Case Study — App Redefining the Team Creation
Table of contents
1. Executive Summary
A mobile app that helps employees of a company to quickly find the perfect fit for their next project, hackathon, seminar, or event. This helps to form productive and multi-disciplinary teams.
The project was created as a part of the User Experience and Mobile Interaction course in the Human-Computer Interaction and Design track at the Technical University of Madrid, Spain by a team of three: Andrea, Somesh and Natalia.
- It is hard and a time-consuming process to find the right person with the required technical skills and personal traits while adding a new person to the team.
- It is hard to track the projects which the employee worked on and the skills acquired during the period at a company.
- It is hard to analyze and monitor internal team dynamics and health.
A single app to solve commonly faced pains in the corporate world.
- Personality finder.
- Growth profile and personal goal tracker.
- Finding people with similar interests and experiences.
- Team and project management.
- Team creation and member finder.
- User research
- Design thinking process
3. Design sprint solutions
4. Usability testing
5. User experience questionnaire
The first step of the product development process is to gain an empathetic understanding of the problem we are trying to solve. That’s why we wanted to get more perspective about the issues we were interested in from a number of experienced participants. Even though we had many assumptions on how our idea should work we wanted to validate them and immerse in other people’s points of view. This would help us in understanding the problems and find optimal solutions to them. That’s how our human-centred design process has started.
Before the interviewing part started, we needed to prepare the documents, tools and clarify the process so the collected data would help us develop a valuable final product.
To maximize the consistency of the feedback from the interview participants we created a unified questionnaire template to be used by all of us. The questions concerned the current workflow, past experiences, the difficulties that may be faced when working in a team or creating one.
Each of us interviewed three participants who have experience in teamwork, also team creation and management including junior and senior developers and a career counsellor and a workshop arranger.
The interviews were handled with the help of video-conferencing tools Zoom and Google Meet and registered with a default mobile Voice Recorder after receiving consent from the participant. Since we needed the transcription of each interview for the purpose of content analysis, some of us used the Live Transcribe tool. Although it worked in some cases and captured the content properly in more or less 70%, it still needed manual validation and could only transcribe the interviews handled in English.
To track the interview progress of the teammates, keep the order of the data and immediately point out some potential ideas for the app we used Airtable software.
Having gather insights in the first phase of the product development, we then moved to data analysis and transforming this data into validated foundations. At this point of the process, we would like to Define features, functions, potential users and all crucial elements.
The main pain points related to team management and its creations we discovered were:
- The randomness of creating work teams.
- While it’s relatively easy to assess the hard skills of an employee, it is much harder to assess their soft skills.
- Overlapping skills within the teams.
- The unbalanced junior-senior ratio limits learning opportunities.
- Unbalanced team dynamics.
To get started with the analysis of the data that we gather in the interviews, we used the affinity diagraming method for grouping and understanding information. We captured the main issues that the participants mentioned and labelled them with respective categories distinguishing the following ones” Team creation, Management, Professional profile, Type of personality and Preferences. The tool we decided to use was MetroRetro.
Based on the findings we gathered, discussions and brainstorming, we identified the main direction we want to head for while developing the product. We decided to put the focus on facilitating team creation ensuring the balanced and not overlapping hard skills ratio coupled with adequate soft skills which are crucial for healthy team dynamics.
Moreover, we redefined the target group, only focusing on medium or large product-based companies (buyers) and team leaders & employees (users). The product would be implemented in the company’s core workflow creating a network of employees.
We defined two main user profiles — Managers/Leaders
- Finding resource
I want to find the right person to work on a task, who is efficient in accopmplishing the task, has the experience and the right skill set.
2. Pairing resource
I want to pair the right set of people to create better harmony, communnication, and get the job done quickly yet effectively.
3. Tracking work & progress
I want to track the progress of the project and individual teammate’s contribution on a daily basis. Also, I want to be able to detect if there is an overload of tasks with a particular employee.
4. Establish better communication and clarity
I want to bring every team member and stakeholder of the project to the same page, by having all the relevant documents, progress tracking, feedback & communication in a single place.
- Personal growth
I want to track and measure my personal growth in the company based on diverse projects, new skills acquired and people I work with.
To have an overview of team’s progress and the situation.
3. Team collaboration
I want my teammates to help and support each other to grow together.
4. Work relationships
I want to build better work relationships with my peers especially when someone new is onboarded into the team.
User Journey Map
Below, you can see a visualization of the process that a Manager/Leader goes through in order to accomplish a goal.
The journey starts by discussing the project details and documentation and team creation. Next, there comes tasks assignment and tracking the team’s progress. We presented all the steps that the user goes through while performing usual activities, his needs in a particular phase, touchpoints, feelings he encounters. Furthermore, two parallel paths, one positive and one negative of possible scenarios with an emphasis on the moments of truth. Each of the MOTs is a potential opportunity for us when designing the product functionalities.
To better empathize with our target users, we tried to answer simple questions such as what they say, think, do, and feel when performing usual activities at work. Since we have defined two separate user types, there was also a need for two empathy map canvases.
This tool helped us uncover what occupies the user’s thoughts, what is important for them, what actions they usually take, what they are worried about and what their needs are.
Value Proposition Canvas
For Employees and independent contractors of a company
In the next phase, we proceeded with The Value Proposition Canvas provided by Strategyzer. Thereby, we broke our value proposition down into products and services, pain relievers and gain creators, as well as, we broke the customer profile down into its jobs, pains, and gains.
Value Proposition: Create, manage and reorganize your teams instantly.
We help you to find the right team member for your next project, event, and hackathon.
- Distribute the human resources evenly.
- Choose the right fit with the right skillsets for a team.
- Analyse the team’s current attributes.
- Create balanced multidisciplinary teams.
- Maintain a good culture across the team.
- Low performance of teams due to unbalanced skillset and dynamics.
- A time-consuming process to get to know a person well before he/she is onboarded into the team.
- A steep decline in the personal growth of employees.
- The pressure from the upper management due to not meeting deadlines.
- Increased reliability and accuracy in matching the right person to the right team.
- Increased productivity, efficiency, collaboration among teams and team members.
- The number of successful projects, the social image created within the organisation, and some of their track records are valuable assets to every employee.
- The feeling of success, appreciation, and pride by achieving goals in highly productive & supportive teams.
Products and Services
- Mobile-based application.
- Module to identify the employee’s personal traits.
- Module to match the right person for the right team.
- Module to keep track of employee’s skills and growth.
- Module to track the team’s performance.
- Increase the efficiency of team creation and personality assessment.
- Add value to the efficiency of the Human-Resources team.
- Lower costs in means of time and cognitive resources.
- Help employees to get their tasks done quickly & efficiently.
- Opportunities for transparent communication and workflow.
- Positive social consequence through increased team understanding, collaboration, and support.
- Making the process of finding the right person for the team smoother & easier.
- Employees can avoid technical, and social risks within the team.
- Saving time while assigning a new member to a relevant team.
- Eliminating the chances of possible problems within the team.
- Reduced consequences of judging a person just for what their hard skills are without considering their personality type.
By the time of the third stage of the Design Thinking process, we have already empathized with the potential users, analysed and synthesized information about them, and we were ready to generate ideas. With this solid background, we had the confidence to seek solutions to the problem statements.
In order to think outside the box, we used multiple techniques such as brainstorming, brainwriting, we searched for inspiration on various websites and we also used techniques recommended by Sprint book by Jake Knapp, including How Might We?, Lightning Demos, The four-step sketch.
The problem we agreed to solve was tracking the personal growth and taking advantage of the Lightning Demos technique we came up with a list of 3 products or services to review for inspiring solutions.
We wrote big ideas and inspirations that we had in mind to solve the problem of tracking personal growth. Then, each person had 3 minutes to present the big idea or inspiration along with the examples.
The four-step sketch
Another technique from Design Sprint we used was the four-step sketch technique: Notes, Ideas, Crazy 8 and Solution Sketch. The aim was to come up with a solution to the problem within the minimum time.
We started from 1. Notes and 2. Ideas and proceeded with 3. Crazy 8, below, there’s my version of it:
Then we finished the ideation process with the Solution Sketch, below you can see what I got:
A 7-steps process of discovering the Personal Growth Tracker functionality in the Full Potential App is displayed below with our example customer Ricardo.
We started our prototyping trip by creating simple wireframes to plan the location of various UI elements and functionalities and also to keep most of the content easily accessible within 1–2 screen layers. To organize the content by categories and to provide the order, we went for a bottom navigation bar with four options.
Then, we moved to a Moodboard, so a visual representation of how we want the Full Potential App to look like. We oscillated around clean, breathy and elegant style with a corporate feel with subtle iconography and professional typography. The purple colour was chosen as the primary colour supported with the mild beige.
Hi-fidelity prototype — Hartmann test
To illustrate how destroying the atmosphere in a team can be, imagine having 2 equally bossy leaders in your team who always want to make the final decisions.
The fundamental idea of our app is to identify the personality traits of an employee to be able to assign the person to a team where his or her potential can be fully discovered.
Hartmann test (The People Code) — divides personalities into four colours:
🔴 Red (motivated by power),
🔵 Blue (motivated by intimacy),
🟢 Green (motivated by peace),
🟡 Yellow (motivated by fun).
The Hartmann test was originally invented to boost up teamwork. We went for this test to mark out the main traits that differentiate the people in the workspace and to provide an opportunity to create a balanced, compatible team ready to use its full potential.
The names we chose to differentiate the 4 groups are Captain, Analyst, Peacemaker, Influencer. The names encapsulate the main traits of a person’s personality, giving a certain clue of what role the person might cover in the team.
We chose to show two colours per profile (and the ratio between the two) to give a better picture of a person’s teamwork abilities.
In total, we involved 14 participants in the Usability Testing and asked them to perform 2 tasks. On average the time taken for the testing was around 31 minutes. We tried to keep a diversity both in the age range and gender also coupled with various levels of technical skills and nationalities.
👩 No. of participants: 14
🕓 Average usability testing time: 31 minutes
🔢 Age: 15–24 (7 users), 25–34 (4 users), 35–55 (3 users)
👩🏻🤝🧑🏼 Gender: 8 Female and 6 Male
💻 Technical skill level: 0–4 (2 users), 5–7 (3 users), 8–10 (9 users)
🎏 Nationality: Germany (1), Poland (1), Italy (4), France (1), China (1), Vietnam (1), India (5).
After performing the Usability Testing, we kindly asked the users to fill in the UEQ questionnaire which would give us some quantitative data about their overall impression and experience when using the app.
We gathered data about 6 different categories: Attractiveness, Perspicuity, Efficiency, Dependability, Stimulation and Novelty. In 3 out of 6 of them — Attractiveness, Efficiency and Dependability, the Full Potential App scored excellent marks, being in the range of the 10% best results. For the rest of the categories — Perspicuity, Stimulation and Novelty, the results were also satisfactory leaving a good impression.
UX Problems and Solutions
Overall 7 main problems in the process were found, 1 of them being critical which needed a special focus since the majority of the users encountered it when performing the tasks. The rest of the problems had lower severity as less than half of the participants encountered them so we only treated these problems as Serious Problems (3) or Minor Problems (3).
Design Thinking Process
The 5-steps design thinking process including the following phases: Empathize, Define, Ideate, Prototype and Test was a foundation of the Full Potential App and thanks to it, the structure and steps we should follow were clear at each stage of the project.
I personally enjoyed the almost-rigid order of the product development since each phase had a particular meaning and aimed to build another critical part parallelly limiting chaos to the minimum. Looking back to the clean slate we were starting with, and the final result, I am very proud of how the entire project evolved.
Although we didn’t entirely follow the structure of designing recommended in the Sprint book, it added a hint of freshness and creativity to the process. Some of the critical techniques such as Lightning Demos or Crazy 8 seeded new ideas in our half-baked product resulting in finding simpler solutions to existing problems that we didn’t think about before.
This phase showed us how the product functions in reality with various users. Even though the already designed structure seemed straightforward to us, we faced the reality while observing the users interacting with the prototype in real-time.
This exercise let us target the most critical points of the app which were troublesome or misleading for the users. Thanks to this, we could design better solutions for the next iterations.
You can see dribble shots of this project here
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