Re-envisioning the future of Viva's daily email
Kristen, Product Designer II
Raul, Sr. Product Designer
Sergio, Principal Product Design Manager
Dan, Principal PM
Executive Vice President of organization;
CVPs of Viva Insights, Viva Horizontals
Microsoft's Viva daily briefing email is designed to help employees organize and prepare for their day. Viva uses Microsoft's Machine Learning to analyze users' upcoming meetings, tasks, and more to provide insights on work patterns and how to improve wellness and productivity. Viva email includes daily and digest (monthly) emails.
Viva Email is the most used experience in the Viva suite today. However, it is not yet effective in driving usage and adoption of the rest of Viva. Given Viva’s ambitious business goals as well as the major customer pull on the Viva promise of helping every person in an organization connect, engage, learn, and grow, the v-team I was apart of conducted an exercise to “completely re-imagine” what the Viva Email could be if it were exclusively focused on delivering on this promise.
If the Viva Email is redesigned to be a top-of-funnel experience for the Viva suite, rather than as a product destination, this would maximize engagement with the Viva Email and with other products in the Viva suite.
Current-State Viva Email
Acquire new Viva
Re-engage existing users to make Viva a habit
Maximize discoverability and engagement with other Viva products
To kick-off our redesign process, our v-team spent 2 weeks in a Figjam to understand the current-state version of the Viva Email (included daily and monthly emails) as well as customer, business, and technical pain points. We also defined the purpose, design principles, design goals, user roles, and email types for the redesigned Viva Email experience.
We then mapped our jobs to be done framework to our user roles, event triggers, Viva product touch points, and email types. This helped us create a narrative timeline for each user role from first use of Viva (first run experience) to one year of use. In collaboration with our PM partner, we then narrowed down our narrative timeline to define key visual events for our designs.
Based on the product goals to acquire new users and reengage existing ones, we developed a set of design goals to guide our ideations.
Re-imagine Viva Email as a top-of-funnel experience that highlights the value of the Viva suite
Satisfy and support user needs, delivering content when or before they need it
Increase focus to specific actions and tasks when users need it
Highlight defining moments through recognition, support, and well-being
Our design principles defined our approach to the Viva Email redesign and kept us focused on our users and the problems we were solving for.
User roles were defined by our Product partners from previous research into the Viva email space and customers. The user roles we solved for touched on many levels within a company:
Restructuring the Viva Email
With the current-state Viva Email, users felt overwhelmed at the amount of emails they received (both daily and monthly reflection emails) and also didn't understand how the information within the email was actionable or relevant to them. Overall, it wasn't helpful to their work flows.
How might we reduce email overwhelm but provide targeted,
focused, and actionable emails for Viva users?
We redefined the types of emails that users received, based on frequency, content, and user roles. Email types included: daily task-based, weekly planner, monthly reflection, and content discovery.
Jobs To Be Done Mapping
Once we defined our user roles and email structure, we mapped the Jobs To Be Done (JTBD) across user roles and to individual event triggers, email types, and related Viva products. This helped us show our stakeholders how much opportunity there was with the Viva email to bring users into the Viva suite, which was a key business goal.
Key Visual Events
After mapping the JTBD on a timeline for each user role (from first use to one year of use), our stakeholders helped us scope it down to key visual events that we could ideate on and use in storytelling with leadership and other stakeholders.
I grabbed screenshots from across the Viva suite to help me envision what parts of Viva and Microsoft personalities I could incorporate into my designs - like emojis, gradients, and motion. I felt these represented the Viva suite personality and helped me bring in delight factors, which are important in celebrating key moments in the employee lifecycle journey (i.e. promotions, work anniversaries).
I also wanted to push the bounds of email by breaking free of the typical card structure and making the email more interactive.
Individually, we explored initial concepts for the Viva Email redesign that mapped to the key visual events. We then combined our directions into one user flow and continued to iterate through several rounds based on stakeholder feedback.
Concepts focused on content layout and organization, visual treatments, and points of discoverability and engagement across the Viva suite of products.
My initial concepts
Round 2 concepts
Round 3 concepts
While we explored email layouts and visual treatments, I did a deep dive into the many ways to organize content organization for each of the Viva Email types. I wanted to explore what content type was most important for users to see at the top of each email and how to organize content to reduce overwhelm. How could we surface the most relevant, timeline, and actionable content?
Within each email type, I organized content first by the type of Viva app the content was related to (i.e. Insights, Culture, Learning, etc.) and then on the importance of the content. Across the email types, content was ordered in this way: 1) reflection content, 2) action items and 3) discovery content. I then explored treatments for visual hierarchy.
05 Design Pivot
Revised Content Organization
At this point in the project, we received feedback from our Product partners and stakeholders that the Viva Email should include content from across M365 that's relevant and timely for users. This would ideally keep them in the flow of work and connected to other experiences across M365, with the goal of keeping employees connected and engaged with their team, org, and company.
We conducted an audit of M365 feed content and card structure to understand which content may surface in the Viva Email alongside content from Viva products and realized that combining both types of content would change the way content was organized in the Viva Email.
Below were the options for combining and organizing Viva and M365 content. At first, we thought that surfacing Viva content would be most important, because the Viva Email is a top-of-funnel experience into the Viva suite. However, feedback from our Product partners led us to mix both types of content and place the employee at the center of the experience --- we chose option 3.
Designing for Edge Cases
Once we had the updated content structure in place, we thought about edge cases across users' timelines and Viva usage, from 5% Viva content to 85% Viva content. As users utilize Viva products more, their Viva Email would learn and grow with them, eventually surfacing more Viva content than M365 content.
06 Final Designs
People Manager Flows
During our project, we scoped down to design flows for two user roles - the People Manager and the Independent Contributor. These roles spanned different levels of the organization and also touched on JTBD for the Organization Leader. Below are the final designs for the People Manager.
Contributed to foundational discovery deliverables for the Viva Email experience, which led to the restructuring of email and content types as well as content organization. Ideated to create concepts that highlight the Viva suite as a top-of-funnel experience and engage users with M365.
Designed and prototyped screens detailed Viva Email flows for the People Manager and Independent Contributor user roles that can be applied all user roles at a company.
This project restructured and reimagined the Viva Email experience, repositioning it as a top-of-funnel experience that introduces and inspires users to engage with the Viva suite of products. As an entry point to the Viva suite, the Viva Email has an average 36m monthly active users that will be introduced to the content that's most relevant, timely, actionable, and meaningful for them, helping them feel engaged, connected, and productive at every moment of their employee journey.
As this project focused on vision work, project deliverables were shared with Microsoft leadership to help reshape the future of Viva Email.