WORKSPACE 2020 - Semester project of the Interaction Design course
Annika Kaltenhauser Isabelle Schacht


Annika Kaltenhauser Senior UX Designer

Isabelle Schacht Senior UX Designer

04.01.2019 • 6 minutes reading time

Digital transformation is already a reality in many workplaces today. The increasing influence of digitalization on the workflow is clearly noticeable. Networking is creating new concepts and opportunities for collaboration. Collaborative and co-working are only two essential topics.

But how will creative work processes be designed in the future? How will co-working and collaborative workspaces be further developed in the future, especially for use in creative agencies? These are the questions the students of the "Interaction Design" course at Magdeburg-Stendal University of Applied Sciences asked themselves in their semester project.

How will creative work processes be designed in the future?

Ergosign has been supporting the semester project since day one. Our two colleagues Annika and Isabelle S. from Berlin managed and supervised the students both professionally and as coaches over the entire duration of the project. The cooperation was initiated by the contact between the course director Professor Steffi Husslein and the Ergosign site manager David Detzler in Berlin. They also support the students during the entire duration of the project.
The aim of the project was to design a "tangible, playful-emotional interactive object or service for Workspace 2020". Emotional and playful aspects should be the focus of the creative work processes. The digital processes in the "networking office" should again be tangible and palpable for the employees. A short period of time until 2020 was deliberately chosen in order to develop realizable assets that can be used in a timely manner.

Jasmine in the elaboration of her concept
Jasmine in the elaboration of her concept

The students set to work after a kickoff event. After the first research phase, there were a number of very different ideas for assets to improve the workplace. With the help of mindmaps and the exchange of experiences from the daily work of the Ergosign team, the first concrete solutions were developed from the ideas. In a subsequent analysis, the ideas were tested for their feasibility. In addition it was investigated whether similar products are already available on the market.

Seven ideas withstood the research and interim presentation. These included topics such as...

... Concepts to improve the ability to concentrate at the workplace
... Identifying and recording negative factors and preventing them through sustainable ideas
... Dynamic Task Management
... Time Tracking
... etc.

So-called "Cultural Probes" were used for further elaboration in the design process. The use of "Cultural Probes" is a technique to generate ideas in a design process. The "probes" are small packages that can contain various, mostly creative tasks as well as any kind of artifact (e.g. postcards, diaries, cameras, etc.). The tasks are processed by the target group. Data about life, values and thoughts can be collected.

An example of the Cultural Probes we have received
An example of the Cultural Probes we have received

The students created the Cultural Probes, which were processed by the Ergosign team as a target group. The small packages were then sent to randomly selected colleagues for processing. The collected results served as a concrete template for the further elaboration of the project solutions.

Annika in an interview about her Cultural Probe
Annika in an interview about her Cultural Probe

Annika and Isabelle, but also many other colleagues from Ergosign from all over Germany were there for the students. In regular meetings and remote sessions, the project statuses were coordinated and assistance and guidance for the next steps given.

Which projects have been implemented?

The seven projects that made it into the development phase are all very exciting and offer a lot of potential for experiencing in the workplace of the future. All the works are prototypes that do not yet exist on the market. The students prepared product videos for their final presentation. All gadgets were also shown in a separate exhibition in Magdeburg.

Take a look at all project videos .

Project: NOAH

by Maria Raduly & Nils Suhr

NOAH von Maria Raduly & Nils Suhr

NOAH is a personal avatar gadget that stands on the desk. The object, reminiscent of a digital picture frame, enables communication and interaction with other colleagues, for example to remind appointments without disturbing other employees. The interaction with the avatar gadget takes place by gesture control and consists of five gestures. The aim was to develop a communication device that would reduce disruptive factors (e.g. spontaneous requests from colleagues) in everyday working life while at the same time maintaining the exchange between employees.


by Danny Schott & Carsten Greif

METAB von Danny Schott & Carsten Greif

The project METAB breaks out of the digital world - back to analog. Tasks at the desk are again haptically managed by a kind of "building block system". To complete a task, a building block is pulled out of the gadget, put back again after processing, and the time recording is also digitally displayed in a screen application. This desktop application supports task management and time recording with the modules.

Project: Meet Dan

by Lixin Xu & Raphael Hillinger

MEET DAN von Lixin Xu & Raphael Hillinger

With Meet Dan you can keep an optimal eye on the duration of a meeting. At the beginning of a meeting, a time quota is assigned to each agenda point via a knob on the gadget. When the meeting starts, integrated LEDs indicate how much time is still available for the current topic. If the time is approaching the end, Meet Dan reminds all participants about the upcoming topic change by slight tilting movements.


by Christian Motsch & Nicole Rüde

RUBIC MEMORY von Christian Motsch & Nicole Rüde

Rubic Memory is an interactive game that improves concentration and brings movement into everyday life. It consists of a haptic board equipped with identical colored dice and a tablet on which the game mode is selected and the game is started. The dice can be taken out, rotated and placed again, each side showing a different color. On the tablet, a pixel-generated image is selected to be reproduced by the player.


by Simon Frübis & Jasmin Galle

TIMACHINE von Simon Frübis & Jasmin Galle

Timachine is a solution for fast, intuitive and frustration-free time recording by combining software and hardware. The time recording is booked outside the desktop with a gadget by pressing a key at the beginning and end of the respective task: Time and job title are shown on the display. A knob on the gadget can be used to switch between tasks. Everything is managed via a desktop app.


by Zhenhui Liu

SPINNING von Zhenhui Liu

Spinning consists of two games, the "Retro Spinning Top" and the "Triangle Lolli", which facilitate brainstorming and a combination of individual ideas. The "retro spinning top" has „W questions“ ready for brainstorming, and the "triangle lollipop" connects the ideas. This stimulates an active and exciting discussion.

Project: EMORI

by Alina Kalacheva

EMORI von Alina Kalacheva

Let out stress and tension - without affecting your fellow human beings - that's what emori makes possible. emori is a plush animal networked by sensors, equipped with a multitude of sensors. Thus it is able to react to different interactions. Those who are frustrated can pull the plush animal's ears out, those who are happy can crawl its stomach. emori reacts to the respective input and gives the user visual feedback without evaluating it. The individual users remain anonymous, but teams can view the recorded emotional states in a statistic at the end of a month.

We would like to thank all our students for their dedicated participation and are proud of the great results.

We had a lot of fun supervising the project!

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