COVID-19 has changed the way we live and relate to others, at least temporarily. It made us stop our machines, raise our heads and take a strategic break to overcome one of the greatest challenges in contemporary history. Even after only a few days of isolation, we can already observe some changes in the environment.
Regardless of this virus, which causes complications for us in all aspects, we must carry on and get out of our routine and adapt to other forms of work. Thanks to several companies that have established remote working models, such as Invision, which has been successful with more than 700 employees spread across the world, we can conclude that yes, it is possible to work remotely.
What is the key for this gear to work correctly, with its parts distributed in different places?
In this article I would like to share some activities, tools and recommendations to create digital experiences efficiently in remote work scenarios.
Recommendations for research and development of projects:
· Telephone interviews: Personal contact is a risk that must be avoided. Offer a safe scenario to the interviewee, pay attention in the moment and the value of your feedback, especially in this moment of crisis. In this way, you will be able to gain insights more quickly and, if necessary, return the call. 😉
REVISED: Personal contact is a risk that must be avoided. Offer a safer option by conducting phone interviews. Pay attention and be in the moment, value feedback, especially in this time of crisis. You will gain insight quickly.
· Remote usability test: The Maze Design is one of the best solutions for remote testing, not only for task-based testing, but also for A/B testing. But do not despair, there are other free options, like Hangouts for video calls (asking the user to share their screen), and Quicktime for recording.
· Online questionnaires: The tools we use for this type of survey are Microsoft Forms, Typeform and SurveyMonkey, all three have advanced and complete options, which allow us to send questionnaires in a massive way, including complex flows according to the responses and creating different reports to analyze results, among others.
· Behavioral analysis: We know that consulting quantitative information on the use of our digital products is mandatory. Under current conditions, where we must avoid contact with users, we can dedicate more time to analyze and understand this data, approach specialists and consult applications such as Adobe Analytics, Google Analytics and Firebase.
· Feedback: Now more than ever, it is important that you are able to collect user comments on different channels: web, applications, or even by email. For that I recommend Usabilla, where you can easily implement comment components integrated into your web page, to retrieve information when needed.
· Interaction flows: Overflow allows the creation of interactive diagrams and flows, which can be easily shared and navigated, not only for users with an account, but also for interested parties who do not have the software.
· Drawing: Figma is the tool that came to compete with Sketch. It allows two or more designers to work on the same project (and at the same time); it is possible to add comments, build prototypes and keep documents safe in the cloud, this way you can avoid other applications, such as Abstract.
· Online Workshops : For those group activities where it is necessary to co-create or display a collaborative wall, you can use Miro or Mural. Both tools allow you to work live and in an environment with users where everyone can interact, creating reminders and contributing to a meeting together.
Recommendations for better communication:
· Daily and weekly meetings: Try to hold daily meetings with your team, this way you will always be organized and more productive. Do not forget to be in direct contact with your team. Make intensive sessions, expose the needs, problems or news that may bring us closer in these times which require physical distance. The best apps for this are Hangouts, Microsoft Teams and Weby.
· Bonus: For distance work to work properly, you must be aware of your responsibility and of the flexibility this requires. Try to make the team available during the same hours of the day, and if there are users with different times, try to reserve a common time frame. Calendly and Doodle are useful tools for managing calendars, especially when the team is distributed in different locations; in addition, the two applications can be easily integrated into your Microsoft calendar. Be available, collaborate and adapt. Insisting on good communication is key so that despite the distance, everyone feels close.
The conditions caused by COVID-19 undoubtedly require us to be creative and solve problems in a different way. Try new tools and structures that facilitate communication and productivity at a distance.
Your feedback is welcome, comment and share your tips and tools for working remotely in this period of crisis. 💪