A workplace wellbeing platform who gave us an exciting brief to help their users facilitate social connection and improve the overall UX journey of their app.
BetterSpace is an app in the form of a marketplace, they curate a range of resources from Ted Talks to pottery classes for employees to use as a unique approach to wellbeing. Focusing on fulfilling the six lifestyle factors or “wellbeing pillars” that influence mental and physical health:
Focusing on the 6th pillar, our main brief was to create a new feature/s for managers to facilitate social connection for their teams and staff. We were also asked to suggest UX improvements across the journey of the app.
Facilitator: I took on a leadership role, arranging the schedule for the 3 weeks and distributing tasks equally, respecting team members strengths as well as recognising areas they wanted to improve or focus on. I was also responsible for designing and producing the majority of the high-fidelity wireframes and prototypes which we tested and iterated.
As BetterSpace is an established company with clients such as global law firm Linklaters and consulting firm Accenture, we wanted to follow the Double Diamond design process to ensure in-depth research and ideation to back our design decisions.
DISCOVER: Empathising with The User
To conduct a successful screener/survey and interviews we first needed to understand ‘wellbeing’ and the importance of social connection in the workplace.
We found interesting statistics which showed that loneliness and lack of connection in the workplace is not exclusively a covid/remote-working issue. It existed before and will exist after and is a serious emotional and social problem.
As this is a saturated market, we undertook a feature analysis of competitors (set out below) and highlighted the opportunities for BetterSpace:
BetterSpace provided user contacts for interviews. In order to achieve a well-rounded report, we wanted to find non-BetterSpace users who fitted the target audience of working 20–35-year-olds. In addition, we aimed to interview individuals who might bring interesting insights, for example, we interviewed the Workplace Wellbeing Director of a large construction company.
To do this, we generated a screener/survey to find interviewees and to gather some of our own statistics. We had 114 responses which resulted in interesting findings such as:
After 12 interviews, 8 of which were non-BetterSpace users and 4 of which were new adopters of the app, we found that people really miss the small workplace interactions which they do not experience whilst working remotely.
In order to fulfil the brief of suggested UX improvements, we conducted 5 usability tests of the current app with BetterSpace and non-BetterSpace users, these are some of their opinions:
Following the usability tests, we created a user journey which showed that the users love the concept, its simplicity and resources, however, became frustrated when they were unable to share a resource with their colleagues, which would help them to socially connect.
DEFINE: Defining our end user and the core problem they face
Using all our findings in the discovery phase we created the persona ‘Lily Grey’, who defines the overall users’ wants to help us understand their challenges:
Lily’s persona, informed from our research insights, emphasised a problem that a lot of us have experienced in the past year and helped define the following problem statement:
We then thought about how we might help Lily by writing ‘how might we’ statements and focused on primarily on ‘how might we connect colleagues in a meaningful way?’.
We also used the other HMW’s to inform certain design decisions throughout our iterations of the prototype.
DEVELOP: Ideating, designing for the user’s needs and testing potential solutions
With all these ‘how might we’ statements in mind, we ran a Design Studio with 10 of the BetterSpace team. We received the following ideas:
We then conducted a second design studio primarily focusing on ‘how might we connect colleagues in a meaningful way?’. A connections page and possible profile page were further features that emerged from the design studio to improve social connection amongst colleagues working remotely.
Challenge We Faced
We were quite overwhelmed with ideas and insights after two design studios and combining these with our research insights. So, we prioritised the key changes and new implementations which would solve Lily’s problem. This led to more in-depth sketches, where we tackled how to facilitate social connections:
We then combined what we thought Lily would want and went through ideation and development phases, from sketch to mid-fidelity wireframes to high-fidelity wireframes. We conducted 8 usability tests at each stage to gather insights into our design and look for improvements.
This resulted in the important ‘My Connections’ page, which allows Lily to interact with her team or join a club and make connections. We went through the same design development and testing as above, and it translated into the following user flow and the reasons behind the design decisions are explained:
We believe this fulfils the brief on facilitating social connection for teams and staff, but we also thought of a simple, effective way to allow the user to share any resource with a friend, colleague or a whole team. The flow of this journey is as follows:
Suggesting UX Improvements
The second part of our brief was to suggest UX improvements across the journey of the app. Referring back to usability testing and research, we designed the proposed Homepage and Discovery page, see the before and after with annotations setting out the reasons behind our design decisions:
DELIVER: Final design solution and delivering the design to stakeholders.
Following the whole UX Design process (double diamond) each design decision is fully backed by research and usability testing. We presented the following final prototype to the BetterSpace team:
- Further usability testing of the prototype with BetterSpace users.
- Test variations of the features, for instance: separating the ‘My Wellbeing’ page into the navigation and having ‘My Connections’ as a separate function; or changing the settings to a profile where a user can track their wellbeing progress.
- Question whether the user would want to see notifications? (Notifications are known to cause a feeling of anxiety).
- Gamification: How and where this could be used? Challenges to do with co-workers? Incentives, if you complete a task, you get credit added to your budget? Is gamification needed even though it’s an opportunity?
- Designing and testing the large screen/desktop version.
We had fantastic feedback from the client, during our prototype walkthrough they wrote on our zoom call messages:
To summarise the project, our brief from BetterSpace was to facilitate social connection for teams and staff and to suggest UX improvements across the journey of the app. Through thorough research, in-depth testing, ideation and development, I believe we achieved a successful solution for our persona Lily’s challenges and wishes.
My key learnings and takeaways from this project are that teamwork can make for an enjoyable adventure and result in pursuing paths you wouldn’t necessarily follow but can produce unexpected and exciting solutions. I was able to use my leadership skills to facilitate solutions to challenges we faced. Furthermore, even though my skills lie in visual design which I was able to showcase in the design process and final prototype, I was surprised by how much I loved the UX research, and I discovered that I have a knack for this. I would like to actively pursue this aspect in my career.
Finally, I would like to congratulate our team on a great 3-week sprint. I would love to work with them again!