Raising the Bar: A New User's Perspective

Kate Davies

Kate Davies joined Oblong Industries about a month ago. She tells us about her initial impressions, and gives some tips on how to maximize the Mezzanine experience. 

Last month, I joined Oblong as a UX Designer and Researcher. I was excited to get to know my new work environment, my colleagues and, of course, Mezzanine. 

Even in the whirlwind of my first week I couldn’t help but notice how different meetings were at Oblong than anywhere else I’ve worked. The meetings I attended were dynamic, collaborative and focused, and meeting participants were actively engaged with the content and driving the discussion forward. Even when remote colleagues were joining a meeting, it felt like they were right in the room with us. 

I wanted to start off strong in my new role, and seeing how active my colleagues were in meetings encouraged me to be more hands-on. I will admit to having a moment of nervousness the first time I picked up a wand in the middle of a meeting, but I jumped right in and put the content I wanted to discuss on screen – after all, the most important thing I’ve learned about Mezzanine is that it works best when everyone is contributing. Here are some of my other best practices (so far):

1. Make room for video. 

I love all the space Mezzanine offers, and one of my favorite things is that you don’t have to compromise between video and content. When I’m meeting with a remote colleague from one of Oblong’s other offices, I place the video conferencing feed on the right-most screen and use the others for the content we’re discussing. The ability to maintain a video connection during content-based discussions builds trust and allows me to form stronger working relationships with remote colleagues.

2. Share your screen. 

Screensharing with Mezzanine is seamless – I don’t have to wait for a cable, take turns or ask “Can everyone see my screen?” When I’m referencing a document that others could benefit from seeing, I just use Mezzanine Screencast to pull it up so everyone can follow along. Since my colleagues can share their screens at the same time, it’s easy to see all the relevant information in one view. It also helps to share meeting notes and action items in the workspace so everyone stays on the same page.

3. Bring your device, and participate! 

Devices aren’t distractions in Mezzanine meetings, they’re a means of engagement. The ability to upload content to the workspace at any time means my colleagues and I can all participate. The Handipoint Control feature in Mezzanine web allows me to point out something I like about a design even when I don’t have a wand, and Mezzanine mobile lets me view and annotate content from my iPad.

4. Pick up where you left off. 

For recurring meetings or specific projects, it’s great to be able to create a dedicated workspace that saves all my content. The design team at Oblong has a weekly meeting, and opening our workspace at the beginning of each session situates our discussion and reorients us to the topic at hand. Our workspace lets us pick right back up where we left off, and the portfolio reflects how our ideas have evolved over time.

As I’m getting started in my new role, I’d love to hear about your first impressions or how you’re using Mezzanine today. If you have feedback or want to tell me about your Mezzanine experience, please feel free to contact us.

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