June 12, 2017

How to decrease your videoconference usage

Normally, we're looking for ways to increase videoconference usage. Here is a sure way to DECREASE it - by making the experience so woefully inadequate that having a video chat is absolutely pointless.


The other day I attended an event at someone's office and happened past the room that they use for video calls, I think. Who knows if they actually use it for video chats, but my guess is that it's not used much. Let's take a look.

Webcam and it's location
Poor and poor. Using a webcam for a video conference in a medium sized conference room won't yield positive results. Having a camera "way up there" magnifies the poor image acquisition.

Lighting
Having no blinds on the windows will mean a constantly changing lighting "scheme" in the room, forcing the camera to work to balance itself out. Expect poor and/or inconsistent results. Plus too much sunlight in the room means you won't be able to see the display very well.

Laptop
If you're going to use a dedicated computer for video calls, at least make it a good computer or one you can hide. I couldn't tell if there was a remote keyboard anywhere so people may or may not be forced to get up to go type something.

Display height
I'm going to assume the display is high because people looking at it need to see over the head of people on the other side of the table. Yeah, that makes no sense.

Table layout
If you're having a video call with a table orientation like that, you've essentially eliminated a good 40% of the available seats.


In rooms like these the usage probably isn't high. There may have been an original high expectation for video conferencing, but once it was actually used and the experience flat out sucked they may as well just use a speakerphone and have audio conference calls. The real sad fact is that it wouldn't take much money or time to fix the problems and they may actually enjoy video chatting as a result.

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