Project: Microsoft x BrainStation Design Hackathon
Time: 24 hours (Sept 2021)
Role in Group: UI Design | UX Design | Logo Design | Prototyping/Copywriting

Skills among this project:

  • Problem definition,
  • UX Research,
  • Proto Persona,
  • User experience storyboard,
  • Ideation and sketching,
  • Goals and value proposition,
  • Prototyping (Figma),
  • Next Steps,
  • and Key Learnings.

As businesses start to transition into a semblance of what used to be the "normal", we know that there are just some things that will never be the same after what we have all been through.


There are 3 main options for businesses to transition their back in office plans. For this project, we started with the assumption that most companies would like to have everyone back in person. 


Many companies have already started making safety plans to bring thier employees back into the office. But what we haven't heard much about are the plans to continue to make the office a friendly and inviting place. With masks, sanitizer, and social distancing in place, it can often make the environment cold and detached. How do we keep the office in good spirits?


During our research, we continually came across reports that stated employees were feel more negative about being in the office than ever. We even shared some of these concerns, and decided to focus on the humans returning to work in our empathy driven design process.


Evelyn became our guide as the proto persona for this project, as we imagined what a new hire would be going through as they are asked to work in the office.


Due to the time constraint of the hackathon, we generated ideas quickly through Crazy 8's sketching, as well as simply jotting down ideas. Bringing all these thoughts to the table and discussing them, it was soon that we realized we all held the same goals and intentions for our digital product, and this helped us refine our final product.


Bottly introduces a new way to communicate with others, deviating away from corporate language and an immersive "message in a bottle" theme. Users can send out Bottles, messages and questions that others can respond to to jmp start a conversation. There are Boats instead of events to signify a small gathering of users brought together. And finally, there are Islands, for larger company wide events. 

*Due to time limitations, onboarding, Islands, and other functions are not fully operable in the prototype.


If we were to continue work on this project, there are a number of things we would want to improve, but we identified 5 major steps we would like to explore. Even another day would have given up time to flesh out the concepts we had in mind, and research aspects like other app integrations with Bottly, to better understand the viability of our ideas. 


I learned so much from the condensed process of the Hackathon, as well as my teammates, Ana Monte, Carmen Xu, and Chengyi Shen.

Going forward I would like to take these lessons with me as I build more and more of my skills and knowledge base!