25 webcam Meeting
GoToMeeting users have requested to see more of attendee webcams for years. In this project, we tackled viewing and managing up to 25 webcams in an online meeting. We uncovered use cases for filtering and hiding webcams depending on who was speaking or who was presenting. This feature released in GoToMeeting September 2017.
Research & Design
I interviewed GoToMeeting users, conducted usability tests and icon surveys to create the final design for the webcam project. Before designing, I asked ten customers to co-create their ideal meeting layout with a collaging exercise to see what content they placed value on and how they expected to see it. With this knowledge, I built a variety of prototypes to simulate interactions for scrolling, paging, filtering, hiding, and re-positioning webcams in the GoToMeeting Viewer window.
User research January to June 2017
- 14 interviews
- 26 usability tests
- 34 survey respondants
a Customer's ideal meeting
I explored a variety of layouts and interactions. My early assumption was that users would want to be able to configure the viewer in every which way. Later, I discovered that most users have a more hands-off experience with their meeting interface. They expect the interface to take care of laying out itself as meeting content and webcams come and go. It was up to me to determine the "smart default" that would satisfy most users, most of the time, and then build controls to handle additional use cases.
In this concept, I introduced a grid of 25 webcams into our existing Viewer and experimented with variations on using the title bar for commands. I discovered some of the complexities of managing windows within windows, and how to communicate to the user which controls belong to which content. I wrestled with how to expose controls, make them understandable and discoverable to the user, and at the same time maintain a sleek appearance. Using black and gray for the title bars and backgrounds helps the webcam feeds and screensharing content stand out from the background.
Using our existing icon library and color palette, I designed a series of icons for the GoToMeeting Viewer controls. We ran the icons through testing by surveying testers with the icons in context, with and without labels. We discovered problems with understanding in about half our icons when they weren't labeled.
I prototyped a variety of designs to experiment with the users' tolerance of icons, terms, and hidden, contextual or offset controls. These experiments allowed me to carry out about 3-5 interactions in a user test before I hit a limit of functionality. I used Sketch to create the illustrations, then Axure and InVision for the interactions. Users interacted with the prototypes during conversational interviews and in remote usability sessions via UserTesting.com
Drag and drop
Buttons on hover
Picture in picture
We couldn't get every piece of the proposed design out in the first release. We decided to focus on the most important pieces with the greatest impact. We kept the existing top-menu style and aligned the Mac and Windows Viewer design, which had been out of sync for quite awhile. We labeled icons and focused on the webcam filters over other configurations, since customers expressed more interest in those than other types of controls, such as re-positioning the webcams left, right, top or bottom.
We also re-worded and adapted the behavior of the "undock webcams" command after it tested poorly in our internal testing sessions. We had overlooked the possibility that the command was shown to people with one screen and multiple screens, even though it was designed to solve the problem of showing two types of content on two screens. We hid the command from those with one screen, and changed the name from "undock webcams" to "use two screens" in order to make it clear what the option did. In addition, instead of relying on the user to manually move and resize the webcam window, we automatically positioned it full-frame on the second monitor.
I'm thrilled to see customers using this feature for their own team meetings. Our goal is to help remote teams work together and build relationships to do their best work.