Tip of the Iceberg

Made with Harvard Business School Publishing.

Case Study
The Problem

Many global businesses use a common language, often English, to better facilitate business across multiple countries; this practice is called lingua franca. To help students experience the difficulties this practice creates for native and non-native speakers alike, Professor Tsedal Neeley developed a simulation that allows students to step into the role of multinational business executives who deal with language barriers daily.

Harvard Business School Publishing asked Forio to update Prof. Neeley’s initial version of the simulation. We needed to bring the simulation to the Epicenter platform, add a secure login for students, and create a facilitator interface. At the same time, we needed to stay true to the user experience of the original version.

The Process

We began by playing through the initial Tip of the Iceberg project dozens of times to discover the intricacies and various outcomes of the chat-based simulation.

Our developers dissected the source code in order to revise and re-build the simulation on the Epicenter platform. Hosting the complete simulation on Epicenter means built-in tools for user authentication and group administration are automatically available, and the simulation runs on secure, load-balanced, auto-scaling servers.

Our designers explored options for a number of subtle user experience elements, then reviewed them with subject matter experts and evaluated them in user testing. Ultimately, several minor changes resulted in improved clarity and accessibility, so that the simulation could provide an impactful experience for all types of learners.

The Results

Tip of the Iceberg V2 takes the original experience and updates it to take advantage of the Epicenter platform, allowing this simulation to reach a wider audience of future business leaders.

The majority of the modernization for this simulation was in the facilitator interface. Facilitators can now easily create, administer, and evaluate teams of students. Additionally, facilitators now have more control over details of how the simulation progresses.

Tip of the Iceberg
Tip of the Iceberg

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