So while I was working on the share application I found myself spending a lot of time refining the UI.
I obsessed over the user interface and the user interaction longer than actually (re) writing the share app, which is now called Conference.
The main difficulty for it has been to make it simple enough so that even my mother could easily use it. To achieve this feat you have to try hard to eliminate as many controls as possible. As a matter of fact, any control you may want to add to your application should always be able to withstand the test of simplicity.
In UX, the phrase “The More, The Better” is turned upside down and becomes “more is less”, and “less is more”. The less clutter you have on the screen, the easier it becomes for the user to concentrate on the essence of what it is he wants to do. In this case, he wants to satrt or join a video conference.
For example, when I started, I had 7 controls on the first page. After I was done, I had exactly one button on the first page ‘Start Conversation’. All the other controls only served to confuse the user and could either be defaulted to a reasonable value or were not required at this stage of operation. As you can see from the screenshot above, I actually added two more controls back to allow to join an ongoing session.
I went ahead and changed the second page from a standard application type interface to a dashboard based ( dynamic MDI ) interface. This makes a lot of sense as it is using existing usage pattern for a variable number of macro controls ( video windows, chat window etc. ),.
I also allow you now to simply send a link to another person to join into the WebRTC chat without the need to have both parties signed up in AstraNOS. The receiving person will end up on a guest like landing page with the conference app and has thus basically the same interface as you would have with an AstraNOS account.
Using this new feature, you will be able to exchange files, chat it up with the other people in the group, have your video chatting functionality and you can also share your desktop if you are using chrome an you installed the extension.
While a lot of the features are already implemented, there is still a lot left to be done over the next few weeks. So stay connected, stay tuned …
and let’s talk 🙂