Hackathon By BrainStation x Microsoft


Group Project


3 Days


UX Researcher, UI Designer

This is an online game but I'd like to take you through the process.

My team and I were given a topic, Working From Home. It was up to us had to find a problem and a solution for it.

During the first phase of the hackathon we chose to focus on the difficulties of employees who feel disconnected from their peers at work.

Game Interface

Problem Space

As we begun the research we found that this is primarily due to them missing out on key opportunities for social interaction with colleagues.

According to a Huffington Post article, "For some people, working from home may add risk to their mental health because it causes feeling of isolation and disconnection”


Jared Pataki

  • Works remotely for a Vancouver-based company

  • Places much importance on having strong interpersonal relationships at work

  • Feels excluded and forgotten by those at HQ

  • Lacks a comfortable means to put himself out there towards people outside of his team

How Might We...

HMW make it easier for remote workers to socialize with their colleagues and leaders so that they can feel more strongly integrated within their employer’s culture?

Solution + Key Insights

As a team, we decided on gamification, and after conducting research the key insights we found are:

  • Enabling communication and shared identity between geographically dispersed colleagues greatly increases their feelings of proximity to one another.

  • Games often provide a safe space to those suffering from social anxiety by giving them more control over how they communicate with others.

  • Games foster a positive work atmosphere by encouraging staff to get to know and appreciate each other.

Ideation + Inspiration

The solution design was based on games like Sims, Animal Crossing, and Habbo Hotel

Design & Development

We used Zeplin for hand-offs of the design assets to the web development team.

Interactive Design

The features we wanted to highlight:

Bump into co-workers

  • Employees can roam their virtual office and have lighthearted interactions with their colleagues.

Keep up with workplace events

  • They can stay connected with real-life work activities and milestones, without fear of missing out.

Earn rewards

  • They can earn points to upgrade their in-game avatars and cubicles simply by interacting with each other.

Solution – Dashboard

In-Game Integration

  • Employees can access engagement and satisfaction surveys through the game’s virtual bulletin board and earn points for completion.

Talent Analytics

  • Survey responses generate insights on whether or not remote employees feel productive and connected to their organization.

Dashboard for productivity and connection to organization

Virtual bulletin board to see events and surveys

Survey from the bulletin board

Value Proposition

User (Employee) Value

  • Expand social and professional networks (at work)

  • Feel connected with HQ staff and activities

  • Improve overall job performance (through reduced social stress)

  • Have fun on the job!

Business Value

  • Increase overall employee engagement

  • Promote organizational culture across the globe

  • Unlock insights on job satisfaction

  • Reduce occurrences of counterproductive work behaviour

Next Steps

Prototype Run-Through

Thank You For Taking The Time!

If you'd like to check out the game click the link below:

VirtuOffice Game

Project Repo for Remote Employee Satisfaction:


UX Designers:

Joseph Baroud

Marc Tessier

Data Science Team:

Angel Phanthanourak

Tom Keith

Web Developers:

Rajat Bansal

Balkirat Singh

Laith Harb

If you’d like to get into contact with me: