According to Doodle’s 2019 State of Meetings report, poorly organized, ineffective meetings were estimated to cost American companies $399 billion in wasted time in 2019. The most frequently cited consequences were lack of time for employees to do the rest of their work, unclear actions and confusion, loss of focus on projects, and slow progress caused by irrelevant attendees.
This is has led to the emergence of collaboration tools designed to enhance the quality and speed of communication, increase productivity, and improve team engagement. However, these benefits are only realized if collaboration tools are easy and intuitive to use. Even in 2020, many organizations continue to work inefficiently because of technical issues and user confusion about how to join meetings, launch a video and/or audio feed, send messages, or share screens and documents.
Why the User Experience Matters
User experience drives employee adoption. The easier a collaboration platform is to use, and the more beneficial the user perceives the platform to be, the more likely employees will be to use the platform. When the platform is reliable, features are easy to navigate, and audio and video are crisp, employees will be more comfortable incorporating collaboration tools into work activities. They’ll actively seek to build familiarity with the platform and use more advanced bells and whistles, from video to instant messaging to animations.
Instead of wasting time and causing complaints and frustration, meetings move projects forward, generate valuable ideas, and help to build stronger relationships. Presentations to customers and business partners have more impact and enhance brand perception. As employees use collaboration tools more frequently and expand use cases, the organization maximizes the value of and return on their investment.
The Elements of a High-Quality User Experience
First, let’s explain the difference between the user interface and the user experience. The user interface is what you see in front of you when using the collaboration platform – icons, navigation, forms, buttons, etc. The user experience ensures that these elements of the user interface work properly and are easy to use. Both are critical to effective, efficient collaboration.
A high-quality user experience is simple, allowing users to perform tasks with as few steps as possible without having to bounce between applications or screens. A user experience should also be intuitive. Although training is recommended for advanced features, collaboration tools should be intuitive enough to enable users to figure out basic functions on their own.
Beyond function, a user experience should be enjoyable. For years, this was the missing element from the user experience. Today, making sure collaboration tools work isn’t enough. They should be engaging and visually appealing. Of course, the mobile experience should be just as simple, intuitive and enjoyable as the desktop experience.
How Cisco Has Enhanced Webex Teams
Cisco recently integrated all of the features of its Webex Meetings video conferencing platform into the Webex Teams collaboration solution. Previously, video features in Webex Teams were somewhat limited, and users had to switch apps to get full-featured video. Webex Teams includes messaging, file sharing, video meetings, white boarding, calling, and other tools in a modular design that makes it possible to disable unneeded features. Organizations can also brand the Webex Teams user interface with their logos.
Features are important, but the user experience will ultimately determine how successfully your organization will collaborate. Let Cerium’s Cisco-certified experts show you how Cisco Webex Teams makes collaboration easy, seamless and effective.