The Nerdery is a digital strategy consultancy of human-centered designers and software engineers. They have offices across 4 different states with over 500 employees. Being a highly collaborative work environment, Nerdery employees hold and attend a lot of meetings.
Currently the Nerds in Minneapolis use Google Calendar to manage room schedules. This system requires a lot of tribal knowledge as to where the rooms are located, what they are named, their size and what amenities are in each room. Double booking of rooms and squatting in unreserved rooms is common.
The Nerdery needs a quick, easy, mobile first room reservation web application.
Competitive Analysis and Directed Storytelling
My first effort was to complete a competative analysis of what is already on the market. I wanted to know what room reservation applications were already developed and compare their features, offerings and users. This exercise also helped me gain familiarity with the problem space.
The services I researched were generally web applications. They included features like meeting reminders, analytics, responsive design, calendar views, customizable profiles, and room alerts. With these features, users were able to make and cancel meetings real-time, schedule emergency meetings, and see room availability on phone or on a screen outside the door.
I compiled the questions I had come up with to prepare for the initial client meeting. During this meeting with three Nerdery managers, I gathered information about their current process, the pain points and the goals for the application. I gathered that the Nerdery is currently using Google Calendar to manage meetings rooms. The rooms aren't always clearly marked and there is currently no map available for room navigation. Rooms vary in size and technology offerings but this information is not available without prior experience. This meeting allowed me to build empathy for their process, needs and frustrations, as well as identify limitations of the project.
The Nerdery employees described two common user paths when needing to schedule a meeting. The first is someone who needs to book a room ASAP for a few people. This individual doesn't need to send email invitations because they are likely with the co-workers they need to meet with, they just need a space. The other common journey is of a manager needing to schedule a routine meeting a week or more out for their team. This manager has to check each employee's schedule individually, find an open time and then look for a room. I dug into these stories with a journey map for the current process.
Before getting to the details of wireframes I brainstormed with an ideal journey would be for any Nerdery employee trying to reserve a room and schedule a meeting. This helped me to narrow my focus and estabilish goals.
Feature Cards & Kano Analysis
With all of this information I started sketching low fidelity wireframes. I focused on potential features that would address the pain points. The evaluate these features, I included them in a Kano Analysis. This method helped me to narrow down what features were expected, attractive and undesirable. Five Nerdery employees participated in a survey where they were asked to rate the feature on a scale of "I like it", "I expect it", "I'm neutral", "I'll live with it", "I dislike it". They were asked to answer two questions for each feature card, one asking about their feelings if the feature was present and then other about their feelings if the feature was absent. This exposed answers that were misleading and highlighted features that were well received.
- Google suite integration
- Search results priorities by relevance
- Simple layout
- Quick search
- Double booking prevention
- Room details
- Room feedback about cleanliness.
- Native application
- Inviting individuals by search
- Highly detailed administrative pages
- Logging into Google each time
Suggestions & Annotated Wireframes
My wireframes were focused on integrating Google Calendar to expedite the ASAP room reservation process, simplify the process of finding a common meeting time for a team, and make email communication efficient. The following features allow Nerds to find a room that meets their needs, reserve a room with one click and have that new appointment reflected on their Google Calendar.
To ensure this web application is relevant, the Admin user is able to edit, add and pause rooms that are available for reservation. The Admin also controls the room offerings and can create new rooms when necessary.
All fonts, colors and logo usage were pulled directly from the Nerdery's brand guidlines.
To walk the development team through my thought process, decisions and interactions I have included my annotated wireframes. Included in this document is also the estimated development time and a vision for how this application could grow.