The Office Group provides design-led flexible offices in fantastic locations. They are committed to getting the spaces right. From how they look, how they allow clients to work and to how tenants can connect with other like-minded businesses.
Some of their competitors were starting to integrate technology as part of their service. The Office Group came to StartJG to find new ways to differentiate themselves. How could we improve the customer experience and add value to their product?
- Lead UX at StartJG
- Team manager
- Agile UX process
- Sketches and wireframes
- Collaborative working
- User testing
- Stakeholder presentations
Initial field research was done by the CX team into the four key products available at The Office Group. Stakeholders interviews, visits to competitors locations, on-site interviews, desk research and interviews with staff provided a raft of data that we turned into detailed Experience Maps.
The Experience Maps allowed us to visualise the findings in a way that showed where the current experience had issues. For example, where it created a negative impact on customers and where competitors had an advantage. It allowed the client to look at their problems from the point of view of their customers. It also gave us some principles to use for early ideation sessions.
- Promote awareness
- Tailor the experience
- Encourage advocacy
- Incentivise loyalty
- Foster a sense of community
- Enhance operational efficiencies
In these ideation sessions, we focused on three areas of their current service. It was in these areas where we felt we could add real value.
- Encouraging a tenant community via a dedicated native App
- Do for meeting rooms what Uber had done for taxis
- Improve lead generation via a dynamic needs gathering application
For each area, I created user flow maps to understand the current issues customers faced. They also showed the hurdles we would need to overcome.
When we moved into the development phase of the project, I created a list of user-stories to guide our development and process. I used Trello to manage these user stories during development.
We had an aggressive timescale of 12 weeks to create, prototype and test a solution for each area. Working in weekly sprints, I led a collaborative team iterating through the user-stories.
- Monday – Ideate solutions to sprint stories
- Tuesday – Design wireframes
- Wednesday – Create rapid prototypes
- Thursday – User test
- Friday – Present to stakeholders
Mondays were our day to sketch ideas, discuss interactivity and paper test solutions. It was quantity not quality at this point. I led these sessions, reporting our findings to the Creative Directors of the CX team at the end of the day.
On Tuesdays, I would refine the paper mock-ups and create more detailed wireframes. I used Omni-Graffle and illustrator to do this.
On Wednesdays, we would create rapid prototypes so that we could test the designs with users. On this project, we used Invision as it meant that we could demo interactions on devices. This also negated the need for lengthy wireframe documents describing functionality.
On Thursdays, we conducted user testing sessions with existing tenants of The Office Group. The test plan was defined by myself and the producer on the project. Testing was carried out by other members of my UX team. This allowed me to quietly watch and record any notes about user behaviour.
On Fridays, we would meet with the CEO of The Office Group to talk through our findings, demo the prototype and plan the next sprint. I would present a recap of the work we had done that week and suggest the user-stories we should focus on for the next sprint.
The process we implemented allowed us to define and design solutions to The Office Group’s problems within a short space of time.
Involving the stakeholders in the UX process helped to establish a common ground. This allowed for free-flowing ideas and trust in agile methodologies.
The apps are currently in beta, and due to be publicly released Q4 2015.