Ice Cream Method

Ice Cream Method

A time management method for remote workers.

My role: User research, laddering, personas, customer journey mapping, copywriting, visual identity

Remote work seems to be the wave of the future. A recent survey of business leaders at the Global Leadership Summit in London found that 34% said more than half their company’s full-time workforce would be working remotely by 2020. Mural wants to give professionals, regardless of their location, the ability to communicate in a human centred way. With the lens of feeling closer and smarter together, how might we design the future of remote working?

Our team spread out over different locations for a full day, to really empathize with remote workers. In this way we deeply understood their pain points with collaborating remotely.

Our target group – creative professionals – find it difficult to communicate with co-workers whilst working remotely. It is hard to share and read emotions, whereby they can’t express themselves the way they would in a normal work setting. Also it is a real challenge to keep in sync, problems such as different time zones and failing technology takes a lot of energy and patience. People assume that remote workers often plan time off, but quite the opposite happens. Remote workers are twice as likely to work over 40 hours a week.

Don’t eat your ice cream all at once, try eating it bit by bit and don’t end up with a brain freeze. We created a tool to help teams manage their time, the ‘Ice Cream Method’. It eases the way people work remotely, by working for half an hour, followed by a break of five minutes. In this break you can share your progress, ideas and emotions with your group. By repeating these steps for the rest of the day, you increase your productivity and stay focussed. Our vision for the future of remote working is not adding extra technology, but creating a behavioral change.

We prototyped and tested the method with different groups and time intervals. We realized that there is not a single duration suited for all teams. Every team has different needs and therefore we made the Ice Cream Method flexible.

The Ice Cream Method can be combined with the Scrum framework. All the tasks will then be estimated into ice cream times. For example a task can take six ice cream lengths to complete.

Client: Mural
Team: Marco Candi, Erika Mendez, Emelie Wänstedt, Davey van der Woert
MA Digital Media Management
Hyper Island
2016, Manchester