UX/UI Design, Prototyping
Based on the Google Ventures Design Sprint Model, I conducted a solo sprint to explore solutions and to help remote workers and freelancers find the best public spaces to work while on the go.
Google Ventures Design Sprint
UX Strategy, Research & Design
A Look Into the Experience
Remote & Freelance Workers
- Works from home, but travels around 3 days per week for meetings.
- Looks for places to work for a few hours between business meetings
- Not familiar with other parts of the city and spends a long time looking for a place to work
- Spends more time looking for a spot then working; waste of time!
- Settles in to find a lack of amenities – wifi, bathrooms – or that he must purchase an item to stay there. Either suffers or has to go through the process of finding a new spot.
- Less time finding a place, more time getting work done
- Find places with basic amenities he needs before going there
- Not crowded or noisy – able to have meetings and phone call
Day 1: Understand & Map
The sprint began with reviewing research conducted previously with freelance and remote workers living and working in Boston, NYC and Philadelphia to better understand how they find and select public spaces in which to work. Several common themes emerged from the research.
Finding a Public Workspace:
Concerns & Considerations
Different Work Tasks
Workers on the go look for specific locations based on suitability for different work tasks, whether phone calls, video conferencees, in-person meetings or quiet solo work.
Availability of Amenities
Access to free public Wi-Fi, clean bathrooms, ample parking, and access to food and drink options while working are important factors.
Public spaces with quieter, more private environments are preferred for increased productivity and focus in solo work, or for privacy in meetings with clients and colleagues.
Remote workers and freelancers report scoping out public spaces for their suitability as meeting spaces, noting tables and room enough for groups.
Freelancers and remote workers are looking for business that are friendly and support an individual visiting for extended periods of time, rather than being asked to leave.
The ability to assess and predict crowd levels at a particular public location is key to avoid getting caught in an unexpected peak rush when a workspace is needed.
The remote workers and freelancers interviewed about their experience of finding a public space to work report having to bounce back and forth between maps, different apps and search engines in a time-consuming manner to uncover the necessary information to find a suitable location for working.
Designing a New Experience
How Might We?
- Reduce the overall time and effort involved in finding suitable public workspaces nearby?
- Connect remote workers with a workspace that matches their needs?
- Assist remote workers in finding a workspace environment according to their tasks and goals for the work session?
Day 2: Sketch
The most primary screen for the user is the search results screen, where the user will be able to quickly and easily see which locations nearby suit all of their current needs for remote working.
The concepts in the Crazy 8 exercise focused on solving for a screen that handles map-based search results, individual listings associated with the map and proximity to the user’s current location, and filtering based on selection and deselection of desired amenities.
Day 3: Storyboard
Upon opening the app, users would either input a location or enable location services to find suitable locations nearby.
The user would then select necessities from a list of amenities to filter the search results to display matching locations.
A map view of matching locations based on the chosen amenities is displayed. The user is able to change the selection of amenities or location at any time with a sliding menu.
A rating by remote workers can be used to determine an overall score for the suitability of the public space, which could be percentage of those who voted the location as friendly to remote workers.
Day 4: Prototype
The development of a prototype followed the winning sketches rather closely. Through the prototype development process, there were still many more specific decisions to be made about the kinds of information displayed and its overall management on the screens. The reviews section in particular took more concrete form in the prototype development process. In the UI design, a clean and simple look was imperative in order to be able to handle the amount of information necessary for this kind of app.
Day 5: Test
Local remote workers and freelancers recruited earlier in the week were invited to test out the prototype by using the app to find a suitable place to work based on various work activities and goals.
List vs. Map View
Of the users tested, each displayed different preferences for list view vs. map view. One user ignored the map almost entirely, but was aware of the map view. This user did not click around the map pins at all, and preferred to navigate entirely from list view. A second user used the list view and map view about equally and navigated easily with both. A third user could not immediately tell the difference between list view and map view.
Location Vote Rating & Reviews
Overall, the vote rating seemed to be too inconspicuous in the listings page. However, some users particularly used information and indicators from the individual reviews to decide where best to work given the type of work.
Additional Case Studies