Design for UX in Flexible Offices – Bringing Research and Practice Together
Paper in proceeding, 2021
A growing number of organisations are relocating from traditional office environments to flexible office environments (FOEs) such as ‘combi’ or ‘activity-based’ offices. Research efforts are being dedicated to understanding the challenges and benefits that these office designs represent. Yet, there is a gap between design research and practice that limits innovations in FOE design and smears the overall user experience at work. This paper addresses the exploration of design opportunities for artefacts and spaces enabling positive user experience (UX) in FOEs together with experts from a relevant European actor in the office furniture sector. First, an explorative workshop was conducted to understand practitioners’ perspective and priorities when designing for FOEs. Findings from previous research work by the authors plus the workshop results were used to propose and discuss four ‘Design for UX’ areas worthy of further exploration. Among these, the UX of control in FOEs was chosen, and a subsequent workshop was conducted to deepen into the matter. The last session concluded with the formulation of a specific UX proposal to be developed in the near future. The value and originality of this paper reside in two aspects: (i) a UX approach that relies on the ‘innovation of meaning’ and splits from a creative problem-solving mainstream; and (ii) a collaboration between user-centered design research and product development practice that enable the alignment of resources and strategies in the benefit of users and innovation.
Design for UX