The storyboard shows a person presumably in private, having a Bavarian breakfast while listening to loud music. What we haven’t been made aware of yet is that the scenario is in fact taking place in an open space at his workplace. His co-workers are visibly disturbed by the loud music and odor. Not wanting to address this privately, a co-worker is opening up a tool called Solvy, to draft an issue regarding the current disturbance and is then uploading it anonymously. A lot of fellow co-workers are relating to the issue and thus are upvoting and commenting on it, which is showcased by the red light seen on the mood indicator. Some users are leaving possible solutions to the problem, such as setting up a separate room for people to indulge in their Bavarian culture. The solution that received the biggest amount of upvotes is then getting implemented.
After conducting several interviews with people from different professional fields who work in open-spaces, we came up with three insights. The insight we focused on is: “due to an open room design, there are no inhibitions to address someone but inhibitions to reject someone and that disturbs others”.
Our solution for the insight is a flexible wall made of glass, which treats through various options not only one of our insights. One of these options is to make the glass milky which solves our second insight, through mutual control you feel observed and this worsens the atmosphere but increases productivity. However, the main task of the wall is to reduce the noise level in the room and create a pleasant working atmosphere for each employee in each individual working position. In order to visualize our idea of the “Smart Wall” and to present the functions in a comprehensible way, we have created the storyboard shown above.
This is Tom, a knowledge worker who loves to spend time at the beach. Enjoying the calming sound of the waves, he totally forgets about his duties. Luckily, „True Time“ reminds him that he has been chilling three days in a row at the beach without doing anything for his job. Tom, who obviously is that „I’m gonna work three days and nights straight, then get back to the beach and do nothing“ person doesn’t know yet, that he’d be much more productive if he had a healthier work-life balance. Luckily „True Time“ helps him to organize his time through the weeks to achieve a better quality of life.
The storyboard shows Karl going to work. As he’s entering the office, the card is scanned automatically by built-in sensors in the doorway. Now OfficeMaps knows that Karl is situated in the building. Every workplace is equipped with a card-scanner, where the workers can scan their card and therefore be visible for OfficeMaps. Otherwise OfficeMaps only shows which room they’re working in and not their exact workplace. Karl decided to share his location with his coworkers. If someone is looking for Karl, they can simply use the search-function on OfficeMaps. On the storyboard, we see a customer asking for Karl at the front desk, the secretary searching for Karl’s location on OfficeMaps and then communicating the information to the customer. With the provided instruction, the client can easily find Karl in the office building.
Based on the insights we gained from our interviews, we came to the following conclusion: “Too many people in an office massively reduce productivity and concentration”.
Employees are often distracted from their current task by a variety of background noises. Conversations only one table further away already lead to a reduced ability to concentrate and therefore interrupt a focused work environment. (Fig. 1). Our prototype in the form of an ordinary houseplant should help to solve this problem. Based on previously defined touch points, the plant moves to the largest source of disturbance in the room (Fig. 2). The resulting sound is absorbed by the plant and ensures that employees can concentrate again in their surroundings (Fig. 3). The sound is converted into energy so that no additional power source is required (Fig. 5).
Another feature is that the leaves can change their color. Depending on the volume, the leaves turn from green to yellow and then to red to inform employees of the current noise level (Fig. 6). This level is displayed in dB on the pot of the houseplant (Fig. 4).
The storyboard first shows a customer (red bowtie) who calls a secretary at your company (blue tie). The customer asks “what is going on?”. Even though the secretary doesn’t know the answer, ProTracker software allows them to easily find the project the customer is calling about. With one click, the customer gets a status update via email and the secretary won’t need to ask a coworker for the necessary information. Now the customer wants to make a change in the project – in this case a new logo is requested. The secretary is able to notify the relevant employee who owns the project and let them know that there is an update to the project via the Add Task button. In the last drawing, the developer responsible for changing the logo gets a notification about the new task added by the secretary, competing the story.
During our user research we discovered that many people like ordering online, because it is more convenient for them to have it delivered to their doorsteps. Still, many people also prefer going to the store to get consulting and to be able to see and touch the product before buying it.
We wanted to come up with a solution that would draw people that order online – because of convenience reasons – into retail stores, while also making it more convenient for people to buy more in one go when going to the city.
Our solution is called “Lock&Roll” and we offer lockers that are placed nearby malls, shopping centers or in the downtown. Users have the ability to lock their purchases away so they have their hands free to shop more. But most importantly, we also offer a delivery service for a small fee. Users can simply lock away all their shopping bags, can walk home with free hands, and have all their bags delivered to them when they arrive home.