Usability and UX redesign of an office telephone

‘Usability and User experience Assessment in Design’ | team of 6 | 2015 | Design for Interaction | Delft University of Technology

We started the project by doing a market, context and product research. Several methods were used: Interviews, co-creation sessions and walk through tests while participants were performing tasks with the original model of the office phone Ploycom X500.

Too many functionalities lead to poor user experience

Office workers need to be able to efficiently make calls, set up conferences and manage their contacts with their professional office phone. Our research has shown that they tend to make many mistakes using it, or don’t even try to access all functionalities. As a result the experience is poor, users feel unconfident and not in control.

Giving overview and use cues for intuitive control

We decided that the redesigned phone should be an easy to use tool, that supports office workers in their daily communication. It should give direct feedback and use cues, which will have a good impact on the user’s feeling of control, overview and performance efficiency – especially for the conference and transfer features.

During the ideation phase we did wireframing and quick cardboard models as well as click-able screen prototypes on an iPad – to develop our ideas further. Three design variations were tested with office employees.

Original model of the Ploycom X500

On the basis of well defined requirements, one concept combination of hardware and interface redesign was selected for further embodiment. The chosen phone concept has a flexible stand & a clearly structured interface for good overview.

Final Redesign

A smooth and professional look and feel, combined with an clear interface lets office employees perform key tasks more effortlessly.

The front panel of the phone is made out of a metal sheet that is bent in it’s smooth shape. The black plastic body is hidden behind the metal front subtly. The wide touchscreen is integrated seamlessly next to the physical home- and back-button. The speaker slots are laser cut and the dial buttons are engraved into the surface. A sleek wireless horn enables mobile use.

Paper- and screen mock-ups

Our user tests showed that the interface design lets people set up conference calls more easily via gesture control and also transferring a call to a colleague is more intuitive than ever.