Creating team unity open dialogue shared values, and make new
rules based on consensus








Miro Board



UI Design


Boundry's plan for teams
and their social contracts

Boundry's plan for teams and their social contracts

Boundry's plan for teams and their social contracts

Boundary is a tool designed by our team to assist teams

in understanding their boundaries and establishing new social contracts at work. The project was led by the Product Design team over a period of 3 weeks and involved collaboration from Lillian Wyse, Ricco Lesmana, Oscar Kamau, and Tamino Lokenberg.

Our team used the shape methodology created by Alejandro Masferrer (TryTriggers founder) to develop a tool with the aim

to establish team cohesion and clarify values by introducing team members, discussing values, addressing potential conflicts through open dialogue, observing and balancing team rules, and ultimately creating consensus-based team rules

The criteria we used

Step 1: Introduce team members, share personal information

and discuss value cards. This step aims to establish familiarity among team members, encourage open communication

and lay the groundwork for discussing values and boundaries.

Step 2: Ask engaging questions, address conflicts, and encourage team discussion. This step involves stimulating meaningful conversations by asking thought-provoking questions, resolving conflicts through open dialogue, and fostering a collaborative atmosphere within the team.

Step 3: Place current and desired team rules on a scale, engage

in open dialogue to understand perspectives. In this step, team members evaluate existing team rules and practices, express their preferences for desired rules, and engage in open discussions to gain insights into different perspectives and values.

Step 4: Identify the most important value cards and create consensus-based team rules. The final step involves prioritizing

the most significant values identified during discussions and collaboratively creating team rules based on consensus, ensuring alignment with the team's shared values and goals.

The rules we set for ourselves

We prefer feedback directly and with potential solutions. We encourage open and constructive feedback within our team. When providing feedback, we emphasize offering solutions or suggestions for improvement to foster a proactive and collaborative environment.

If one of us works remote, we all meet digitally for smoother meetings. To ensure inclusivity and seamless communication, especially when team members are working remotely, we commit

to holding all meetings digitally. This practice promotes equal participation and avoids any communication gaps.

Remaining open-minded to critique and comfortable saying no.

We value diverse perspectives and constructive criticism. Being open-minded allows us to consider different viewpoints and improve our work. Additionally, we encourage team members to express their boundaries and say "no" when necessary, fostering a culture

of respect and transparency.

Addressing issues without being impersonal. When addressing challenges or conflicts, we prioritize maintaining personal connections and respect. We aim to address issues directly

and respectfully, focusing on finding solutions collaboratively rather than assigning blame or being impersonal.

Practice emotional literacy in a safe environment.

Emotions are a natural part of teamwork, and we recognize

the importance of emotional intelligence. We create a safe

and supportive environment where team members can express

their feelings, thoughts, and concerns openly. Practicing emotional literacy helps us understand and manage emotions effectively

leading to healthier communication and relationships within the team

Creating a product based on
user centered design (UCD)

Understanding Team Dynamics. The foundation of UCD in the Boundary project began with a deep understanding of team dynamics and the challenges teams face in establishing boundaries and social contracts. By conducting research and empathizing with the experiences of various teams, we identified common pain points such as communication gaps, conflicts, and the need for clearer rules and expectations.

Iterative Design Process. UCD principles guided the iterative design process of Boundary. We started with conceptualizing the tool's features and functionalities based on user needs. Through prototyping and testing, we gathered feedback from teams and iteratively refined the tool to ensure it effectively addressed the complexities of team interactions and boundary setting.

User Feedback Integration. User feedback was integral to the evolution of Boundary. During user testing phases, teams provided valuable insights into the usability, effectiveness, and user experience of the tool. This feedback loop allowed us to make data-informed decisions and implement changes that improved usability, clarified instructions, and enhanced overall user satisfaction.

Focus on Usability and Accessibility. UCD principles guided our focus on creating a user-friendly and accessible tool. We prioritized clear communication, intuitive navigation, and inclusive design to ensure that Boundary was accessible to teams with varying levels of experience and expertise. Features like the icebreaker activity were included to create a welcoming and engaging user experience from the outset.

Empowering Teams. The ultimate goal of UCD in the Boundary project was to empower teams to navigate their boundaries and establish new social contracts effectively. By incorporating features that facilitated open dialogue, conflict resolution, and consensus-building, Boundary provided teams with a structured yet flexible framework to collaboratively define and reinforce their working norms and values.

Meet our user

Sarah Thompson is a skilled and experienced product manager working for a technology startup. She has been with the company for a year and is responsible for leading a cross-functional product team, including developers, designers, and marketers. The team is currently in the early stages of the five dysfunctional stages of teamwork.

Uncovering trust issues
in Sarah Thompson's team

Uncovering trust issues in Sarah Thompson's team

Uncovering trust issues in Sarah Thompson's team

Sarah's team is situated in the first stage of the five dysfunctions of a team, which is the Absence of Trust. This stage is characterized by a lack of trust among team members, which serves as the foundation for successful teamwork. Without trust, team members struggle to be vulnerable, share ideas openly, and admit mistakes. This lack of trust creates an environment where individuals prioritize self-preservation, engage in office politics, and hinder collaboration.

Team members may hesitate to share their perspectives or innovative ideas due to fear of judgment or criticism. This reluctance to be vulnerable can stifle creativity and innovation within the team. Additionally, the absence of trust may lead to a lack of transparency and honesty, as team members may withhold information or avoid addressing issues openly.

In an environment characterized by a lack of trust, conflicts may escalate unnecessarily, as team members may not feel comfortable addressing issues directly and openly. This can result in unresolved tensions, decreased morale, and ultimately impact the team's overall performance and productivity.

By contextualizing Sarah's team within the Absence of Trust stage, it underscores the importance of tools like Boundary in addressing these challenges. Boundary's focus on fostering open dialogue, addressing conflicts constructively, and establishing clear boundaries and social contracts can help Sarah's team build trust, improve communication, and enhance collaboration, ultimately leading to a more cohesive and effective team dynamic.

We tested Boundry on our university faculty as they shared the same challenges as Sarah's team

We tested Boundry on our university faculty
as they shared the same challenges as Sarah's team

We tested Boundry on our university faculty
as they shared the same challenges as Sarah's team

We tested our product on a team of seven that has worked together for more than six months, with some newer team members recently on board. In our user testing at Harbour Space University, which mirrors the team dysfunction experienced by Sarah Thompson's team, we gained invaluable insights into enhancing Boundary's impact on faculty cohesion. The testing involved seven faculty members, aligning with Sarah's challenges in leading a team through the absence of trust. The findings underscored the tool's role in bridging trust gaps and fostering collaboration among faculty members.

We discovered that balancing instruction specificity and providing clear guidelines were instrumental in preventing user frustration and promoting creativity. Simplifying complex actions reduced cognitive load, enhancing faculty members' engagement and productivity. Incorporating an icebreaker activity facilitated a smoother transition into using the tool and encouraged meaningful interactions.

Prioritizing values exploration empowered faculty to make informed decisions, contributing to a more cohesive and aligned team dynamic. Overall, the user testing emphasized how Boundary's thoughtful design and user-centered approach helped cultivate a stronger sense of cohesion and collaboration within our faculty at Harbour Space University

Our test findings and iterative changes

Our user testing uncovered critical insights into refining Boundary for optimal use among Harbour Space University faculty. We noted that overly specific instructions limited creativity and flexibility, leading us to recalibrate the balance between specificity and adaptability in our guidance. Additionally, vague instructions caused confusion, prompting us to overhaul our approach to provide clear, concise instructions devoid of technical jargon.

Users also encountered cognitive overload due to complex actions, which prompted us to streamline processes for a more seamless user experience. Responding to participants' suggestions, we introduced an icebreaker activity to ease tool adoption and foster a welcoming environment, while also prioritizing values exploration within the tool to empower faculty members in making informed decisions that align with Harbour Space's mission.

These iterative changes were pivotal in enhancing cohesion and collaboration among our faculty members. By addressing the nuances of instruction clarity, action complexity, and user engagement through icebreaker activities and values-driven decision-making, Boundary evolved into a tool that not only facilitates efficient workflows but also cultivates a shared sense of purpose and alignment with Harbour Space University's mission and values.

Based on our testing
here is our final prototype

Based on our testing here is our final prototype

Based on our testing here is our final prototype

Following extensive testing and user feedback, here is our final prototype. This iteration embodies a harmonious blend of specificity and flexibility in instructions, delivering clear and concise guidance while simplifying actions to reduce cognitive load. With the addition of an integrated icebreaker feature, transitioning into the tool becomes seamless, fostering a welcoming user experience. Moreover, our emphasis on values exploration empowers users to make informed decisions that align with their mission and goals. These enhancements mark a significant step forward in enhancing cohesion and collaboration among our faculty members through Boundary.

Our key take aways

The key takeaways from our journey with Boundary are rooted in the power of user-centered design and iterative improvement. Our testing and feedback loops highlighted the importance of finding the right balance in instruction clarity, simplifying complex actions, and incorporating engaging elements like icebreakers. By prioritizing values exploration, we've not only empowered users to make informed decisions but also strengthened the alignment with our institution's mission and values. These key insights have not only enhanced the functionality of Boundary but also deepened the sense of cohesion and collaboration among our faculty members at Harbour Space University.

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