Having had experience of using Zoom on my tablet for a distance workshop and church services, I have found Zoom horrible to use in many ways. As someone with experience in human computer interface and human factors (I am Professor of Human Factors and Philosophy in Information Systems at the University of Salford) I understand that these horribilities (!) are a consequence of decisions by the designer Zoom's user interface, and I understand what it should be possible to change in Zoom. I offer these suggestions for the future.
Maybe Zoom will take up these suggestions. Or maybe there is a different software team, who might take these suggestions and build the thing that replaces Zoom by being so much smoother and useful in facilitating conversations?
|What I need to do.||How Zoom makes it difficult||My suggestions|
When internet speeds are poor I want to be able to mute and unmute my own microphone and camera - to mute when poor, and unmute for the few short seconds I want to speak. But I cannot.
To control muting, I have to:
|Have mic and camera buttons always visible and clickable without going into a menu.|
|Be absolutely certain whether I am muted or not. So I can speak privately, and then back publicly, at will.||Whether I am muted or not is not always clear. Sometimes - but only sometimes - a little crossed-out mic appears on my own picture. But my own picture is not always showing.||Have mic and camera buttons always visible and clickable without going into a menu.|
|Be able to see all participants at one glance, even if tiny.||
Zoom gives me either one main one (the host or the person speaking), or sets of four at a time.
|Even on phone, have a tiny video picture of all participants, just like on a laptop. Not a picture, because most don't have any picture set up. It should be possible technologically because with tiny video pictures require only a fraction of the data traffic of a full-screen one.|
|Want to send text message (chat) quickly without faff.||
Want a Chat icon/button available all the time.
Also, when I hit my finger on the video pic of a person, I want to have the option of sending a text message to them.
By the way: Since I would like several options of what to do in relation to a selected person, the 'too-obvious' technical solution is to put a menu in to select what I want to do. But that wastes time. During a conversation I want to be able to react to people immediately and courteously, not faff with several layers of menues!
I suggest something better: Have a box with the various possible facilities, including the text-box for entering text already there
Also, I want to be able to select a few of the people (in the normal way of selecting multiple items on a tablet) and send the message to those people.
|Want to be able to 'raise my hand' easily and quickly, and also lower it ditto.||
|Why cannot there be a Raise-hand icon always availalble?|
|Want to be able to Like or Clap easily and quickly.||
Either have Like and Clap icons always available.
And/Or when I hit the video pic of someone, have a Like facility as well as a Send-text facility. See Suggestion.
When I click on the video pic of a person (or have selected several), then be given the following options:
Furthermore, at least the two "immediately" facilities should NOT require going via menu. Therefore I suggest that the dialog box includes:
|What I want||What Zoom does.|
|To see who is speaking.||
Green box around the video pic of whoever is speaking.
And green filling of mic on participants list.
|(But when the speaker of in a different set of four this does not appear, so I cannot see who is speaking - and do not know if I do not recognise their voice. So let's have all participants on one screen.)|
Copyright (c) 2020 Andrew Basden.
Created: 10 April 2020. Last updated: