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Koan

Company stage
Late stage, Private

Design lead
2019

In Zen practice, a koan (/ˈkōän/) is a riddle or paradox that, once meditated upon, leads to enlightenment. An empowering analogy for managing teams, Koan helps organizations pass along enlightenment through the practice of reflection. And with consistent practice, small positive behaviors, done consistently, yield enormous results. Employee alignment and engagement remains a top challenge for almost every organization. With the shift to remote work, communication gets siloed, priorities shift and information gets lost in the daily spreadsheet shuffle. Koan enables teams to align and engage through the power of habit, keeping everyone connected to the mission and focused on achieving their most critical goals.

Early exploration

Since Koan was trying to drastically rethink the approach to OKRs, we agreed to get some do visual explorations much earlier in the project than was typical. I often don't get the chance to do this, but I prefer this to the more traditional Scope > Wireframes > Visuals because it helps get everyone more excited early on and has them brewing up ideas for execution long before we're ready to start exploring visuals.

Set your goals

More traditional workflows were used when exploring the goal creation sections of the product. We aimed for speed above all else. Employees and managers needed to be able to quickly scope out new objectives and key results, while also being able to later expand upon them directly in context.

Mirror, mirror

Koan wanted a few different approaches to their core user experience and some radical new ideas for their Reflections—weekly recaps that employees would fill out to update their goals and key metrics. The results were a variety of concepts aimed at keeping employees engaged and on their toes when it came to filling out their weekly reports.

It was fun drawing these surreal landscape elements in Procreate and I wish I could use it for every project.

Wednesday Guy? Huge hit. Here's hoping he makes a return in a future project.