing opinions often found collaborative efforts to be more productive and outcomes were more innovative

4.Participants mentioned that collaboration is only as strong as the quality of communication between their team leaders.

Research Visualisation

In telling the story of our findings, we then developed a visualisation to present out research's insights.

Refined Problem

From our research we then created a how might we statement questioning 'How might we empower leaders?' this then allowed for us to focus drive away from the broad nature of the brief into a more niche approach.

The research evoked that the reduction of team productivity, creativity and innovation was a result of a lack of clear goals and a supportive environment due to a demise of strong team leaders or, more likely, a leader's inability to adapt and assimilate to what a hybrid world demands from team leadership.

This refined problem then allowed for us to begin ideating potential solutions that would help empower team leaders to creative a seamless collaborative work environment.

This solution would not only provide a collaborative environment for both hybrid and in person workers, but also allowing for the leader to clearly communicate goals and objectives.

Ideation and Storyboards

The brief required the experience to have both digital and spatial elements. We then utilised various ideation methods including forced association and mash-up ideation, we came up with various potential solutions. However, we only continued with two concepts to present the potential experience.

Decision Matrix

The decision matrix allowed for us to explore which concepts may have been the most effective whilst other concepts weren't as effective in what we were trying to solve.

Although some were ranked lower than the others we could see which aspects of our other concepts could be applied into the final solution.

We decided to move forward with our Magic Carpet idea as it was the highest scoring design choice in the decision matrix. We continued to refine the concept through probing into exisiting technologies and design precedents. This lead to us researching motion tracking technology and decided it was the most viable option for our design. This technology was already applied by some companies and artists as it allowed for them to project images whilst making it interactive.

The Magic Carpet brings fun and creativity to a collaborative project meeting. By providing prompts and meeting structures to team leaders, our product empowers them to lead effectively and focus on creating a supporting environment for their team.

In order to create the carpet we had to apply a range of design concepts including motion tracking technology, multi-sensory design and gamification. The culmination of these methods allowed for users to jump onto the projection and answer the prompts that they were provided. The prompts were created by the team leader through an app that provides the leader with potential structures and questions.

Thus, the Magic Carpet forms a relaxed and fun environment where team members are open to sharing their thoughts and ideas without fear of judgment. Not only does the Magic Carpet provide a fun and enjoyable experience it also provides the leader with objectives, aims and the vision of the ongoing project.

Final Solution
User Journey Map and Prototype

A user-journey map was created to present our concept from start to finish, it highlighted key touch points and pain points throughout the experience. (click the screenshot to check out the Figma file!)

Magic Carpet is an interactive floor projection that guides a team leader through an effective meeting. The carpet prompts the leader with clear and helpful questions, the rest of the team is brought onboard to understand the vision and goals of the project at hand. The Magic Carpet creates a fun and supportive environment to encourage free thinking and creativity.

The Solution
Video Prototype (Click the image for the video)

-This subject was pivotal to me as a designer as it taught me how to effectively present and synthesise my research findings and come up with a solution towards the users needs.

-This was a valuable subject for me as it taught me the importance of collaboration within a UX catered role. It also taught me how to collaborate whilst under deadlines whilst having appropriate time management with group members schedules.

What did I learn?

-Challenges included deciding which design was the most viable and realistic to create. The magic carpet had various technological requirements and we had to consider how all of them would appropriately work with each other.

-Another challenge was our group originally had a group of four, however, with later assessments it was split into two. Although time management was easier, bouncing ideas off each other was harder due to losing half the group. This issue was fixed through communication with industry professionals and our tutor.

What challenges did I overcome?