A virtual web-based co-working space for creative freelancers
Project: C Space
Type: Design Research, UI/UX
Team: Shin Young Park, Yuko Kanai, Ted Scoufis
Role: Strategist and UX designer
- My main contributions were coming up with an initial concept based on our research/designing digital spaces and user experiences. I also participated in interviewing users, synthesis and user testing.
Creative freelancers usually don’t interact with people when working and thus do not have chances to get feedback and further develop their projects.
Most creative freelancers do not attend industry conventions and software workshops, since companies do not pay for freelancers. By not taking part in those events, they miss opportunities to find work and keep up with industry trends.
Creative freelancers are reluctant to ask for help when using software programs even when they have the chance, because they believe companies expect them to already have high skillsets.
C Space is a virtual web-based co-working space aimed at helping creative freelancers surmount the challenges of independent work through community building. Users can move around different spaces according to their needs and interact with freelancers using their avatars. They can build hard skills by getting feedback and sharing skills with other freelancers and develop soft skills by communicating/networking.
Spaces can be created by individual users, communities wanting to hold conventions, software companies wanting to have a space for interacting with users, and so on. Chat-room/screen-share/project-share features facilitate skill/feedback sharing and general interactions. In the co-working setting, speech bubbles show what users are working on. The blue color means it is okay to approach the user, while the gray color means it is not okay to do so.
1. Co-working Space (Share feedback)
C Space provides general workspaces where individual freelancers can work in an online co-working space. Users get suggestions on groups they can join according to their field of work and interests. Each group’s co-working space contains a gallery where users can post their work and give feedback to each other.
2. Company Space (Share skills)
Software companies can also create their own spaces and use them to interact with freelancers who use their software. It is an opportunity for them to easily find out users’ pain points and needs. Users can share skills with other users who are using the same software and ask questions directly to the company.
3. Convention Space (Network)
C Space is a good option for communities who want to hold conventions and events. By taking part in conventions and events, users can build networks with other users, which can lead to finding work.
Freelance UX Designer
”Asking people at work is difficult because I am worried I might be judged.'‘
”Doing freelance work, you have to be a psychic.”
Freelance Packaging Designer
”The company set a wall between freelancers and non-freelancers”
Freelance Creative Technologist
”Every job can be a business job to the next job.”
Freelance Industrial Designer
”You don’t always know what you need to know.”
Independent learning is not isolated
Interpersonal skills are more durable and transferrable skills than hard skills
Creative freelancers maintain an expert appearance by using online training to rapidly fill knowledge gaps
Creative freelancers need encouragement and assistance to get through the learning curve when developing new skills
How Might We Questions
How might we celebrate community building through skill sharing?
How might we engage the larger community of creative professionals to contribute to the enrichment of others?
How might we create tools for interactivity between users and learning resources?
Through competitive analysis, the team noticed that no platform had three specific aspects (learning, networking, and feedback exchange), even though these are all related. Thus, the opportunity area became clear.