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Service Design (MA)

Zhiyuan Zheng

Since the pandemic, many companies have moved their work online and Employees are experiencing new challenges when working remotely. Blurred boundaries between work and life make it harder for employees to enter a working mood and stay focused on their tasks. Conversations with colleagues are limited to work and they miss the informal interactions that are needed for deep social connections. How might we help remote workers solve these daily challenges through design? 🤔

I am a service designer with a background in visual communication design and over 3 years of experience in UI/ UX design. My work experience includes working for a business consultancy, where I helped digitally transform traditional businesses, and working for an E-sports platform, where I was in charge of branding and website and app design.

Studying Service Design at the RCA has broadened my perspective and changed the way I see the world. It gave me the chance to leave my desk and get close to the user. It allowed me to plan and oversee projects from conception to delivery and be involved in high-level decision-making. As a result, I now strive to combine creative and systematic approaches to design services that can create real positive change for users.


The service

Pebble is a tailor-made virtual assistant that aims to serve companies with remote working needs and improve the lives of workers. Pebble promotes happiness and productivity in the workplace by helping employees build meaningful connections, switch between work modes to better manage their work and build healthy work habits.

Problems with remote work
What if we bring happiness in the workplace?
Different wellbeing personalities

Remote workers today are experiencing high levels of stress, longer working hours than usual, distraction at work due to blurred boundaries and a sense of isolation due to the nature of remote work. With such growing mental health concerns, employees' happiness has dropped dramatically during the pandemic when working from home in the UK.

Happiness at work is determined by the people you work with and the purpose you find in your work. It should come as no surprise that employees who enjoy an energetic and pleasant atmosphere among colleagues are happiest at work. In the age of rising concern about employee experience, here's why the happiness of employees should be a top priority: Happy employees are up to 12% more productive and are three times more creative than others. Engaged and happy employees improve business profitability by 147%.

Co- creation workshop with target users
Co- creation workshop with target users
The personalised Pebble
The personalised Pebble
Pebble- Main functions
The iteration of Pebbl
Integrations- Microsoft Team
Integrations- Microsoft Team
Integrations- Slack
Integrations- Slack
The impact of Pebble

Pebble creates various values for different stakeholders. It enables employees to have the focus time to do meaningful work; establish and maintain social connections with their peers. Pebble brings a healthier and productive team for team leaders and the company as a whole. Outside the organisations that directly use our service, Pebble partners with existing office collaboration tools and wellbeing programs to deliver the ultimate wellbeing-focused working environment.

A huge thanks to all the people who helped us on our project, whose participation made the whole working process really enjoyable. To our project partners, Elin Sjursen and Annie Woodall, for their continued support and kindness. To David Eveleigh-Evans, our personal tutor, for his professional guidance and for encouraging us to try out more possibilities.

Project Partner: VISA

In Collaboration with:

Amaan Khan

Jing Qian