Jemma Kwak
Olark x Berkeley Innovation
Redesigning the remote feedback system.
2018 - Product Design - Design Thinking
View the Process
Through Berkeley Innovation in the Spring 2018 semester, I worked on a redesign of Olark's internal employee feedback system. I worked with David Aguilar
, Kirra Dickinson
, and Erika Jin
on this project. We were mentored by Kathleen Hsu

is a live chat software system aimed at making businesses human again by supporting their client’s live chats with sales, marketing, and customer support. The caveat? They all work remotely! Our team collaborated with Olark’s Director of People Ops and Director of Product Design to redesign their feedback evaluation system.
The Problem
Previously, the evaluation process occured on an annual basis. Their Google Form format was reported to be lengthy, tedious, and cumbersome. In a remote-first work setting, how do employees accurately gauge their work performance from their team members and manager?
Opportunity Areas
The scope of the project was to explore the needs of Olark employees in order to design an evaluation system that would elicit constructive feedback in a seamless manner. Areas we wanted to investigate: frequency of feedback, questions to include, and medium for giving and receiving feedback.
User Research
We conducted extensive research in order to better understand the experiences and needs of Olark’s employees by engaging in a variety of research methods:
  1. Desktop Research
    - We familiarized ourselves with best practices regarding feedback design. We explored systems of feedback from other remote-based companies.
  2. Internal Interviews
    - We conducted internal interviews with 12 Olark employees to better understand their experiences within the company and filling out evaluations.
  3. External Interviews
    - To gain further insights into remote working conditions, we interviewed three employees from different remote companies.
Whiteboarding high-level insights with my team.
Research Insights
Key Insights
User Pain Points
My team members and I consolidating and grouping user research.
Identifying Key User Needs
We then identified three key needs of Olark employees that we wanted to make sure to address in our solution.
  1. Achievement - Olarkers need to feel accomplished and look back at the end of the day and be proud of and happy with their work.
  2. Progress + Personal Development - Olarkers want to know that they’re improving as employees and are on the right track for what’s next.
  3. Affiliation - Olarkers thrive on a sense of belonging to the company and others.
Defining User Personas
Three consolidated user personas.
Journey Mapping
In order to best design for the needs of multiple employees, we created a journey map to visualize the feedback journey from start to finish. We noted the actions employees might take, emotions that might arise, and pain points.
Journey mapping the current user experience.
Low Fidelity Sketches
Brainstorm ideas for a new evaluation system that address the key needs of Olark’s employees
Rapid ideation session, Figure 8
Initial Ideas
Low-fidelity sketches and rapid ideation.
Mid Fidelity Prototyping
Create a dashboard for Olarks evaluation system that would address their three key needs
Mid-fidelity mockups.
Usability Testing
Throughout usability testing, a few key roadblocks became apparent: We used this feedback to quickly pivot in the right direction and continued iterating on our designs.
High Fidelity Mockups
Feel free to play with our interactive prototype
Designing as a Team
Prior to joining BI, all of my design projects had been self-directed. The majority of my work was done by myself. It was a challenging transition to designing within a group setting. I definitely learned how to better take criticism and iterate as a team with multiple views and stakeholders.
This project was in collaboration with Berkeley students David Aguilar, Kirra Dickinson, and Erika Jin. Thank you to our wonderful mentor, Kathleen Hsu! Additionally, a huge thank you to the incredibly positive and warm folks at Olark for their constant support and feedback throughout our design process. This was my very first semester in Berkeley Innovation, and I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to learn and grow as a designer.
Up Next