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2015–2016 Spacetime by Planetary

Sharing work hours across time zones.

Spacetime is a tool for remote teams. It visualizes and translates time zones to make coordinating easier, and brings teams closer together.

The problem: Working on a fully remote team at Planetary meant that we were constantly juggling time zones, trying to keep track of who’s at work and when. We also missed a lot of the water-cooler conversations that build empathy in traditional offices.

The solution: Build a tool that shows each team member’s workday and compares overlapping hours. Additionally, include some location specific details to help understand the context of everyone else’s day.

Initial prototypes show the value of the layout. Each teammate’s working day is visualized by a horizontal scrolling bar passing through a shared vertical timeline.

An expanded view shows more info to help spark some empathy: local temperature with emojis for weather, local holidays, and the distance between each person (all of which can be easily toggled between Metric and Imperial, Celsius and Farenheit).

A meaningful color scheme was developed to show status — green for `At Work`, red for `Away` — as part of a style guide that emphasizes a simple aesthtic with a single font size and no complicated controls.

In October, 2016, we launched a public beta version which includes a responsive design for mobile devices as well as a Slack integration — a bot that is able to translate time, weather, and location with a simple command.

The mobile interface.

So far, the app’s been working! With over 4,000 active users on around 500 teams, we’re working through new feature prototypes and listening to tons of user feedback.

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