To serve as a constant reminder of gratitude in the workplace, this idea seeks to establish physical spaces as zones of gratitude, where gratitude is celebrated and openly expressed. This may include:
- Profiles of employees that have conducted acts of gratitude for others and/or championed initiatives that add value into the lives of their co-workers.
- Display boards with pictures of events that have been conducted around gratitude, and the stories that have resulted from these initiatives.
- "Complete the story" boards where a gratitude-themed story is started and employees interact with the board to collectively create a story focused around gratitude.
- A compliment box that provides a fun outlet for employees to offer compliments to each other.
- A "Wall of Gratitude" where employees can anonymously post what they are appreciative of.
- An "Idea Wall" where new and innovative initiatives are highlighted and their originators recognized, as a means of celebrating their successes and contributions to their teams.
7. "Gratitude Sleeves" that go around coffee cups and have words of gratitude written on them. Employees can hand these to their co-workers once they have finished their drinks.
In addition to the creation of this space, we hope to introduce two additional concepts that would supplement our Zone of Gratitude:
- Pop-Ups - along with a space that is more concrete and permanent, we would test and prototype new ideas through pop-ups around the company. By doing so, we hope to design for the micro-cultures within a company, keep people guessing as to where the next pop-up could be, and build a sense of excitement that keeps our space fresh and relevant.
- Gratitude Champions - these would be individuals who would help bring ideas within the space to life, and organize pop-ups around the facility. These gratitude champions would also serve as advocates for the importance gratitude within the company.
Key human elements that we are designing for
- Public versus private expressions - our space would serve as an outlet that would meet people where they are. By implementing an idea like the "Wall of Gratitude", where gratitude is expressed privately, and also implementing an idea like the "Gratitude Sleeves" where employees would be encouraged to interact with each other, we seek to offer low barriers to entry.
- Authentic - by presenting a space that encourages but does not enforce gratitude, we hope to inspire intrinsic motivations for the expression of gratitude. Each idea within the space is designed to be voluntary.
- Intuitive - our idea of a space is just that ... a space. By marrying this idea of a space with a part of an employee's everyday work experience, our idea seeks to induce behavior change in a manner that is natural. Can a user experience in the Zone of Gratitude become the new normal?
- Fresh and exciting - through the use of pop-up locations inside the company, or by providing employees with the opportunity to create their own space, our idea seeks to make employees crave gratitude, and to keep them coming back for more.
Feedback from User Testing
*Details about our prototype are mentioned further down the page. We encourage you to read that section first before reading the feedback below.
At the end of the prototype session, we sent out a survey to the participants to get a gauge on how the experience made them feel. Here are the questions that we asked, and a brief summary of the responses that we received.
How did you feel walking into this activity?
The collective feeling was one of curiosity, but also one of uncertainty. Participants expressed that they didn't know what to expect going in, but they felt comfortable exploring the possibilities that this experience held.
How did you feel walking out?
The feeling of curiosity remained, but now with an added sense of hope. Multiple participants expressed that they left the room feeling optimistic about the potential that this idea held, and were interested in learning how it would evolve with future prototypes and pilots.
How do you personally like to give or receive gratitude?
Most participants responded to this question by saying that they preferred to both offer and receive gratitude in the form of verbal or written expressions. Additionally, some users mentioned an affinity towards performing acts of service or giving gifts to show their appreciation.
What specific part of this experience elicited the strongest feeling of gratitude within you? Why?
This was a more difficult question to answer for participants, but the ones who did answer it mentioned that the interaction with the barista was the most uplifting. It allowed them the instant gratification of knowing that their kind act would help create an impact, but at the same time giving them the space to choose how they wanted to express it.
Was there a part of the experience that felt forced? Did it challenge you to get out of your comfort zone?
Three distinct insights emerged from the responses to this question:
- For those who came alone, there were parts of the experience that felt awkward or forced. For example, giving a compliment inside the compliment box would seem natural if there was someone in line with you, but would seem confusing if you were going through the prototype experience alone. The same held true for some of the games that we had laid out while participants waiting for their drinks to arrive. This helped us gain important insight into the need for designing an experience that catered to users who arrive alone, with a co-worker, or with a group.
- The interaction with the barista, although one of the favorite parts of people's experience with the prototype, had an important aspect that we would need to design for. While users are having the interaction, how are the people waiting in line behind them feeling as they listen to the conversation? For any active listeners, is there a feeling that they need to follow what the users in front of them did, and will that deter them from coming to get coffee in the future? Maybe writing the instructions down, instead of having the barista explain it to the users could help address some of these concerns?
- One of the participants spoke about the importance of designing for those coffee drinkers who preferred to have black coffee. These users don't typically want to wait to receive their drink and are less likely to interact with any external stimuli once they have paid for their drink.
How might we improve this experience in our next prototype?
The most prominent response to this question was to test the next prototype in a more realistic scenario, maybe in an actual coffee shop. Prototyping with real money instead of tickets, and bringing in a larger crowd of people were suggested. The importance of establishing measures of success was also expressed.