Design Collective Fellowship

Helping remote workers retrieve context in meetings

Dec 2020

Role

Researched and created a workflow in Zoom that helps remote workers collect the output of a video meeting.

Responsibilities

Research, design, prototyping, and everything as a solo designer.

Team

Mentor - Brian Lin
Mentor - Christopher Johnson
Mentor - David Lie-Tjauw

Overview

Working from home has become our new normal. As a significant player in the online meeting sector, Zoom plays a massive part in the remote workflow. More interactions are happening inside Zoom. Whiteboard sketches, conversations with clients, and even action items shared within the team can live within the Zoom meeting space but lost after the host clicked the end meeting button. Design Collective allows me to tackle this issue under the guidance of experienced mentors in 6 weeks.

Problem

Have you ever felt lost in a meeting in your Zoom sections? I'm sure that happened before, as video meeting became our everyday essentials. However, have you ever want to go over a meeting and save your time more efficiently? Zoom has several problems  waiting for input:

1. Unavoidable Zoom fatigues
Zoom is a powerful video meeting platform, but Zoom fatigue is also real because online meetings increase the cost for social interactions.

2. Forever lost of artifacts in meeting
How might we better collect outputs in a meeting to add more context for people who participated and those who missed it?

Solution

Design an in-app workspace that collects essential information for team meetings.

Research

The Zoom Pain

As I'm concentrating on Zoom's usage in the remote work environment, I interviewed five working professionals to provide more context for the current work-from-home lives.

By reading and watching videos about Zoom’s mission, I learned that Zoom is focusing on “making video meeting frictionless” and solves the problem for literally everyone in need of face-to-face communication during this pandemic. Focusing on the brief, I narrow down the user types into working professionals and students who are most likely in a remote work setting.

All interviewees had experience with failing to catch up with meetings.

Goals

Offer an accessible and intuitive space to retrieve lost context.
Relieve Zoom fatigue through constraints in meeting panel

Design Decisions

Uncovering Opportunities

I saw opportunities for the current Zoom workflow to resolve several pain points (identified beneath). So I went on and redesigned Zoom's web and in-app view, specifically the recording page.

Breakdown meeting into chunks

One main reason for Zoom fatigue is the user's inability to catch up later when distracted. Currently, the only way to catch up is to private message others or break into the conversation for clarifying questions. Adding an explicit reminder for the meeting agenda during and after the meeting, act as a natural signifier to bring distracted attendees back with less effort.

Task review before and after meetings

Keeping a task reminder for every team member is useful for users to see what they missed and have a direction after the meeting. My interviewees suggested that tasks and meeting logs are in separate spaces, which added cognitive load to retrieve what to do after the meeting. Highlighting tasks in the home page, meeting panel, and recording page create quick and easy access for this crucial information.

Sketches and wireframes

Here are my previous iterations of the current design.

Result

What I achieved

Talking to users, review my designs with mentors and the cohort helped me clear my directions and understand what I might do wrong early on. While this project started from a preset design brief, it's universal for remote working. However, my secondary research and competitive analysis suggested that very few apps have features to help retrieve context and relieve fatigue. Thanks to Design Collective, I can address this gap through my prototype.

Takeaways

What I've learned

Address critiques from others at your own pace.
It's the first time for me to have such valuable feedback from experienced mentors, and I was overwhelmed by them during the process. It's an essential skill to learn and build early on.

Taking in user feedback early on
If I revisited my past five weeks, I would like to see more people react to this redesign and how they use it in or after a meeting. It provided a second perspective for me to evaluate my designs.

Break the UI
During the process, one thing that restricted me was adhered too much to the original UI design and not thinking outside the box. Sketching features before taking in too much of the existing design was useful.

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