WeWork designs and leases incredible workspaces. Behind the scenes, it's a complex production operating a global portfolio of workspaces — and off-the-shelf products don't do what WeWork needs them to do, so they build their own tools. Their product suite tackles everything from building and managing hundreds of workspaces worldwide to content managing their website(s) to staff and member management.
Due to the high-speed a startup like WeWork needed to move, each of these products had very different codebases and designs. The suite needed unifying as a brand, streamlining for efficiency, maintainability, and scalability, and a user experience overhaul to improve the efficiency in which the business was operated!
My initial task was to create a design system that would drive this product suite. You can read an article on my process for creating this design system or view a case study. Of course, the design system needed to be highly versatile to account for so many products, so I partnered with product managers and engineers on each product's team to do explorative redesigns of their existing products. This involved learning what each product's goals were, gaining insights into their problem areas, and figuring out what areas to focus on. This process of design exploration led to patterns emerging, which in parallel with creating and documenting a design system, created blueprints for how each product could be redesigned and built. The individual product teams would then be responsible for applying this product thinking and design system to the full breadth of their products.
System design lead
Lead product designer
2016 - 2017
These screens show a progression of how the design changed over time. I explored a wide range of visual solutions. In the early stages, I kept the designs loose and creative, experimenting with different layouts. Some were more practical than others, but it all helped to guide a path forward.
WeWork's brand is vibrant and fun. Their internal suite of products is largely data-driven, which doesn't traditionally leave much room for creativity. While business products should be optimised for speed and efficiency, it would be off-brand for these products to be too character-less. So I tried to be creative with elements like simple dialogs (below) and scenarios like log in screens.
A good deal of the product suite's scenarios involved tables and filtering. The table patterns were designed to be highly flexible and modular, to account for a wide array of product scenarios — from simple tables shown above to tables containing large amounts of data.
One product in the suite enabled the user to generate bespoke reports. Product and strategy teams could use these reports to guide user experience and business objectives. The bespoke nature of this product opened up all sorts of possibilities to be creative — so I explored a visual and original product experience using the same design system elements and incorporating data viz.