End-to-end with a focus on Data Visualization
Want someone with experience? Someone liking pineapple on pizza? (Ugh, really?)
Set your own way of filtering candidates for the team. Then save it for future use. Easy.
No more shuffling between post-its and rearranging spreadsheets. Get balanced and diverse team suggestions by the Team Generator.
Don't like this team? Get a new one. Let the system do the shuffling while you sip your boba tea.
Have a team and good to go? Invite them onboard! Leave personalized feedback once the project ends.
The Team Generator will use the feedback to improve future team compatibility suggestions. Get even better teams on future projects.
Amongst the hassle of finding new people and creating a balance of skills, team creators get confused and ultimately end up picking people they either know or have worked with before. This process is riddled with ambiguity. Even worse, when it comes to gauging creative skills, there is no one-size-fits-all.
is the typical ratio of a designer hired relative to new employees.
is the typical company size for 25% (highest) of working designers.
percent design workers regarding collaboration as the highest soft skill.
The goal now was to understand what the team creation process looks like. I conducted five one-on-one interviews (10 total) with design agency leads, business venture stakeholders, and teachers who have put together teams of design students - they all had different approaches but some common thinking patterns:
Below is a typical design team's lifespan. Because there are several great task-oriented team tools out there but none for the curation and onboarding of people, we decided to focus on the forming (gathering the right people) stage. Zooming in, it's the process of how one thinks through filtering out candidates.
Zooming in the forming process, here's how team creators think as they funnel out potential team members.
Diversity is Critical
A different POV/opinion is also considered to be a creative skill. So it is crucial to have a variety of them.
Having one of each kind isn't enough. Teammates need to balance out each others' strengths and weaknesses.
Going with Gut
Because the entire process is so tiring, people end up taking instinctive decisions to save time and effort.
Instead of being a report card to point out weaknesses, this tool is designed to highlight and build over strengths.
A good team indicates success for the filtering process, and so the same metrics can be used again.
Team creators should be able to control and mold their selection criteria as they see fit.
Co-Lab's crown jewel, the Team Generator, can be seen as a self-learning system with a feedback loop. It iteratively learns what your filters are for a team, as well as what other users (with similar projects as yours) have chosen, to suggest you better teams in future projects.
To reduce the effort as much as possible, we knew we had to cater to the entire experience of gathering the right people. The solution is divided into four parts that cater directly to the major need occurring at every step of the process:
In six rounds, we tested the concept, the mid-fidelity, and the high-fidelity prototype screens with our primary research participants and regular Behance users. We wanted to understand the extent to which they will use this feature to create their future design teams. Here's what they had to say about it:
There will be an increase in collaboration-based projects on Behance. We need to design a showcase page catering to these projects, with an emphasis on team publishers and the roles they played in the project.
As more creatives become eager to join publicly posted open collaborations, how can they see and even influence who they get to work with is a future direction co-lab can take?
We believe this feature will be more efficient if it can seamlessly integrate with other team-based tools. For example - Google Suite for meetings, uploading work and calendars, or Monday, Trello, etc. for project management.
This is my first web design and data visualization project. I learned a lot about integrating existing design systems into a new feature, systems thinking, and information architecture. There's more to be done before this solution is actually deployable. But being ethically vigilant and reducing the internal biases of the Team Generator, as it gets more data, will turn out to be crucial.
I hope that Co-Lab makes creating design teams as easy as customizing a Subway sandwich. (*munching noises*)
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Copyright © Hardik Kumar. All illustrations are hand-crafted (with an enormous amount of care) so please use them with credit and for educational purposes only. Thanks!
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