2 minutes read
Technology within an office should empower and enable workers, not frustrate them, and get in their way. All too often innovative new technologies, such as video conferencing and wireless screen sharing are not embraced because they’ve not been designed and delivered with users in mind. Sure, an IT expert might be able to use these tools, but what about the rest of us?
Working with the office technology team at AstraZeneca, I was tasked with improving the user experience for technology within AstraZeneca offices. This included video conferencing, meeting room technology and the development of a new mobile app for employees and office visitors. As part of the project I carried out UX research to examine the use of existing office technology and UX design work to improve the user experience and to support the development of a new mobile app for employees and visitors to AstraZeneca offices.
Identifying opportunities to improve office technology
In order to examine how office technology is currently used, and to gather feedback directly from users I created a survey to be sent out to a selection of AstraZeneca offices. The survey was an opportunity to capture the current user experience for benchmarking, and to find out what common themes, frustrations and feedback were being reported.
In addition to the survey I also collated and analysed feedback previously collected, including office technology related help queries and outputs from previous pilot studies, such as smart white boards. Insights were also shared by a colleague who interviewed employees about their experiences using office technology, and explored frustrations and potential areas for improvement.
Improving the meeting room experience
A key finding from the research was that the current meeting room experience was poor for the majority of users. Technology available within meeting rooms was inconsistent, and the user interface (UI) for video conferencing, speaker phones and screen sharing was clunky and unintuitive. Working with the office technology team I redesigned the UI for the touch screen panels available in most meeting rooms. These panels allow users to control the video conferencing, screen sharing and speakerphone for the room.
Improving wayfinding within the office
Not being able to easily find a particular room in a large and disorientating office is an all too frequent problem. To alleviate this problem the office technology team had piloted large wall mounted display screens allowing users to see an interactive map of the office, and to find out exactly where a room can be located. Unfortunately, the screens were little used. This was in part because the UI was quite rudimentary, but also because many users didn’t realise that screens were interactive. Working with the office technology team I redesigned the UI for these office display screens. I wanted to place a greater focus on core tasks, such as finding available rooms, and having a persistent menu strip (to the right) that would clearly indicate that screens could be interacted with.
Designing an AstraZeneca offices mobile app
The research clearly indicated that a mobile app would be the ideal way to allow employees and visitors at AstraZeneca offices to easily find rooms, colleagues and facilities. Unlike a wall mounted display panel or laptop, a mobile is always close to hand and can be used to deliver wayfinding information on the move.
Based on the captured user insights a project was initiated to build an AstraZeneca offices mobile app. Working with the app development team I lead the UX design and research for the project. This included reviewing designs, carrying out usability testing and helping to define and steer the product roadmap.
The office technology team are in the process of delivering and rolling out the user experience improvements. Taking a user-centred approach has ensured that office technology is not only usable, but importantly useful to employees and visitors at AstraZeneca offices.