2020 has shown us how essential communicating with each other is. Due to the pandemic, we heavily rely on using remote communication platforms to maintain some sense of normalcy. With this new found dependence, comes new difficulties.
We were tasked to redesign one aspect of remote communication within an existing mobile application.
Scope of Work
The problem was figuring out what feature, on which application should be redesigned and why it would be useful to users.
“Users need a feature that enables them to document notes without disruption of video stream.”
- Users want a more comprehensive mute/unmute interface
- Users want the ability to take notes while on a call, without obscuring their video window
- Users want the ability to multitask during face to face communication, without disruption to the call
Initial Problem Statement
“How might we provide remote communicators a comprehensive chat and note taking function, that works alongside their video stream instead of in front it”
Goal of Research
Our goal was to ultimately allow the user’s to decide on the redesign. Of course we started with our own assumptions, as users ourselves, but we needed to use the user’s insights in order to validate or invalidate our initial problem statement.
We conducted interviews via Zoom. Through these interviews, we were able to gather key information in regards to user’s needs, wants, habits and motivations as it pertains to remote communication. We took note of this information on post-it notes, which we organized by color based on each user’s responses.
We needed to identify trends within our findings, so we grouped them based on commonality. We were able to identify seven themes, based on trends, from our interview responses.
Here are the key insights we found through affinity mapping:
- Users need confirmation of their requested commands are successful
- Users enjoy chatting with other participants during video calls
- Users fear disruption of video call during meetings and while using other applications during the call
We needed to focus all these insights into one place or better yet, person. What better way for others to identify with the data, personally, than to literally give “life” to our insights.
We found that users do not want limits to their interactions with their phones, even during calls. The is significantly different from from what we thought user’s initial problem would have been.
Revised Problem Statement
“How might we provide users access to information regardless of an interruption and clear confirmation of requested actions with interface.”
RESEARCH MEETS DESIGN
We took our key insights and designed solutions to help address them.
confirmation of requested commands > created messaging that gives detail of requested command and confirmation that it the command was completed
chatting with others participants during call calls & disruption of video call during meetings and while using other applications during the call > created two separate windows (one for video, another for transcriptions) that follows the user as they navigate through the phone
Our solution presents itself as a new feature to Zoom, video communication application. We call the new feature “Multitask.”
Multitask enables users to interact with their phones and remain on Zoom calls, without it being known to Zoom participants. Essentially, after selecting Multitask, user’s Zoom call will turn into 2 separate windows (one for video and the other, a transcription of the call).These two windows will follow the user as they use other applications on their cellular device.
Low-Fidelity Wireframe Paper Sketches (with annotations)
We started with rough sketches, screen by screen, of how we intend the user to navigate using our new feature. By sketching first, we give ourselves the opportunity to change anything freely without a huge lost of time.
Mid Fidelity Wireframes (with annotations)
In creating a Mid-Fi Wireframes (using Figma), we discovered that maybe our phrasing and messaging was confusing. We decided to change “Multitask Meeting” to “Multitask” to differentiate between other options using meeting in their phrasing.
The numbers do not lie. Quantitative evidence should validate or invalidate the effectiveness of our new feature. We intended to find out whether users find Multitask useful when being on a Zoom call and needing to use another application simultaneously.
Over 2 days we tested 10 participants (5 per round), at an average of 5 minutes per test. Users were given a scenario and task to complete. We timed users, observed any mistakes and took note of verbal and non verbal behaviors.
Both rounds were given this scenario and task:
You are on an important Zoom call with your company and you need to see and hear the entire presentation.
During your meeting, you remember that you have lunch with your friend Kevin, but you will be late. You need to tell him immediately.
Text Kevin without missing any of the presentation.
Round 1 of Testing
We test our Low-Fidelity Sketches by placing the into Figma and creating a make-shift prototype or sorts. The prototype lacked animations and color but if users click in the correct places, our functionality should prove sound, regardless of the aesthetic.
We found that 80% of users were successful in completing the task, in an average time 30.6 seconds. They reported the task to be fairly easy, rating it 4.75 stars out of 5. However, user did recommend changing some phrasing, in that it confused them on what option to select.
Round 2 of Testing
We tested our Mid-Fidelity Prototype in Figma as well. This prototype was more similar to what Zoom actually looks and feels like. It still lacked a color schemes specific to Zoom but the interface was very accurate, as well as some animations.
We found a decrease from 80% to 70% of users were successful in completing the task, with a 9 second increase in average time to 39.3 seconds. They reported the task to be easy, with a rating of 4 stars out 5. Users recommended that it took too long to get to the multitask options.
Here is flow we expected users to follow to complete their task.
- Users found the multitask feature to be useful and stated that it was an option they always wanted to have while using Zoom
- Users tended to swipe up on the home screen button to access text messages, as well as clicking “minimize meeting” instead of “multitask”
- Once the “multitask” was selected, users found the intro message insightful, as well as the confirmation message they received after
- Consider adding the multitask earlier in the “options” hierarchy tree
- Consider the lowering opacity of Multitasks’ introduction and confirmation message windows