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Creative collaboration with Mark and Meera

By 21st September 2018 February 6th, 2019 No Comments

We are a team of hard-working creative types, most of whom are more than happy to share their opinions on anything from the colour of our logo to the name of our next animated character. 

Imagine the fun when we decided we needed a female “Mark”.  We love Mark, he walks our customers through concepts in our videos, and hosts them through their change journey. He is the familiar and friendly face that our customers come to recognise across the range of support materials we give them, but there are times when a bearded, middle aged white guy is just not suitable.   

A new character was needed. We decided ‘she’ should be the opposite of Mark, so the brief to one of our clever in-house designers was: young, female, not white and lose the beard. 

First was the discussion around what she should be called, and after much debate, we settled on Meera (after Meera Syal, a particularly favourite actor). 

Next comes the creative process.  Our designer started quietly and, when he had something to share, he let us all see what he was working on.  As you might expect, there were comments coming from 6 or 8 individuals “can she have eyelashes”, “we need to change her clothes”, “her neck is too long” etc. 

Every now and again, a new image was shared.  More comments such as “that’s much better, but I don’t like that neckline” and “her boobs need to be the same size”! 

Gradually, Meera became more realistic, she began to look like a fully-fledged member of the team.  Perfect. 

Now, you might be imagining us all sitting in an office and being called in whenever a new version was ready, or files being emailed around and someone monitoring and tracking all the comments – lots of work and lots of emails.   

Actually, none of it – all of this was done in Microsoft Teams, with team members in all locations; some working from home, some in cafes, some on trains.  Eight people were involved in this activity, and over 40 comments shared.  That would have been up to 40 emails each, 12 of which included images – potentially 320 emails!  Not only that, but all that to-ing and fro-ing would have taken days, with one person (in addition to the designer) dedicated to collating comments and managing conflicts. 

Microsoft Teams enabled us to collaborate in real time, wherever we were, alongside whatever else we were doing, meaning this whole collaboration process took just one afternoon, and resulted in a new team-member.