Skype Room Systems V2
Final product design
Skype Room Systems (Project Rigel) is latest meeting room offering from Microsoft. I worked as the main designer on this product, taking it from concept all the way to shipment and continuing on into the post release update phase.
The product itself consists of a Surface Pro 4 mounted in a custom made dock that attaches to 1-2 front of room screens. The console acts as a controller and the front of room as a video conferencing and content display.
The meeting room offers a number of difficult design challenges. You have 3 core users, meeting goers, IT admins and oddly the room itself. Core users suffer from the fact that they never really get the chance to learn the product like they normally would, they use the room 1-5 times a week usually for 30-60 mins at a time. Everything must just work and take as little thought as possible. IT Admins want remote management and to know that their devices are secure. The room, well the room really dictates the deployment, large rooms have different needs than small rooms. The UI and peripherals scale seamlessly depending on the use case and deployment. Lastly the form factor itself is quite the chore. You have a console on the table, up to two screen in the front of room and the user's own personal device to think of. All of these must work in unison and support their own specific roles both in and out of meetings.
We built these personas based on the most common activities in today's small to large conference rooms. Each represents a specific segment of customer needs while also providing a north star for future feature development. They offer a reminder that just because we can deliver a "cool" feature doesn't mean our users are actually looking for that, in the conference room more is usually not better.
I built this table to illustrate and question every stage of this products use. From IT purchasing the device to the end user conducting a meeting everything case must be considered. I prefer to pose questions rather than answers in the begining as it makes for more creative work and helps drive a product in the right direction across disiplines.
Below is a portion (redactions made for confidentiality reasons) of the original experience pitch deck. It outlines the core user flows and give a concept for a new visual style. Each key scenario is the based on user/market research, product goals and our own learning from prior projects. These flows are very simple but that is the entire point, my goal for the product was for the average user to take 3 actions during their meeting while giving power users the ability to get what they want.
This product was developed while the visual style of Skype for Business was being set in stone. There was quite a bit of back and forth while the overall branding was finalized. In the end (gallery at top of page) we landed in a place that covered the broadest appeal, looked nice in a majority of corporate conference rooms, allowed for theming in later releases and provided a completely straight forward UI. Below is a gallery showcasing the evolution of our visual style as we took in both feedback from our leadership and customers.
In case you wanted to see it in action!