Pontus Logo

Creating an Echo for Work, Remotely

MURAL, along with a group of Bay Area creatives, teamed up with DMO design agency in Buenos Aires to explore the creative process when globally distributed companies collaborate to tackle complex problems. Avocado Studios is a fictional design firm we created to showcase the results from this exploration.

situation

explore a product idea & show the process

Inspired by Amazon’s Echo + Alexa, we wondered if there was an opportunity to have a similar product which focused on creative teamwork. We wanted to come up with a product that would both help unload low value, recurrent tasks and help orchestrate creative work. We also wanted to open up the doors to our project rooms to show how we worked on the project.

challenge

hybrid global team working on experience design

Our team was a combination of MURAL team members, an external facilitator, a design student, and the industrial design agency DMO. We wanted to guide our creative process through LUMA design methods which are generally done in-person. And we also needed to have ongoing discussions and provide detailed feedback on the renders for the final product.

Solution

digital product design

Our team leader, in San Francisco, created a new MURAL workspace and invited all stakeholders, enabling us to have a unified workspace to carry the project and have flexibility with our meetings and working sessions.

  • Separate rooms were organized within the MURAL workspace, allowing specific team members to focus within their unique environment or zoom out to jump into broader parts of the project.
  • Consistent and accessible online workspaces offered flexibility when scheduling work sessions and meetings to include remote stakeholders across time zones.
  • Frameworks and templates for Agile, Lean, and Design Thinking methodologies allowed our facilitator to lead productive online work sessions.

Our facilitator led us through remote sessions where teams in both Argentina and San Francisco collaborated in real-time to work through various human-centered design exercises. All of our digital artifacts were captured in MURAL, allowing us to move forward building on our ideas and revisit previous work as needed.

Brainstorming potential features and clustering them into emerging themes

Brainstorming potential features and clustering them into emerging themes.

Inspiration & reference board created by pasting urls and photos onto the mural canvas

Inspiration & reference board created by pasting urls and photos onto the mural canvas

Concept sketches and product renderings brought into a mural for critique

Concept sketches and product renderings brought into a mural for critique.

Result

a device to help facilitate creative meetings

Through LUMA’s human-centered design methodologies, we uncovered the needs our product would fulfill. And by touching on inspiration from Alexa and Time Timer, we developed PONTUS - a connected smart assistant that enhances workplace productivity.

PONTUS understands how you interact with the world, reduces the pains in your routines and supports your most productive behaviors. It remembers your behaviors, routines, interactions and learns from experience. PONTUS engages you in conversational interactions - enabling it to support you as a reliable co-worker and trustworthy companion. It can be your meeting planner, activity timer, or help you reach your flow state when it’s time to zone in on your deep work.

Pontus Slide 1
Pontus Slide 2

PONTUS - a connected smart assistant that enhances workplace productivity.

We believe this product could be a great companion for autonomous teams as well as for teams needing facilitation, so that - for example - the facilitator can help with more value added facilitation versus just providing instructions and time boxing.

If you'd like to help bring PONTUS to life, let us know! We can help out with the software and distribution, and are open to chatting about the possibilities.

Drop us your information below and we’ll follow up with the next steps.