Seeking Interaction Designers That Can Address The Development of Online Collaboration Tools

3 Dec 2003 - 11:50am
10 years ago
1 reply
1005 reads
Robin Good
2003

Hello,

I am trying to identify who and where are interface designers that have
specialized themselves or that are looking to focus specifically on the
design of real-time collaboration tools.

I am in the process of helping a few web conferencing companies refine or
completely upgrade their user interface and I have found it terribly
difficult to find designers that had a keen sense of what is needed in these
types of situations.

The main issue for me is that these types of interfaces require a very
minimalist approach, the ability to visually escalate in complexity as more
advanced functions are needed, extreme ease of use and unobtrusiveness, and
design that makes them intuitive enough for users from Japan to Italy.

If there were many designers working on these parameters I would see the
result of their work on some of the new tools that are surfacing weekly in
this industry. But I see very little. This work is still in the hands of the
graphic designers, designing Jumbo cockpits and having no sense of usability
or dynamic use of screen space.

I need collaboration tools to be dressed with alternate skins depending on
what I need to do and I need components to be as flexible as paper,
cardboards and presentation props are in real life. Resizable, light,
movable, customizable.

I also need to find designers that do not get irritated when I say that the
interface should be as minimal as possible and that collaboration tools
features should disappear as interfaces to reappear only as simple and
intuitive extensions inside other applications.

Am I alone searching for a white elephant, or are there some people that
would want to show me what they are capable of?

In my humble opinion, this sector (interface design for live collaboration
tools) provides such great opportunity and huge diversity of options that it
cannot be ignored for much longer. As we all are going to communicate and
collaborate online in one form or another it maybe time we start thinking if
a PowerPoint-like interface is really best when trying to carry out real
work online.

If you are or know anyone who wants to work in this area or that has quality
skills to show, I would be very happy to hear from you.

Thanks,

Robin Good

How To Collaborate Online With Cutting-Edge, Easy-To-Use, Highly
Cost-Effective New Communication Tools

Check Out The New ONLINE Guide
to Web Conferencing and Live Presentation http://tinyurl.com/b6mi

Authoritative, clearly written and accurate

"My first response is, WOW. I'm overwhelmed.
This is a magnificent document, authoritative, clearly written, and based on
my own experiences, accurate.

...This really is outstanding work.
It will save people hundreds of hours of research."

Stephen Downes ~ Senior Researcher ~
National Research Council Canada
Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada
http://www.downes.ca
http://www.iit.nrc.ca/e-learning.html
http://www.downes.ca/news/OLDaily.htm

Comments

4 Dec 2003 - 7:37am
Alain D. M. G. ...
2003

Hello!

I have the impression that you are looking for a novel attitude and
novel work on collaborative interfaces in the wrong places.

People who want to do what you describe or are doing what you describe
do not work in the commercial development world or call themselves
designers. They call themselves scientists or graduate students and
work in academic environments or in the research labs of big
corporations which are involved in HCI work.

A few weeks ago I was in Vancouver BC, attending ACM's UIST 2003, done
as usual in collaboration with ACM SIGGRAPH. The papers and the poster
sessions had their share of overloaded interfaces but they also had
lightweight minimalist designs made expressly for collaborative work in
immediate or distant surroundings. The novelty was usually in the
study of the interaction process involved and not in the use of
newfangled hardware or genius level software innovations. The most
interesting studies, in my opinion, used rather simple combinations of
retroprojection systems and digital whiteboards and cameras.

The conference proceedings are available online to members of the ACM
or non-memebrs who have paid for access to the ACM digital library.

Alain D.M.G. Vaillancourt

--- Robin Good <Robin.Good at masternewmedia.org> a écrit : > Hello,
>
> I am trying to identify who and where are interface designers that
> have
> specialized themselves or that are looking to focus specifically on
> the
> design of real-time collaboration tools.
>
> I am in the process of helping a few web conferencing companies
> refine or
> completely upgrade their user interface and I have found it terribly
> difficult to find designers that had a keen sense of what is needed
> in these
> types of situations.
>
> The main issue for me is that these types of interfaces require a
> very
> minimalist approach, the ability to visually escalate in complexity
> as more
> advanced functions are needed, extreme ease of use and
> unobtrusiveness, and
> design that makes them intuitive enough for users from Japan to
> Italy.
>
> If there were many designers working on these parameters I would see
> the
> result of their work on some of the new tools that are surfacing
> weekly in
> this industry. But I see very little. This work is still in the hands
> of the
> graphic designers, designing Jumbo cockpits and having no sense of
> usability
> or dynamic use of screen space.
>
> I need collaboration tools to be dressed with alternate skins
> depending on
> what I need to do and I need components to be as flexible as paper,
> cardboards and presentation props are in real life. Resizable, light,
> movable, customizable.
>
> I also need to find designers that do not get irritated when I say
> that the
> interface should be as minimal as possible and that collaboration
> tools
> features should disappear as interfaces to reappear only as simple
> and
> intuitive extensions inside other applications.
>
> Am I alone searching for a white elephant, or are there some people
> that
> would want to show me what they are capable of?
>
> In my humble opinion, this sector (interface design for live
> collaboration
> tools) provides such great opportunity and huge diversity of options
> that it
> cannot be ignored for much longer. As we all are going to communicate
> and
> collaborate online in one form or another it maybe time we start
> thinking if
> a PowerPoint-like interface is really best when trying to carry out
> real
> work online.
>
> If you are or know anyone who wants to work in this area or that has
> quality
> skills to show, I would be very happy to hear from you.
>
> Thanks,
>
>
> Robin Good
>
> How To Collaborate Online With Cutting-Edge, Easy-To-Use, Highly
> Cost-Effective New Communication Tools
>
> Check Out The New ONLINE Guide
> to Web Conferencing and Live Presentation http://tinyurl.com/b6mi
>
> Authoritative, clearly written and accurate
>
> "My first response is, WOW. I'm overwhelmed.
> This is a magnificent document, authoritative, clearly written, and
> based on
> my own experiences, accurate.
>
> ...This really is outstanding work.
> It will save people hundreds of hours of research."
>
> Stephen Downes ~ Senior Researcher ~
> National Research Council Canada
> Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada
> http://www.downes.ca
> http://www.iit.nrc.ca/e-learning.html
> http://www.downes.ca/news/OLDaily.htm
>
>
>
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