10.12.2018 • 3 minutes reading time

WORKSPACE 2020

Semester project of the Interaction Design course

Ergosign supervises the students at Magdeburg-Stendal University of Applied Sciences

PART 1: How will creative work processes be designed in the future?

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.

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.

In the second part of our article you will learn how the solutions were worked out and how they look in detail...

> Read Part 2 of the article