Categories
online meetings

Zoom treats you like a child

This post originally appeared on the Team.Video blog.

Deeply ingrained in Zoom’s defaults are choices that do not encourage us to expect the best from each other. We spend such vast amounts of time in video meetings now that we should question what behaviors our platforms are driving us to, and how they affect our interactions with our friends, family, and colleagues at work.

“Waiting for the host to start the meeting”

This message can be infuriating. The host is on vacation, or they’re in a car somewhere, or they’re there but having trouble logging in. Or worse, everyone wonders, who is the host of this meeting, anyway? Is it me? Am I holding us back at this moment? For God’s sake, when will we be able to get on with the actual work we have to do?

And really, why can’t we just carry on without the host? Of course if you go into all the right admin screens and click all the right buttons, you can turn this off, but since it is the default, this experience inevitably creeps in.

Categories
online meetings

Camera on or off? A UX approach to video meeting fatigue

This post originally appeared on the Team.Video blog.

Video conferencing is the new office / living room / dinner table / doctors office…

As the spaces of our social lives have transitioned to a limited number of software interfaces, fatigue and burnout has skyrocketed taxing our mental health and productivity. While video conferencing apps are keeping us employed and connected, they are not prepared to handle this mass shift in our daily routines and social interactions.

What makes video conferencing so different?

When we spend our days sitting in our makeshift offices and personal spaces staring at our coworkers, friends, doctors, teachers and families (and don’t forget ourselves!) in little boxes on our screens we miss so much of the social experience of real face to face interactions. We’re unable to read body language, engage in normal social rituals, have serendipitous conversations—to move!

We’re also responding to a unending amount of new information that our brains need to process—our personal lives surrounding us at home, the apartments and houses of our coworkers and their personal lives happening around them, the host of distractions on our desktops and the lure of almost unnoticeable multitasking.

Categories
online meetings

Please interrupt me!

This post originally appeared on the Team.Video blog.

At Team.Video, one of our founding principles is “be inclusive.”

In life, and in video meetings, there are folks who are more and less inclined to speak. Sometimes folks get excited, and have a lot to say about a topic. It can be hard in video meetings for others to find a place to interject, whether to voice agreement, ask a clarifying question or offer an alternative view. One might wait for a natural pause, reach for the un-mute button, take a moment to consider their words and find that the conversation has moved along.

The more people on the call, the harder the decision gets — whether it’s worth the interjection to voice agreement or skepticism, or whether to abstain and let things take their course.

The easy thing to do, even for the extroverts, is to stay quiet. But in order to make the best decisions we can, it is vitally important to hear dissenting opinions. By staying quiet and not interrupting, while we let the meeting sail along, we might miss the best outcome.

Categories
team.video

Introducing Team.Video

This post originally appeared on the Team.Video blog.

Team.Video is built for remote teams, by a remote team. We’d like to introduce you to the product – which is now in open beta.

We built Team.Video with two foundational principles in mind:

  1. Team meetings should be as inclusive as possible; and
  2. Team meetings should be as efficient as possible.

On inclusiveness

Everyone can be seen. Our default video layout is a grid. Everyone can see everyone else, without fiddling with their layout settings or paging through a carousel or scrolling a strip.

Everyone can be heard. Teammates can always be heard with great quality audio. There is a bandwidth saver mode for folks on poor connections, which preserves audio at all costs.

But what about folks who are less inclined to speak up during a meeting? Chat and non-verbal feedback is built seamlessly into Team.Video – folks can raise their hand, give thumbs-up and thumbs-down, defer to the group or indicate that they are conflicted. This requires less weight than waiting for a good time to un-mute and interject, encourages participation from everyone, and keeps the conversation interactive and flowing smoothly.

On efficiency

Efficient meetings have a defined objective, start and end on time, and the takeaways are clear to everyone. Team.Video provides scheduling (integrated with Google Calendar), timed agenda items, and collaborative note taking.

Of course sometimes agendas can change – we’re all thoughtful humans. Team.Video agendas are collaborative, and can be built ahead of time or modified in the -call (items can be added, removed, rearranged, their timing can be adjusted, and external resources may be added). Of course, the our collaborative note-taking feature is in the call interface as well – no more switching away from the call to take notes and record your do outs. When the meeting is over, you can download the notes to continue the work.

At the end of the call, everyone is emailed the agenda, notes and resources of record, and they can be re-visited anytime in from your Team.Video workspace. Notes may also be exported to Google Docs.

Welcome to Team.Video

We’re excited to invite you to our open beta. When you sign up for a workspace now, you get unlimited team meeting minutes, a custom domain for your team, room permissions (private, knock to enter, public) and an experience that we believe will have you coming away saying, “this was a better meeting”.

Please give it a try, it’s free for everyone during the pandemic.

We welcome any and all feedback on the product. Thanks for reading.

https://team.video/