Tatiana Losev, Sarah Storteboom, Sheelagh Carpendale, and Søren Knudsen
We reflect on our experiences as designers of COVID-19 data visualizations working in a distributed synchronous design space during the pandemic. This is especially relevant as the pandemic posed new challenges to distributed collaboration amidst civic lockdown measures and an increased dependency on spatially distributed teamwork across almost all sectors. Working from home being’the new normal’, we explored potential solutions for collaborating and prototyping remotely from our own homes using the existing tools at our disposal. Since members of our cross-disciplinary team had different technical skills, we used a range of synchronous remote design tools and methods. We aimed to preserve the richness of co-located collaboration such as face-to-face physical presence, body gestures, facial expressions, and the making and sharing of physical artifacts. While meeting over Zoom, we sketched on paper and used digital collaboration tools, such as Miro and Google Docs. Using an auto-ethnographic approach, we articulate our challenges and strategies throughout the process, providing useful insights about synchronous distributed collaboration.