The user experience (UX) team is trying out some different collaboration ideas. Until now, we've had separate offices or cubicles. But we are lucky enough to have secured a large conference room in Building 5 of Westford, Mass to be our new UX team conference room. As you can see from the picture below, we've set up tables and phones, and several of us have decided to "live together" in the room. This includes members of the Notes, Connections, and Sametime UX teams. We also have several team members who work at home, but they have committed to coming to the UX conference room on Tuesdays.
The purpose of this experiment is to foster more opportunistic collaboration among the team-- not just the design team, either. Now that development and QE know that the UX team is together in one spot, they are starting to drop by more often with questions and comments. (The fact that the "candy basket" is there might also help the drop-in rate...).
At one end of the room is a conference table, and we now have a dedicated space for all design meetings. Having a large, locked conference room also means we can put designs and ideas on the wall and "walk thru them" with developmers, writers, QE (and vice presidents and directors...). IBM security policy does not allow leaving such things up on a cube wall.
We've also got some CSCW-type ideas for uniting us more closely with remote team members (mainly, the Quickr team in Raleigh, and Joe Scherpa from the Sametime team in Colorado). They include persistent chats, persistent online meetings, and/or persistent audio connections.
Of course, as you can see from the picture below, we also brought in Betty, Samantha, and Ted to remind us who we are designing for.
(And just in case you were worried, we know we are not designing for the Yellow warbler that is also in the picture below. But it's cute and it warbles when you squeeze it...we need a LITTLE fun....)