Creating flexible atmosphere
for the workplace
Ozone strives to make work easier and more convenient for employees of large companies. We pride ourselves on the versatility and flexibility of our office spaces by introducing smart remote working and convertible meeting experiences.
Offices are places where people work and create. These spaces provide comfortable environment for people to focus and be productive, but as we projecting to the future, we believe that offices are not only place for work. It could be a more flexible place other than personal work.
The development of work space has been limited by location, resources and technology. The main purpose of the design is to make high efficient work space, however, the current solutions of using designated desks and meeting rooms are not utilizing the space to its most potential. Most office designs are not encouraging casual collision, which generates more conversation between people for more oppotunities of networking.
The goal of this project is to design a future/smart work environment for large tech office (500+ employees) starting from San Francisco, California. We believe starting from studying this group, there is a lead towards how future smart work space can be.
Aynne Valencia interaction design
Cathrine Veikos interior design
Alexander Baumgardt interaction design
Ozone Office has decentralized office locations that offer comfortable remote working experiences for workers from different companies. Each Ozone Office settles near a few stores and shops for users to extend their activities and connections after work.
Each Ozone Office provides an adjustable furniture system and an open working environment. Interior design optimizes the use of limited space for better balance between individual work and open conversation. Freedom and modularity are not compromised with different layouts of various locations.
The modular furniture system is designed to make the workspace flexible and efficient. It includes two main pieces: Atom and Molecule.
- Atom: adaptive work station that provides an immersive working environment
- Molecule: modular desk with touchscreen surface that is highly interactive and versatile
Accessed from any touchable platform, Ozone app allows users to reserve seats, manage meeting information, explore locations and more. A regular daily flow can be seen from the demo video above.
Ozone Room is a set of convertible room modules for individual work or group meeting. The use of Ozone Room replaces traditional “cubical” desks for higher efficiency use of space. Meanwhile, Ozone encourages more individual (non-team) works to be taken place remotely in Office Offices. In this example floor plan, convertible walls in between room modules allow users to use the rooms privately or merged for a bigger group.
Each room module is separated with its neighboring module by a flexible OLED screen that is unrolled from its celling. When a set of rooms is reserved, the dividing screens will automatically unfold 10 minutes before the appointment for users to set up. Tables in each room can snap with each others to form a larger table for more people to use.
Ozone app helps users to manage their work flow. Users can check their calendar to see upcoming events and reminders that are related to their works. Clean interface provides easy read of contents as well as quick access to different view modes.
Under Chat, users can communicate with selected team and have a glance of upcoming event regarded to their project. Direct chat to individual and to all can be selected from the left.
By clicking the upper-right calendar icon, users can access to calendar view of all upcoming events related to this project. Users and manage their event by submitting a new event for the team.
We always discuss what makes a good workspace, and the answer varies for different jobs. The tech industry, heavily based in the Bay Area, is young but rapidly growing, making great values to the world. However, as in mid 2019, most employees from Bay Area companies travel to their headquarters and sitting in their assigned tables everyday, like what we used to do decades ago. With the help of technology, we believe that we don't need to write near the window for sunlight or stay indoor to avoid screen glare. It should serve our workflow better.
"No matter how many people there are, rooms are all the same."
"I hope I don’t get interrupted when I work by myself."
"Technically people can work from home. We are just making the space better so they come to work here."
"There are a lot of meeting rooms… but only the bosses have their own private rooms."
In the extract from our interviews about their thoughts on their office spaces with few current and former employees from some Bay Area companies, we observe a few similar opportunities under these following categories. Secondary research also supports our hypothesis.
Commute time efficiency
Office space efficiency
The research gives us a tons of information, including some suggestions that some interviewees offer. These include but not only include these followings: a desk next to a window; a designated desk where people don't ever come talk to me; a better cafeteria on the same floor of my desk... in order to not get too distracted from these wild advises, the team has to work hard to organize, sort and filter the findings.
In order to understand the user in a better perspective, we imagine a persona Mia. Mia represents a common worker who goes to work on a daily basis. What reflects from her is summarized from our research findings from primary and secondary research. We begin with drawing a rough profile and a general journey map in the development process.
With the persona profile in mind, in order to enrich the character and make sure she truly reflects the problems and struggles, we list her empathy map that exposes what she would say, do, think or feel.
As Mia representing our potential users, we also want to know each step she might be taking on a daily basis. By drawing a journey map of how Mia uses her office, we can seek for design opportunities.
We notice that there are few moments in Mia's day that appear to be her pain-points of her working experience. These moments are: Coming to office during morning rush hours; working in tight cubicle desks; preparing files and transfer to other device for meeting; meeting room/time management (which happens days beforehand). We would like to know what might be the good ways to resolve these challenges.
Using persona and journey map study, combining with previous synthesis of research findings, we conclude a few insights that we believe are opportunities of the project. Here are some pictures of early progress of this process. (written process, Kendra, Anchi and I work in progress...)
For each summarized insight, we pair it with a How Might We proposal. This is a way for us to efficiently lead into the final solution. These three proposals are listed in the order of personal to general. We want to understand the opportunities from an individual level to the overall workflow level. This will help us to understand the system we design in a more organized manner.
How Might We 1
How Might We 2
How Might We 3
Simply where you live. When Ozone Office is available in your city, commute distance to your company's main office will not be a consideration when deciding where to live. It's much easier to find a better residence that's more affordable and near an Ozone Office.
Your company's main office, which is usually in the middle of a city where traffic is terrible. However, some tasks like group meetings and client meetings are often taken place here. Ozone Room provides efficient method for those tasks completed smoother.
Ozone Office widely spread locations in major cities. There are over 30 locations in San Francisco that covers most residential areas, providing most convenient working experience.
Select the closest Ozone Office to work saves much more time than commuting to the main office. It's also more fun and more time-flexible.
When an Ozone Office is too popular, it appears red on the map. Please choose another location for a chiller space.
Ozone Office and Ozone Room serve two different work scenarios, however they are targeting the same user group - employees who work screen-based jobs. The table lists some prominent features and comparisons with traditional offices.
With Ozone Office and Ozone Room being two services, we expect users using them in different scenarios. Users can access to Ozone Office for remote working on the individual tasks and Ozone Room for group works. In contrast to the traditional office experience, the pervious journey curve is displayed in faded gray-scale for the comparison.
In the new journey maps, Ozone aims to relief pain points from the previous curves. Those are getting to office, begin doing individual works, getting the files ready and getting to meetings. Here, Ozone Office provides the remote working solution that reduces commute time, and the interior design uplifts the experience in the work space. Ozone Room turns personal workspace more private and efficient by removing cubicle spaces and optimizing room space. We believe that these improvements enhance user's enjoyment of work routine.
One of our biggest challenge as designing Ozone Office is space limitation. This is because most locations are placed on the street or in a shopping plaza (image a Starbucks size store). We initially want the space to be very organized and even obsessively in-ordered to be space-efficient, but as we develop the concept, we end up having a highly flexible and free-to-move space for the work desks to be mobile and adjustable.
In order to make sure the interior design fits our needs, we put circulation and ergonomics in consideration. We assume that the average space of an Ozone Office is about 1500 sq/ft, which is the size of a middle-sized Starbucks. In fact, this floor plan is designed based on an existing Starbucks store. We plan to fit around 40 people maximum in the space to guarantee balanced experience for each user. By visually dividing the space into three sections with walkways, we encourage users to move around the furniture in the section. Each section express certain sense of atmosphere based on user's behavior.
To best display the interior design, we output some renderings on the space, including an exterior design to show how awesome we are (great thanks to Michael and Eve for the render work!). We believe that Ozone Office will be a comfortable space for users to work, network and engage all great activities.
In traditional offices, most furniture are not designed to be "smart" because it might sound unnecessary, but as we project to the future, we believe that having the furniture designed to fit user's needs is important. The naming of Atom and Molecule is inspired by the brand name Ozone. Atom suggests individuality while Molecule suggests modularity.