In collaboration with Microsoft Envisioning, looking at work in 2035. In a future of freelance and homeworking, Nacs offer a vision of how technology can coalesce with home-life for a better work life balance. A design fiction, built on trend research and ethnographic insight, showing a new way of embodying technology.

Group Project: Lloyd Pitt, Mokha Shristi, Maxime Moreaux, Wathanga Muya


Combining current scenarios with future trends to create a view of the future of work

[qualitative + quantitative]



microsoft_2Lucy has a 1 year old child, which is her first. She took maternity leave from her job, and is now she is looking to reintegrate with work. Government legislation has given her much more control over how she will return to work, although she cares about her career and is motivated to find a healthy balance. She is concerned about leaving her child, and is determined to minimise child care as she wants to spend as much time with her child before school age, and it is prohibitively expensive. Money is a concern for her family, as their mortgage is expensive.

She works from home now, so she can look after her child, this puts pressure on her to cater for all the needs of the household. She works in the office a day or 2 per week depending on projects. Her key issue is flipping focus between her two worlds, and she carries guilt when she works when her family are at home, but also feels she is letting her career down. She is overwhelmed. She knows she needs to maximise her time, but her broken day leaves her with small windows of time to get stuff done but she is indecisive.

She also tries to find time to go to fitness classes like yoga, but regularly misses them because of workload and prioritising work and family.

microsoft_2.4Young families, particularly young mothers, who daily have to deal with a variety of competing demands; school run, domestic chores, house upkeep and work tasks.

microsoft_2.3Creating a digital tool that subtly helps manage and prioritize the demands and expectancies of work and home life in real time. This telepresent ambient device learns the behaviour of the user and the family through sentimental analysis and work patterns, filtering the tasks that need to be done urgently. This helps resolve the conflicts and feelings of guilt that young mothers experience when juggling between work and family.

microsoft_2.2Ethnographic research reveals the chaotic environment that independent business owners working from home struggle with. Finding the time to meet the demands of work and life simultaneously is often very difficult, especially for those who have young families.

Early storyboards helped explore different scenarios through the personas we had created, and identify opportunities for design intervention. Here we are starting to investigate how technology can fit more seamlessly into family life, and prevent distractions and conflicts between work and home life.

Each Nac serves a single purpose, directly translated into it’s form. This puts a stop to the way current devices are multi-use, and pull users into them. As a system Nacs monitor your world, and only interrupt when something is urgent, letting you deal with it in situ. Focus on what’s in front of you, not your phone.


Microsoft Nacs is a system which monitors and assesses notifications and messages from a variety of sources across your life, making you more efficient and resilient to work and home pressures.


Nacs carefully analyses what’s going on at work and home, balancing the needs of the whole family. Within the home, the Nacs act as filters and protectors between work and home. They only interrupt if it is in your best interests. Using sentiment analysis and cognitive technology, schedules, tasks and emergencies can be analysed, and the load shared based on who is best placed to deal with whatever comes up.


Different Nacs allow for different interactions, and serve you, only presenting themselves when a task can be completed to avoid hassle later. They help stop distraction, and getting pulled into work when you shouldn’t.



View and confirm schedule updates



Check and return important emails



Lets you visual check and approve documents



Use to catch project ideas around other tasks



By working as a team, and protecting family time, Nacs allow you to concentrate on what’s important. They will let you know if anything needs your attention, and give you the right tool to deal with it efficiently.



Homeworking and looking after her son, she can divide her time more efficiently, without becoming distracted by work.




Working in the office, John can know when he needs to adapt his work plans.