Designing Spaces for Design

Madhava Enros

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As we’ve opened or moved into new Mozilla offices and community spaces over the last year or so, we in User-Experience have been thinking about how to create spaces to support creative work, and especially design taking place in a very geographically distributed organization. There’s research you can turn to for the former — like this HBR article on designing spaces for creative collaboration. For the latter, we’re trying to figure out how to deal with being distant from our co-designers, both in physical distance and in timezones. Videoconferencing helps a huge amount, but there are still challenges.

One major result of this has been the creation of dedicated design spaces or studios in a few of our offices — so far, Toronto, Mountain View, and Vancouver. These are spaces where we can put design ideas on the walls where we can discuss them as a group, and that can be connected with videoconferencing to foster more of a sense of one large design space.

Toronto

The Toronto room has evolved over about 8 months and was the pilot for this kind of design space at Mozilla. In addition to space for mockups and post-its on the walls, we have a couple of standing desks and a whiteboard for in-room work. There’s a TV with connected Mac Mini and webcam on the wall, which we use for larger videoconferences, presentations, and ambient background video connection to design rooms in the other offices. There’s also an iMac on the coffee table for more one-on-one scaled videoconferencing and presentations.

Photo 2012-06-29 11 33 56 AM    Photo 2012-06-29 11 34 04 AM
Photo 2012-06-29 11 35 40 AM Photo 2012-06-29 11 36 15 AM

Click on the photos for larger versions.

Mountain View

The Mountain View room got a total makeover.  We took out the big conference table and put in a small round one to have more intimate conversations.  We painted the walls with whiteboard paint and we have tons of post-its and sharpies scattered throughout the room.  Oh and we brought in a comfy blue couch.  The stand-up desk is on it’s way too.

Vancouver

As one of the newer design concept rooms Vancouver is trying a different type of space.  We’ve taken over a connecting room which isn’t a real conference room but a space with seating that connects the social kitchen and large conference rooms with the rest of the office workspaces.  The Vancouver design team chose this space because of the high traffic the area receives and because of the layout affords opportunities for people to stop, sit, and discuss the designs on display.

Above is the view of the room as you enter heading toward the kitchen area.  And below are some views of the rotating designs on display in the room.  As we gather more designs for display we expect to fill up most of the usable space with concepts we want to share.

 

Click on the photos for larger versions.

Thanks to Diane Loviglio and Bryan Clark for the Mountain View and Vancouver updates, respectively.

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  1. Huda wrote on :

    Design-focused spaces are so key to great discussions, which result in great products. I like how all the offices seem to have their own feel! Let’s see how long the stand-up desk lasts.

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  2. Pingback from An Inside Look At The Various Mozilla Design Studios | Macgasm on ::

    [...] Ever wonder what it’s like to work in a design studio for a major tech player like Mozilla? Madhava Enros, lead Firefox User-Experience designer has put together an interesting post over on the Mozilla blog that shows off some of their various design studios in Toronto, Vancouver, and M… [...]

    Reply

  3. Pingback from An Inside Look At The Various Mozilla Design Studios | Macgasm on ::

    [...] Ever wonder what it’s like to work in a design studio for a major tech player like Mozilla? Madhava Enros, lead Firefox User-Experience designer has put together an interesting post over on the Mozilla blog that shows off some of their various design studios in Toronto, Vancouver, and M… [...]

    Reply

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