Interactive Indoor Maps for Modern Workplaces

I designed Robin’s indoor map platform that helped the business scale to enterprise customers by visualizing their workplace.

Design Delivery

My Role
Design Lead

2018 - 2022 (Cont'd iterations)

As Robin sold to enterprise customers, we faced a new challenge: designing a booking and navigation tool suitable for these complex workplaces. This led to the development of our indoor mapping platform.

In my role as Design Lead, my key contributions were:

  • Concept exploration, ranging from practical to futuristic ideas.

  • Collaborating closely with co-founders and CEO to define product vision and strategy.

  • Coordinating with Engineers to plan and execute the project's development.

  • Balancing design choices with technical feasibility and project scope.

Throughout the years, the map continually evolved, adapting to the needs of our enterprise customers.

Learn and uncover customer needs

Users in large offices struggled to find people, places and things

As Robin's customer base grew, so did their needs. Customers had upwards of hundreds of desks and conference rooms per floor. The existing mapless solution did not scale to meet the needs of our new customer segment. Primary tasks such as finding where a colleague sits and looking for an available meeting room became difficult.

Before screenshots of the product. List views were used as the primary experience.

USER research

Users referred to outdated, coffee-stained printed maps on their desks.

A PM, Co-founder and I conducted research with customers. Many of them shared floor plans on those calls allowing me to understand how complex their floors are – these are packed with amenities, desks, conference rooms, open areas and more.

Example floor plans from customers, typically provided as CAD exports or with annotations from their facilities teams.

Key findings

Users would have printed maps annotated with markers to show where things and people were located in the office.

Workplace admins also used multiple printed copies to explore resource allocation; often getting lost or covered in coffee stains (true!)

Floor plans even printed proved to be such an easy way to understand where you currently are and where a particular room is.

The current solution was had decent usability in smaller offices


Bring customer floor plans into the product as real-time interactive maps

Everyone understands maps—they're our go-to for navigating unknown terrain, and now users have a familiar mental model to experience their office.

The final solution converted customer maps into interactive and real-time maps. The map utilized an existing room scheduling API and visualized that as a map layer.

Map of the Robin office using the map solution. This map was a core "ingredient" that was implemented across other platforms.

System Thinking

Robin's new foundational ingredient to the platform

From design patterns to engineering decisions, the map was built as its own platform. This approach enabled us to move quickly and ensure a consistent, predictable experience across various platforms.

build predictability acorss platforms

Primary use cases for navigation and booking

The map solution was designed around primary use cases uncovered from research. Users wanted a visual aid to connect the what with the where.

Primary use cases

Find and book meeting rooms and desks

See where your upcoming reservations are located

See where coworkers sit.

Understand what’s nearby (customer offices were huge and the solution helped users make large offices feel personalized).

  • Map implemented into web was primarily used for planning and scheduling in the future

  • Mobile app, primarily used by users for on the go booking

  • Map on large interactive kiosks, setup in entrances and lobbies.

Map conversion

From static to real-time interactive maps

An operational component of this product was getting customer maps into the product. It looked like:

  1. Submit floorplan: Customers typically provide office floorplans in static formats like PNG or PDF.

  2. Convert to SVG: Our map designers then converted floorplans into SVG.

  3. Make the map true to life: Customers build out floors by adding desks, meeting rooms, points of interest, and other annotations, bringing their physical workplace into a real-time map. Think Figma meets lightweight CAD software.


Reminder to think big and build small

I am proud of the work I did on this project. It was one of the coolest projects I've worked on at Robin, and I learned a lot from it. This map continues to be a selling point for purchasing Robin, and maps are part of every customer who is onboarded.

The success of designing the map as a versatile platform enabled a self-serve experience. Workplace admins can now independently build and manage floor plans using our map.

A huge shout-out to the incredible team of designers, engineers, and product colleagues I worked alongside to make this possible. 👏🏻

Ryan Coughlin

→ Mainer, Designer, and Fly Fishing Fanatic