Facebook

Prototyping to ensure the success of a dynamic wall installation with multiple viewing angles.

prototyping
mural
installation
experience design
paint
Facebook

Background

Area 404 is Facebooks’ in-house hardware development capability. This includes lab spaces around the world where teams of engineers are developing hardware in support of Facebook’s global connectivity initiatives, data centers, and future computing platforms. Area 404 teamed up with Arthur to create a series of murals and interactive installations across a number of their locations, looking to make their workspaces more exciting and help generate awareness of Area 404’s capabilities across their organization.

Situation

One of Area 404’s original programming labs has, since its opening, had 4 sterile white walls. The team is regularly brought into projects to provide a creative problem solving boost across many departments. It only seemed fitting that a team tasked with being creative and innovative on-demand had a space that supported and reflected those qualities.

Task

As we’d been working on a number of other pieces for the team, they thought it made sense to bring us in to create some excitement in their original location. We wanted to somehow embody the complexity of the team’s capabilities and processes in this piece. However, based on the growing team and how the space was being used, our options were limited as far as where and how big this piece could be.

Approach

We came up with the idea of creating a piece that would be dynamic— something that could provide a different visual experience based on the viewing angle. We wanted to use some type of slat or bar that would have a color on one side and a reflective surface on the other side, thus creating a dynamic viewing experience. We also wanted to create a graphic on the wall surface beneath these slats that would have its own composition, and only be visible when viewing the wall straight on.

Based on the complexity of the visual experience we were going for, we knew we would need to create a prototype. We set up a small scale version of the wall we would be working on with similar lighting to start our testing. Materials for the slats, height and width of the slats, distance between the slats, and different types of reflective surfaces were all elements we experimented with before finding the right dimensions and finishes to achieve the results we were looking for.

I’ve been truly blown away by some of the recent work that is building together a bunch of themes [we’ve] been pulling on. It’s a regular occurrence someone stops me in the hallway and wants to comment on [Arthur’s] work!

Allan
,
Area 404 Lab Manager
@
Facebook

Evolving the Chord Health Visual Language

We expanded our purview to consider the growing brand. While Chord Health currently offered regenerative therapies for chronic back pain, they had plans to include therapies for chronic hip and knee pain as well. We worked to design core brand styles and attributes that scale from a single- to a multiple-product offering.

Since Chord Health was previously a B2C product, the Patient experience already featured a complete user experience.

However, the entire B2B portal was brand new, being built from the ground-up. It included a suite of initial complexities due to the relationships between certain players on the platform, such as Corporations, Clinics, Users, and Patients. During our kickoff, we aligned on the relationship between all objects in the system, information architecture, core persona roles, and the new user experience.

Designing the product

With the core information and relationships defined, we created interactive prototypes and delivered visual design for the entire B2B product. We created a comprehensive component library for use on future pages, as we knew that chord Health was planning to scale into new therapies.

Chord Health launched its new B2B platform in March 2019. We continue to work together to determine the roadmap for upcoming products, investigate how to evolve the Patient experience, and update the design.
Leveraging our client's knowledge of their customer to develop powerful personas

Access to customers was limited, so we relied on the collective knowledge of the NeuroGym team to create a model of their customer. Members of the NeuroGym team each sketched several personas, each one representing a different customer segment. Afterward, we regrouped as a team, consolidated information, and refined the information into a set of personas.

Mapping the customer journey

We selected one of the personas and mapped their journey from the homepage through signup, onboarding, and completion of the initial course in the program. We included NeuroGym employees from several departments— including finance, operations, customer support, product, and sales, so that all key stakeholders had a consistent understanding of the path that their customers take. Customer Support relayed that when conducting exit interviews with customers who requested refunds, many customers noted that the actual program didn’t match their expectations once they signed up.

Press Release

We challenged the team to imagine the future state of the onboarding experience. All members of the team wrote a forward-thinking press release, envisioning how the company would announce the new product revision to the world. This aligned their team on the direction of their product and generated hope and excitement for the project.

Building the LunaDNA Brand

Before exploring the brand’s attributes and visual language, we kicked off the project by establishing the first set of LunaDNA personas. Operating within a compressed timeline, Arthur developed proto-personas through a collaborative exercise that involved members of the Luna DNA team from various roles and departments. This approach allowed both teams to quickly align with the audience for the new platform and what value it provides the audience.

Crafting an authentic voice and tone for the LunaDNA Brand.

With the core personas identified and defined, we focused on crafting a voice and tone that was authentic to the LunaDNA team, while ensuring the messaging resonated deeply with the target audience. After several revisions, we arrived at a style that marries a friendly and relatable presence while retaining the strength of a data juggernaut through content and copy.

Visual Design and Landscape Identity

To best understand how to define the LunaDNA brand, Arthur methodically identified direct and indirect competitors. Together, we examined the use of color, typography, photography, and illustrations to understand what resonated with the LunaDNA team.

Leveraging the landscape to create the brand identity.

After analyzing the brand landscape of LunaDNA’s industry, it was time to take those insights and combine them with the personality of LunaDNA to develop a set of visual language guidelines. We used mood-boards and design tiles to explore various choices in type, image treatments, and interaction styles that represented the brand.

The primary medium to experience the new LunaDNA brand was the website. Before we designed a single pixel or wrote any copy, we examined the pages that were critical to connect with their initial personas.
Information Architecture

With a robust marketing and content strategy in place, a short and sweet approach to the information architecture was ideal. Our goal was to quickly get the website into the hands of users so that we could validate the positioning, messaging, and content.

Content Design

In parallel to the visual design exploration, we defined the content strategy for the core website pages by utilizing the personas, their motivation, and the LunaDNA mission of advancing medical research. Page stories, content documents, and high-fidelity wireframes allowed us to write succinct copy that resonated with the LunaDNA personas.

With all of the work we'd done to define the brand, from content to visual exploration, we were able to move seamlessly through visual design execution and into development; bringing the experience to life.

Designing the Luna DNA Platform

We designed the new user signup flow to be simple, relatable, and adaptive to all users, even when presenting complex scientific topics and the importance of data privacy.

Our teams worked together to sketch and refine the flow, focused on allowing users to experience the value of the LunaDNA platform as quickly as possible. We progressed from whiteboards to flowcharts, wireframes, and clickable prototypes to ensure that our flow covered all possibilities.

The LunaDNA platform is a high-impact, low-frequency platform.

It informs the user of how many shares they have earned in LunaDNA and allows the user to earn more shares by contributing additional data. We established a cohesive brand experience by extending the visual styles and voice and tone across the marketing site into the LunaDNA platform.

LunaDNA launched their beta in September of 2018. We’re proud to have partnered with them to make their ambitious dream a reality and contribute to the global research community.

Alignment

We started with an “anything is possible” mindset towards creating an interactive experience. Through stakeholder interviews, we quickly realized this project was about empowering the Sales team. The work for Arthur was to communicate this complicated, fluid subject in a brief and impactful way.

The Content Strategy

This installation fits within the larger Partnership Center sales narrative. To gain full context of this project, it was necessary to understand how the Partnership Center team uses the space. This included everything from their talking scripts to how the team will physically move through the experience and approach each activation with prospective clients.

Through exploration, we realized the best execution was a combination of a digital experience that could easily be updated and a physical experience that could be touched, driving home the idea of hardware prototyping. Additionally, the idea wrapped these pieces in a way that conceptually represents Area 404 and accommodates the best presenting experience on-site.

Designing the Experience

We worked with the Area 404 and Partnership Center teams to create digital content to be assembled into a small, interactive application the Sales team could walk through with visitors.

We worked with Area 404 prototyping engineers to create a series of “sample tiles,” which are physical tiles that guests could touch and interact with. Each tile represented a short story relating to Area 404’s involvement with innovation projects and their production capabilities.

Design inspiration for the overall installation was drawn from the physical elements of Area 404’s labs, including colors, materials, and textures. We optimized the larger composition of the installation for the physical location within the Partnership Center. It also reflects a directional flow which pairs with the narrative of the piece and guides visitors through the space.

Production

We sourced multiple vendors to build and install the majority of the installation. This involved video calls and site visits to ensure design intentions were communicated clearly and materials and production were up to spec and on schedule.

Approaching the launch date we faced a unique challenge with our initial vendor for our installation structure. Without losing a step, we made quick decisions and sourced a more capable vendor to close out the project within our timeline and budget.

Installation

This was a combination of project management and iteration. We worked with multiple parties and vendors to install the larger elements of our piece. For the digital experience, we partnered with the internal Facebook IT teams to iterate and finalize the application.  As a cohesive group, we adjusted and evolved our “sample tiles” with the Area 404 team after on-site user tests, ultimately landing on the correct experience that enables the Sales team to be successful.

Key Moment

A key moment in the project came during the content strategy phase. After multiple stakeholder interviews and writing exercises, we concisely articulated key points of the innovation story, solidifying the conceptual direction of the installation.

This allowed us to begin iterations of the physical execution, creating content for the sales team, the digital application, “sample tiles,” and establishing alignment with stakeholders across multiple teams.

Wrap Up

The installation has succeeded in empowering the Partnership Center team to speak about innovation across Facebook, and the Area 404 team is excited to represent that larger narrative. The exposure for Area 404 inspired more teams to reach out for rapid prototyping support, ultimately supporting Facebook’s internal mission to “move fast and break things.”

In addition to evolving the Partnership Center experience for Dublin and Singapore, we’re currently working with Area 404 on installations across multiple lab locations. We plan to create pieces that showcase Area 404’s capabilities and enhance the overall experience for anyone visiting or working in their labs.

Result

Our prototyping phase paid off. The end result is a colorful, reflective, dynamic wall piece that highlights one of the team’s widely known, successful projects. 

Upon entering the room, people see a gradient color spectrum across the wall. As they proceed through the room, the background graphic comes into view. And as they move to the other side, they see a complex “reflective” view, where the color spectrum is subdued as the colors are viewed off of the reflective surface, which also reflects pieces of the graphic composition from the wall. Ultimately the viewing experience came together successfully to represent the dynamic and complex capabilities of the team.

,
@
Facebook

,
@
Facebook

Result

Our prototyping phase paid off. The end result is a colorful, reflective, dynamic wall piece that highlights one of the team’s widely known, successful projects. 

Upon entering the room, people see a gradient color spectrum across the wall. As they proceed through the room, the background graphic comes into view. And as they move to the other side, they see a complex “reflective” view, where the color spectrum is subdued as the colors are viewed off of the reflective surface, which also reflects pieces of the graphic composition from the wall. Ultimately the viewing experience came together successfully to represent the dynamic and complex capabilities of the team.

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