UX / UI Design

User Experience & User Interface Design

Konnexa intro image

Design Brief

This case study is about collaboration and work dynamics among virtual teams in geographically dispersed locations.

My goal was to uncover the underlying cause of the major problem they face in the virtual world - overwork.

The solution was to incorporate awareness and respect in their work process and include an AI to assist with their burden.

Project Details

UI/UX Designer: Michelle Del Rosario-Gordon

Project Type: Case Study

Platform: Mobile

Tools: Sketch, Invision, Photoshop, Illustrator, After Effects

Timeline: 10 weeks design sprint

Konnexa

My solution is called Konnexa, an enterprise collaborative platform for global virtual teams. It manages messaging and tasks with the help of a state of the art cognitive assistant named Chaz.

Konnexa is the only collaborative platform that is geared towards helping global virtual team members have a healthy work-life balance. This is achieved through an AI-driven system that helps with efficient workload processing and timezone awareness.

splash screen image

Overview of the problem space

In this case study I focused on the technical support staff within the IT industry.

My research reveals that there is an increasing shift in offshoring of jobs and demand for technical support teams to handle them. This pressure, drives them to work longer hours.

According to a study, 70% of virtual teams go through 12-16 hours work day for months on end in order to accomodate overflow of tasks.

In fact several of my friends and family are in this condition. This concern was the motivation to conceptualize and design a proposed solution to this problem.

How might we?

This brings me to my optimistic, starting point statement. How might we manage excessive workloads of geographically dispersed teams in order for them to have a chance to a healthy work-life balance?

The solution

Four ways Konnexa can help global virtual teams

Time Zone Awareness Feature

Time and geographic location is respected

The example screen shows a timezone bar right above the chat area. As each person on the team onboards, their location country and their local time is displayed on the bar for everyone to see.

This is a reminder of the time differences among team members. It encourages each one to be more mindful and considerate when making decisions about after hours requirements for each other.

This reduces task dump and eliminates extra time doing less urgent issues.

Right timing results in better team coordination.

phone app screen timezone
phone app screen zoomed task

Automated Task Creation Feature & Automated Prioritization of Tasks

Task processing is simplified

The cognitive assistant scans for keywords during chats and suggests to do the next steps for you.

In the screen example, the detected words were "serious network problem, system down". It then tries to make the task record on a team member's behalf and even goes further by prioritizing the task.

This eliminates wasted time going through the tedious process of creating a task record from incoming chats. Instead, it allows the person to focus on the task right away.

Artificial Intelligent Virtual Assistant - Chaz

Your workload is reduced

Chaz automates task management process

It analyzes and learns task solutions as they come in.

It also provides solutions for self-service support

Chaz takes on some of your incoming tasks while you are busy with other work. It allows you to focus on more urgent matters.

In the screen example, the user status changed to "In meeting". During that period, Chaz accepted an incoming help request about "Access Denied". In this case Chaz settings has been set to accept and process severity level 1

With Chaz taking some of your workload, you can focus on more urgent matters. This also reduces backlog and eliminates accumulation of tasks.

phone app screen AI Chaz chat
app screen off-time

Vacations, Holidays & Days-off Blocking Feature

Time off from work is uninterrupted

Chaz provides notifications to current collaborators about a team member's vacation, days-off and national holidays.

Chaz knows each team member's expertise and is able to redirect job request to the next qualified resource or person while you are away or busy doing other tasks.

Inhibit mode can only be ovewritten by top level management for extremely urgent cases.

When the status displays "National Holiday", it provides a definition, description and information about the specified country and its culture as it relates to the holiday.

This promotes cultural awareness and instills understanding and respect among team members.

How I arrived at the solution

I had 3 core questions that guided me with my research methods:
Literature Review Method
What is known about global virtual team collaboration?
Competitive Analysis Method
What are the other collaborative platform offerings already out there?
Interview the Experts Method
What do technical support team members work on everyday?

Research Insights

Image researching online
Literature Review

I gathered and analyzed articles and research studies about virtual team collaboration, tools and task management systems used for virtual teams.

Image collaboration
Competitive Analysis

I compared the features of collaboration application,task management systems and other collaboration tools. The focus was mostly on the enterprise and mobile version of each application

collaboration icons
Image interview
Interview The Experts

I created a set of questions for the one-on-one interview with IT Technical Support team members in various positions. A formal request was submitted to a Project Manager from a top IT company. They agreed to have some of their teams participate in the interview for educational case study purposes. A Non-disclosure agreement (NDA) was signed to protect the information that they do not wish to be public and to comply with their company's privacy policy.

Creating the Persona

Based on the market research, I created a representation of the target users.

Understanding what the target users do

To understand the work that IT Technical Support teams handle everyday, I extracted the information from the interview. The data is shown below in random order.

IT Technical Support Team tasks in random order

It tasks

I sorted and created categories for the Technical Support team's work process from the random display above. Five categories were identified. Set Availability / Receive Inquiry / Communicate / Support / Resolve

Sorted and Categorized

Empathizing with the users

Candid responses from the interview were included on the map. Inappropriately worded comments were omitted, but was accounted for and refined under "Feelings" category.

Creating The Experience Map

"Doing / Thinking / Feeling"

experience map on stickies

The experience map was digitized for clarity on how the painpoints were identified and what opportunities were associated with each one.

Identifying the PAINPOINTS and OPPORTUNITIES from Experience Map

Designing the solution

From Paper Sketch to Low-Fidelity Protoype

Based on the major pain points identified, a minimum viable product (MVP) was designed focusing on the features that aims to addresses the pain points of the targeted group.

I created various potential concepts designs and ways to present the features until it has reached a level of clarity includes adhering to mobile standards.

Information Architecture

This task flow is for one of Konnexa's core epic, "Prioritization", and is used as the basis to create the screens for user navigation for this epic.

Evolution of a Konnexa screen

A Konnexa Chat Screen

evolution of a mobile screen

Creating the UI Kit

  • isometric screens
  • UI kit
  • UI kit

The Prototype

The following is an interactive prototype from Invision. It showcases the features aimed to help global virtual teams achieve a more efficient workload processing and a better control of their worktime.

Select "Log In" to begin the interactive prototype"

Konnexa Case Study: Where it's at and what's next

The prototype went through 4 rounds of user testing, many critique sessions and numerous revisions, based on one epic alone. There are 2 more important epics that needs to be incorporated and tested. Konnexa's concept and design continues to evolve.