ZOOM FEATURE DESIGN

TYPE

UX Project

Individual Work

RESEARCH METHODS

-User Interviews

-Flow chart

-Landscape Analysis

SUMMARY

I designed a new chat feature and a meeting summary for Zoom.

PROJECT BACKGROUND

Zoom has become overwhelmingly popular in 2020 after the pandemic hit. Despite the number of competitors, Zoom has done very well due to its easy use when it comes to joining and hosting a meeting with any number of people. However, I’ve heard numerous comments from its users about its difficult usability. Since my given task is to add a feature, I have decided to fix what users say is the most problematic or difficult and create an easier user experience.

LANDSCAPE ANALYSIS

I took a look at one of Zoom's competitor, Google Hangouts. It also has an invite link for quick access, and overall, maintains a clean and simple structure. It doesn't have a built-in chat for the meeting itself. Instead, users access the entire app by minimizing the current call, then creating a group chat to talk in. 

Other observations:

  • Host is unable to see participants and manage people (for audio, video etc)

  • No "breakout rooms" that Zoom has, which is very convenient for smaller discussions and roundtable events

  • After the meeting ends, you still can talk in the group chat if you have one with the group. However, chats can start piling up if not taken care of.

  • At first glance, the app seems more like a chat-based app, similar to Facebook Messenger and Skype, despite it being marketed for video calls. 

Zoom is better suited for a digital conferences that can host a large number of people and to have discussions/smaller collaborative talks within the original call.

 

Overall, it pays more attention towards video calls and less about the chat system. Therefore, I must keep the chat system simple to prevent the emphasis on video to be taken away, which seems to be Zoom's selling point that differentiates it from its competitors like Google Hangouts. 

 

On the other hand, I do enjoy the call history logs that show who you called in the past. Although the call logs don't show much meeting summary, it's something that Zoom lacks - Zoom doesn't keep track of any past meeting data. 

INITIAL SURVEY INTERVIEW

To figure out what people thought of Zoom, I interviewed and watched users use the app. Because Zoom has a wide demographic, I chose one participants of different ages. For example, one of my participants was older than fifty.

I had the participants join a zoom meeting and perform the given tasks. 

Some tasks I asked them to perform were:

task 1: Share and talk about a photo on their phone. 

task 2: Share a "secret" to each participant. 

task 3: Send and save files

task 4: Ranking different fruit, colors, and fast food chains in order of best to worst (this task was so participants had something to collaborate and talk about)

Current chat screen - all messages are in one "chat" box, halting smooth conversation flows

Current meeting information screen - empty unless you have a meeting you will host in the future

The main takeaways and observation from this interview was that participants seemed to be comfortable using most zoom features. However, the chats became messy when people tried to share secrets - but sometimes shared with the wrong people (shown in the screen shot above)

Another interesting observation was that after the zoom meeting ended, Some participants were disappointed that they weren't able to go back and see what happened in the chat when they wanted to look something up.

STORYBOARD SCENARIO

I created some a storyboard based on observations and comments from the initial interview. This helped me understand the problems people encounter while using Zoom (and other video conference oriented applications)

The scenario:

  1. A man is attending a work meeting through Zoom mobile app while he is outside. 

  2. Multiple files related to the meeting is sent through the chat, but the man is unable to access or open it for the time being. 

  3. He is also trying to maintain conversations with different people via one chat system to delegate tasks individually. 

  4. Before John can record all information, the host ends the meeting and John is left with no record of files sent or chat histories. 

  5. John has no choice but to talk to the individual people again, and ask someone to send the files again. 

FLOWS & SKETCHES - UX DESIGN PROCESS

Initially, I created a flowchart of numerous ideas that can make communication easier and more interesting. Some ideas I came up with were built in polls, react and gifs, and even a collaborative work pad. However, after putting the flow together, I realized that although some ideas can be further pursued, for the sake of the timeframe I was given & to maintain focus on the initial goal, I decided to not implement them.

For instance, after surveying roughly 10-20 people with hypothetical features, the general opinion was that despite the creativity, most people use Zoom for its video feature. Adding gifs, reactions, and threads (inspired by Slack) would deteriorate from the original purpose and move into a "social media" vibe.

THINK ALOUD LOFI TEST

I conducted two lofi testing with the same participants as the initial interviews. They were asked to:

 

task 1: open up the newly designed chat box

task 2: open a chat with “Candace” and send her a message

task 3: send Candace an image

task 4: close the meeting and send meeting details to their E-Mail 


The response was generally positive from my 23 year old participant. The 50 year old participant did have trouble navigating the chats. It made me realize that the perception of how chats are navigated are different depending on demographics and experience. From this, I knew I had to improve my hi-fi by making a clearer differentiation between each chat screen (the 50 year old participant had trouble realizing that the bubbles under the search bar indicated a different chat box).

HI-FI TESTING FEEDBACK

Finally, I created the hi-fi and tested it on 3-4 other people with the same tasks I gave during my lofi test. Here are the general feedback I received that I was able to implement into my final iteration:

  • ability to rename a meeting 

  • Show who each file is sent by and to whom (if you’re the one who sent the file)

  • Chat sorted by most recent rather than alphabetical order

JUST FOR FUN - FEATURE VIDEO

Made with Adobe After Effects - a simple video showing the introduction to the two new features! 

FINAL UI

From participants or "more", users can go to the meeting chat. Each bubble indicates a chat that is currently opened. ('All' chat is always opened)

Find a participant via search and send messages, images, files, or take photos and attach something from Google Drive

After the meeting ends, a summary shows up (you can also look for it again in the "meetings" menu). You can look at the meeting information, files shared, recordings, chat history, and if you want, you can send this meeting summary to yourself if necessary.

You can also choose to rename your meeting. This way whenever you go to your Meetings, you can differentiate meetings easier.

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Master's in Digital Product Design

Bachelor's in Visual Design

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