UX Awards

The Premier Awards for Exceptional Digital Experience

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A business phone service designed for the modern, mobile worker.

The Switch design journey started about two years ago, with an idea and vision of creating a better phone service for businesses. With tons of room for innovation in this space, one of our first priorities was finding the right starting point.

During the discovery phase, we began by brainstorming and got some of our initial ideas down in sketch form. Capturing these early ideas helped us better frame our discovery research and create some discussion guides. Our research involved meeting with various members of our target audience (IT professionals, office managers, executives) across a multitude of industries to learn about specific needs and communication habits (both through audio communication tools and face-to-face) in the workplace. We saw great examples of people finding hacks to get current systems to work for them, like creating fake accounts for conference rooms, using multiple services simultaneously for audio and visual, and using IM to notify someone of a “parked call” instead of transferring it.

Our iteration phase was focused on imagining communication tools someone would need and actually use in a modern workplace. By March of 2014, we had narrowed our concepts down to three very different directions for the desktop experience. Despite the differences in form factor and usability, all three concepts had the same features and functionality. Conducting a thorough round of user studies helped us to move forward with something we felt confident about.

The desk phone is something that people are familiar with, but don’t often know how to use because it’s not obvious. Our goal was to maintain aspects of a phone that are familiar to people, while dramatically simplifying the more complex actions. This created some interesting UX challenges, which often resulted in fairly large structural solutions for our service: defining the hierarchy of departments and groups, rules and settings for when numbers get rung, and a simplified pricing model, to name a few.

Why this project is worthy of a UX Award:

Today, work is a thing you do, not a place you go. We designed Switch to be a communication service with the way you work today in mind. Switch is a cloud-based platform with tools designed to give businesses a unified communications experience across every device.

The vision behind creating Switch is to evolve communications in the context of business, by blending modern VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) technology with legacy telephony networks. This causes quite a few very unique user experience and user education challenges. There are apps that are focused on messaging, and apps that are focused on calling other users of that service (peer-to-peer), but we designed Switch to consider other services that other people use for their work and created a tool that will augment their productivity, while simplifying their business suite. The scope of the service is quite large, but these are a few unique ways that Switch is changing the way we work.

Easy set up
It's now easier than ever to set up a phone system for your company. No wires, no dedicated hardware.

Company directory
Everyone can get in touch with each other whenever they need. Employee contact info spreadsheets are a thing of the past.

Set up your sales team with their own phone number. Have your customer support team up and running instantly.

Advanced call controls
We've made it easier to handle phone calls with advanced call controls. It's now easier to add people to the call or transfer them to other people in your company.

Smart Integrations
People work differently and use different services to collaborate. Learn about people who are calling you by seeing contacts you have in common (linkedin) or by seeing shared calendar events (google calendar), and more!

Seamless Transitions
Conversations with your contacts follow you on any device. You can even switch a call over to another device without interrupting it.

Submitted By: Switch

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