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Alexander Kyle Wright Senior UX & Product Designer

Virtual Meeting Platform

At the start of COVID, our client organizations faced a major problem: no more in-person meetings. How could we help them safely view our content together? Two months into the lockdown, we began a project allowing users to join virtual meetings, watch videos in sync, chat, and maintain a sense of community.

The Problem

We knew the problem as it had been widely communicated to us by essentially every client organization: "our members are not connecting, and they are desperate!" Pretty much everyone across the globe replaced in-person meetings for virtual calls. Our organizations were feeling the pain of their members and needed help translating their small group meetings into virtual.

Ok, What Can We Do?

Any virtual meeting platform could be used to hold a group discussion, but we needed to provide a way to stream our DRM content to users. We also wanted to allow users to see and talk with each other and not need to jump on other software, which would be a huge win for the business.

Let's Validate

We held virtual focus groups with small groups of members from a wide sample of our client organizations, focusing primarily on location and organization size. We consistently heard that the lack of in-person meetings was frustrating, having random people join your zoom call was annoying (remember that? yeesh.) and the desire for community was becoming increasingly desperate.

Build & Test & Build & Test...

The process was iterative, designing and building quickly to then allow internal testers access. This revealed unforeseen needs, such as a waiting screen until others joined, to allow users to turn on or off their mics / cameras, and ensure all members were alerted to pausing and playing by the facilitator. We also needed to handle if a facilitator left or lost connection.

User Testing

We held extensive internal testing during the development process, including meetings held across multiple devices, browsers, and user account types, which revealed a few software discrepancies between browsers. We released the first live product after a couple of months to begin receiving feedback from our users.

Full Launch

This feature was launched in June of 2020 and it was received extremely well with our users. >We saw incredibly high usage for about a year and a half, during the duration of the COVID lockdowns. However, as businesses began opening and people started returning to in-person meetings, we saw usage drop off significantly. While this might seem problematic, the business saw this feature as an overall success, as we were able to quickly design and build a product to solve the needs of our users.

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