Virtual Office

Role & Responsibility

Methods & Tools

Project Background

Video conferencing has been the way business is done in tech for several years. Since COVID-19, it has been a huge surge in demand and leads to over 62 million downloads of video conferencing software. Meanwhile, more issues and online meeting fatigues started to make people suffered. In this project, we're aiming to create a better tool or concept to help people address the stress of working and collaborating remotely.

In this project, we followed the sprint method and divided the developing process into 7 different sprint phases. For each sprint, we divided in to two different groups to focus on different tasks.

Observed Issues


Secondary Research

To have a better understanding of the observed issues, we conducted a secondary research, focusing on psychological and workplace factors that might be related to these issues. We concluded four key reasons that caused the gap between working remotely vs working on-site:

Online Survey

From the 133 responses of our online survey, we found that:

  • Casual chats frequency has a significant drop after switched to remote working
  • The satisfaction for both connecting with teams and meeting new colleagues also dropped significantly

User Interview

From the user interview, we found some common issues that people are suffering after switch to fully remote working:

The ability of "sensing things" from the environment is taken away.

  • Synchrony issues disabled some effective communication interactions.
  • Lacking physical languages and other clues make it harder to sense the atmosphere in online meetings.
  • People are not working in the same environment, which removed the ability to notice what/ how others are doing.

Hard to create/ maintain connections.

  • Casual interactions are becoming purposeful.
  • New employees feels more difficult to bond with others without in-person activities or casual collisions.
  • The different social roles are mixed together. (ex. Manager/ Mother of two/ Community member)

Remote works are inefficient sometimes.

  • No matter it is a simple request or a complicated issue, you need to schedule a meeting.
  • Unlike physical space, online meeting tools have limitless options which could be distracting. (too much colors, limitless spaces...)
  • Some brief follow-ups changed into something that people need to spend time writing or reading.


Design Scenarios

Based on what we learned from previous research, we set up these 3 background scenarios to ideate our design solutions:

Design Concepts

Scenario 1

To solve the issues in the first scenario, the most essential as well as challenging factor would be how to bring the proximity and space to the virtual setting. In this concept we build a virtual space that includes the following features:

Scenario 2

As for the second scenario, the main focus of the concept is to allow users to set up different formats they would like to apply in their online meeting and make archiving and catching up previous meetings more easily.

Scenario 3

For managers manage their team, the focus here is to make checking for work status effortlessly with convenient review tools.


Concept Testing

To test our design solutions, we created slide deck explaining the concept of each solution and demonstrate picture prototype of the design solutions. In each interview, the moderator would explain the focused scenarios and the corresponding solution concepts then clarify with the participants whether the issues they countered in similar scenarios are addressed with the proposed solutions and also their feedback on each solution concepts.

What people like:

What people think could be improved:

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