One Talk connects your office and mobile devices with one number. It is a multi-line solution that works in an office, on the go, and remotely. Your telephone number is shared across multiple devices, giving you access to calls and business telephone features on any of your devices, including smartphones, tablets, and One Talk deskphones.
The core customers at launch were small-to-medium sized businesses that need mobile calling solutions (e.g. architecture firms, real estate agencies, hotels, limousines, car dealerships). Enterprise support will be accommodated in a future release.
I partnered with the strategy and insights lead while leading a group of product designers. When I joined the team there was an existing product concept, initial wireframes and designs.
Together we refined the existing handset and deskphone designs while simplifying the business calling functions (e.g. call transfer, call merge, conference calls) based on early user input, rebranded the product, and worked with internal Verizon teams to integrate a setup and management admin portal into existing Verizon customer portals. Some of my team focused on a specific OS (iOS, Android, Yeahlink) while I helped us maintain the vision across the entire ecosystem.
Our team worked with internal technical and product management teams, in addition to third-party vendors who had separate duties separated by client, handset/tablet and deskphone.
The marketing team created these videos to highlight the key features we created for One Talk.
Verizon product with OS Native Elements
Because One Talk is a product that is added to existing Verizon business accounts, long-term plans to migrate the OTT (over-the-top) Apps to native dialer integration with additional buttons/functionality, and with minimal usability testing before launch, the team decided to take the approach of designing each of the clients to leverage native OS treatment for a lot of the calling functions. The apps were wrapped in light Verizon branding.
The deskphone was developed by a third-party partner, Yeahlink. It was based on an existing white label OS with select Verizon brand updates. There were three tiers of desk phones at launch ranging from a small screen, hard-key only model to a large screen soft-key (touch screen), video capable model. Because the interface was limited we did not focus a lot of our time here.
We decided to focus the majority of our design effort on features in the product that do not currently exist in the native dialer environments. Those features include call merging and transferring, conference calling, and a unified call/message log.
Even though the One Talk MVP (minimum viable product) was focused on reproducing deskphone functionality across handset and tablet clients, we were excited by the possibility when not limited to the deskphone hard keys. A couple of team members had the idea of a dragging and dropping to merge calls.
It’s a common interaction elegantly applied to business calling. Patent pending.
Usability tests found that people loved the action, but needed a little education and some more visual feedback. I worked with the team to polish it. We worked through a notification system for introducing new features (fig 1.1) that could be displayed the first couple of times a new feature is available and then dismissed (fig 1.2). In the future, through a/b testing, we would like to find the optimal number of times to display it.
Enhanced conference calling
Conference calling was another area ripe for improvement. Most tethered business calling solutions don’t make conference calls easy to start or manage. Because of technology driving the One Talk product a bridge isn’t needed, but conference calls are limited to 6 total attendees (including the host).
We explored several directions that we narrowed down for a usability test (fig 2.1-3). Our initial explorations relied on overlay treatments to see names, drop a participant, or send a message. The conference details being hidden were not well received. We did find that users really liked the way our connected concept (fig 2.3) felt. In revisiting it, I felt we should try to bring in some of the simplicity we had with merge to reduce the extra details screen.
As we talked through different ways to simplify, it became apparent that in all of our current directions, any dragging would result in the need to drag over other elements. That conversation led to the semi-circle approach we landed on and allowed for a clean single-screen interface.
Unified call/message log
In iOS and Android OSs there are separate apps for calls/voicemail and messaging. The initial One Talk designs explored unifying the call and message logs. The team explored a couple of different ways this could be accomplished. One of the initial directions went through usability testing and was well received.
After a couple of rounds of revisions we came to a solution we were all comfortable with (fig. 4.1-4) and then the vendor developing the OTT Apps said it would be too difficult to implement in time for launch. For launch a simple tab was added that separates calls and messages.
This is a feature I really wanted to get into the launch. I believe that business customers first want to see missed communications (format agnostic), then the type of communication, and then decide the method of response. More research is needed to determine if that hypothesis holds true and the value it would hold for our customers.