ToU is a critical design project that explores the boundary between technology and people. Especially when the pandemic becomes a new normal, looking for the future and posibility in the hybrid meeting scenario of small to medium size chinese companies.

Bowen Shi
Chi Hu
Junyi Cao
Deepu James
Working challenges in the ‘new normal’
For many organisations, COVID-19 dramatically changed the way they cooperate. As one might expect, for many people, accepting existing technologies and practices is chaotic, and actions are mainly determined by urgency. As the urgent threat to business continuity has receded, some IT staff, HR and other stakeholders are finding time to ask themselves other important questions: How can we better collaborate in this new normal? What kind of challenges exist in collaboration? How can technology better serve employees?
HMW enhance the hybrid meeting viscosity?

When we talk and meet people face to face, we get most of the information about what they are thinking from body language and facial expressions. In a virtual environment, we get much less information, and we need more time to confirm the other's attitude. Because there is less interaction, remote participants feel lonely and alienated, and they will be easier distracted than offline. We believe that increasing the viscosity of the meeting will help solve the above problems.

A picture is worth a thousand words

As we know, visual communication is more interactive than pure verbal communication, so we mainly promoted the whiteboard as our core function. Besides, the operations on the whiteboard will cooperate with the subsequent two features. It will provide one of the judgment bases for the participation map, and it will also be automatically recorded in the third feature of the post-meeting summary.

One small change can make a big difference

Through a variety of ways of learning and understanding, ToU can understand the state of the participants. It will provide an anonymous display and give a gentle notification when a pattern shows up. Most importantly, it will let the participants have the final say. It will stop at this point. The reason is, we only aim to empower offline participants by having the awareness of care from the other side and don't want to interfere with the conversation too much.

Practice makes perfect

During meetings it may result difficult for users to find the precise postion of a missing piece of information within longer recordings. We therefore cut this down to make it easier to find. And we can see the feedback from the audience during the speaking period. Based on this, we can reasonably optimise the way we speak. it's sometimes hard to find the precise position of the missing information in a long length recording

Evil Project?

The insight we found in our research is that 87% of target users think that if we don’t require the camera to be turned on, they don’t mind this userflow and think it will be helpful. This may be counter-intuitive, and we are also surprised. In the end, we think this may be ethical, but it still needs more discussion on morals.

special thanks

Special thanks to our industry experts from Tencent and Xiaomi.

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