Design & Art Direction
Selected Interaction Design, User Experience, UI, Design Research and Art Direction
Lead UX/UI designer, researcher & videographer, In collaboration with colleagues at Microsoft Research Cambridge.
Research into Computer-Supported Collaborative Work has explored problems of disengagement in video meetings and device conflict since the 1990s, but good solutions that could work at scale have been elusive. Microsoft Research Cambridge had been working on these issues when the 2015 Hackathon arose as an opportunity to highlight for the rest of the company some possible design, technological and social solutions to these issues.
We've all been in a video meeting scenario where it won't connect, or our presentation won't show correctly, or the audio feedback from remote participants is painfully distracting. These are all technological failings that negatively impact the natural interaction of a meeting.
We made an envisionment video, which won first place in the business category for a company-wide hackathon, highlighting some of these pain points and designed a system, GUI and experiences to help meeting participants collaborate more effectively and socially.
The traditional video meeting stage is neither engaging nor inclusive because it is not geared to present customised and augmented social presence. Machine perception can reason about people and the room to produce meeting experiences that helps all users, local or remote, and inclusive of all abilities, understand and engage with the people and content of meetings.
We need to design compelling user experiences of augmented social presence, and we need to understand the communicative, organisational, and ethical fundamentals of how people will respond to and use such experiences.
We still have a lot to learn about how asymmetries of video-mediated communication really matter to participants, and how we can best leverage technology in geo-distributed hybrid meetings. Thus as well as the feature-focused research above, we also explore the fundamental human understandings that affect how we use various video calling technologies in various kinds of social relationships.