Is Your Online Meeting Solution Secretly Hurting Team Productivity and Performance?
Was the entire journey seamless — even enjoyable?
Could you access all the features you wanted to?
Were you able to find all the information you were looking for?
Think about the last time you logged into your email, visited a social network or downloaded a new mobile app.
When you answer these questions, you define your experience with a product, platform and brand.
And how you answer these questions reaffirms how innate, yet incredibly important, a stellar
user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) is.
Yes! While these terms are sometimes used interchangeably, they're very different things. Don Norman, cognitive scientist and former VP of the Advanced Technology Group, Apple, coined the term user experience (UX). His definition:
“User experience encompasses all aspects of the end-user’s
interaction with the company, its services and its products.”
UX and UI Are Different Things?
Put simply, UX is what someone feels when they interact with a solution, platform or device. Meanwhile, the user interface (UI), encompasses all of the visual elements you use to interact with a solution, platform or device. This includes everything from screens to pages — even the buttons and icons you click.
It may seem like a “chicken-or-egg” type puzzle but it’s easy as this:
UI has a definitive impact on the user experience (UX) that every person
in your company has with the technology you implement. This is especially true for meeting and collaboration tools, which are used by employees all over the world and in many different work scenarios.
Can your technology support your users every step of the way —
no matter where they are and what devices they’re using?
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The Bottom-Line Impact of Poor UI and UX
Help Meetings Make an Impact
"This Platform Doesn't
Have All the Features I Need"
Poorly Designed Tools Cause Productivity Breakdowns
Workers have broken free from their office desks and are connecting to the business during their commutes, while running errands and even while on vacation. Technology, especially mobile devices, is what connects them to colleagues, tasks and information — no matter where they may be. As a result, the global mobile workforce is expected to reach 1.87 billion by 2022, according to Strategy Analytics.
60 percent of employees consult with at least 10 colleagues each day to get their jobs done.
3.7 million employees worldwide now work from home at least half the time.
(London Business School)
25 percent of business leaders say more than three-quarters of their employees will not work in a traditional office by 2020.
72 percent of people have used their personal mobile devices for work purposes.
75 percent of employers in EMEA, NA and APAC say telecommuting is viewed more positively and is more widely adopted in their workplace.
Flexible working, telecommuting and business travel are embedded into the new work experience, so technology will only play a more critical role over time:
The rules of work have undoubtedly changed, but employees’ standards and expectations haven’t. They expect one-to-one interactions with their peers, high-quality collaboration that inspires innovative ideas, and top-notch productivity that helps them drive the business forward. Virtual meeting platforms have gone to market promising this — and more.
Still unsure how UX and UI impact employee productivity?
But UI flaws loom in many online meeting solutions, hindering or completely halting teams before they can hit their productivity stride.
Theoretically, the combination of video and audio conferencing, screen sharing and chat are enough to position your people for success. Teams can collaborate with colleagues in real time and connect with clients seamlessly — no matter where they are.
“I can’t present. Can you give
“I can’t see everything on
“I heard a
“How do I
chat the presenter?”
“Are you on
find the chat button.”
How many times have you heard or said the following?
What does this mean for the IT team and management?
You will likely see poor adoption and, in turn, a poor ROI.
There is likely a laundry list of other statements and questions — some including more colorful language — that illustrate your teams’ frustrations. These annoyances stem from the poor UI of some meeting tools and platforms, and they all play a part in the UX.
Companies using these tools can see a number of perks, including:
Many analyst groups have calculated the ROI of video conferencing.
Dollars and Cents: The Bottom-Line Impact of Poor UI and UX
more likely to see productivity gains versus those not using video conferencing
for remote and
year-over-year reduction in
(Harvard Business Review)
But a poor UI and UX can lead to a lot of headaches in digital collaboration, including:
Nearly 40 percent of CIOs and IT professionals say their systems make it harder, not easier, for employees to work quickly.
38 percent say technology doesn’t allow employees to work and exploit information at speed due to slow hardware, software and networking technologies
39 percent say technology makes it difficult or time-consuming for employees to access business data and applications without IT help
38 percent say technology doesn’t allow employees to work and exploit information at speed due to slow hardware, software and networking technologies.
39 percent say technology makes it difficult or time-consuming for employees to access business data and applications without IT help.
3 Ways Your Online Meeting Platform Is Hurting Productivity and Performance
The design process is equal parts logical and emotional. Designers and developers must think about users’ behaviors and what they innately want or expect from a solution. In the case of online meeting solutions, there is a basic model that all companies should follow:
Ease of Use/Navigation
Innovative business collaboration practices can improve an organization’s productivity by up to 30 percent. And you may feel like your current solution checks all the boxes: It meets your budgetary needs and fulfills all requirements set by upper management. But without an in-depth understanding of your core users and their experiences with the solution, you may find that it’s more harm than good.
Have you heard any of the following complaints from your colleagues?
If so, you may need to rethink your online meeting solution.
The technology they use on a day-to-day basis should have all the features and capabilities they could possibly need. After all, you don’t want to invest in a solution that doesn’t serve its purpose or is only used for a fraction of the tasks you purchased it for. Moreover, features should be easy to access. You don’t want employees spending precious time digging for tools and information when they could be working, collaborating with colleagues or meeting with clients.
A great UX should leave your people thinking:
“It’s like they were reading my mind.”
“This Platform Doesn’t Have All the Features I Need”
Taking this end-first approach shows employees that you don’t care about their needs or the way they work. When assessing your current video and web conferencing tool, or researching new ones, you must first determine the features and capabilities that matter most to your employees. What will they be using the tool for? Who will they be meeting and collaborating with? What features are must-haves or non-negotiables?
Nearly a third (31%) of IT and business decision-makers
have admitted to implementing workplace tools without taking
into account processes that need to improve.
Hover for features!
Another thing to consider is context — where, when and how team members are using the platform. Is the UI customized to the devices people are using in that moment? With 44 percent of people saying they prefer to use their smartphones for unified communication and collaboration services and 72 percent of people using their personal mobile device
for work reasons, the mobile experience is something IT decision-makers can’t afford to ignore. They must ensure that mobile apps are seamless and easy to use.
If a person is using their smartphone to log into a meeting, are they able to do this easily? Do they have quick and easy access to the functions that are most relevant to them?
“I Can’t Log in Using My Mobile Device”
To optimize the mobile UX, the GlobalMeet product design team executed user surveys and conducted extensive user testing. The goal: to understand when and why people used mobile apps while working, and more importantly, which features were most important.
Through this research, the GlobalMeet design and product development
teams discovered that people primarily used their smartphones to log into
meetings while driving in the car. They also used their smartphones as
their primary at-home meeting device so they could easily multi-task, like
doing home chores, for instance. As a result, they focused on making all
UI elements larger and more readable, especially the audio control buttons, and
creating a simplified, three-tab design so users can quickly tap to the functions they need.
GlobalMeet Tailors UI to Mobile Behaviors
of testers were able to navigate the tabs and commented on the app’s ease
When updating GlobalMeet, the design and product development team wanted to ensure that desktop app users were able to join meetings quickly and easily. All users who tested it were able to start their own meeting or join another person’s meeting in approximately two seconds. They also no longer had to download and run extensions to join a meeting, which removed a lot of time and effort from the process.
However, not all elements were a home run. User testing helped the team iterate and improve the design — especially the placement of the search bar. Previously, the average discovery time of the search bar was 11.4 seconds. Through ongoing, iterative user testing, the team made small changes until it achieved the results it wanted.
By moving the search bar below the “My Meeting Info” widget and adding a tutorial tip, discovery time dropped to 4 seconds.
With UX, Small Touches Make a Big Difference
Meetings have become a mainstay in organizations of all sizes and across geographic locations. In fact, the length and frequency of meetings have increased significantly over the past 50 years, with the average executive spending almost 23 hours per week in them.
Of course, meetings aren’t going away. But the way meetings are conducted can certainly improve.
“I Can’t Find the Feature(s) I Need”
A survey of 182 senior managers
across industries found that …
said meetings are unproductive
and inefficient, and
said meetings keep them from completing their own work.
This is where technology can make things easier. But even if a platform has all the features and functionality your users need, it doesn’t mean a thing if people can’t find what they’re looking for. Employees waste time looking for much-needed functions such as recording and chat, and then must turn to the IT team with questions and complaints. The end result? IT’s precious time and energy is taken away from innovative, long-term initiatives that impact the future of the business.
A best-in-class UI, however, helps ensure that all critical features are findable and usable.
“Product features must be easy to find.”
“Users can effectively and efficiently achieve their end objective with a product.”
Aesthetics are what bring UI components to life. From brand colors to imagery and layout, these design elements help bring the interface to the next level, making the experience memorable and delightful for everyone.
“This Platform is Ugly and Looks Outdated”
More than ever, people also look for familiarity in technology. Even in a business environment, people gravitate to tools and apps that are not only easy to use, but look like the apps they use in their day-to-day lives. Emojis, star-based ratings, fun animations and other elements remind them of the experiences they have in their personal and social lives, which ultimately makes their work experiences — whether it’s in a meeting with a client or in a collaborative session with colleagues — more enjoyable. These elements illicit positive emotional responses, which leads to stronger bonds with (and higher adoption of) products.
For example, a sales rep holding a prospect meeting wants to ensure that he and the entire company are represented in the best way possible. That first meeting sets the precedent for the relationship, and an unprofessional-looking platform can paint the business in a negative light and dictate whether a prospect decides to partner with your business.
GlobalMeet’s new design elements include illustrations, animations, photography and sound to create an enjoyable experience. These subtle additions make meetings and collaborative sessions more personal and fun.
Delightful Visuals Make Meetings More Memorable
Are you sure you're getting everything out of your meetings?
Your employees, and humans in general, are creatures of logic and emotion. The technology you implement in your business should speak to both sides by:
Being aesthetically pleasing
Having features and capabilities that align with team behaviors and requirements
Being easy to use and navigate for all parties
When you research and assess business applications, take time to analyze their UI and UX. If an online meeting solution can meet your teams’ innermost wants, needs and preferences, you will empower everyone in your company to be as productive and collaborative as possible.
Are you ready to see what other online meeting solutions are out there? GlobalMeet is a great place to start. We have the process, structure and culture to create these seamless and beautiful experiences for all users. See the GlobalMeet difference. Experience the UI and UX yourself by signing up for a free trial today.
For IT, that means tech adoption will remain at an
all-time high and prove the overall value of your investment.