Sept. 21, 2022 - User experience (UX) should be an important factor when selecting AV equipment for your meeting rooms or learning spaces. So, here's a UX checklist to determine whether a product is right for your situation.
I don't have time for this! I can't get this thing to work! I really don't like technology!
Imagine a colleague uttering those words while standing in the middle of a meeting room, waving the remote control in the air and jabbing angrily at the power button. Easy to picture, isn't it? And it's likely you've been in that person's shoes at some point. Due to such stressful experiences in the past, AV equipment is seen by many as a necessary evil. Getting projectors, screens and the sound to work has become an accepted part of the frustrating ritual at the beginning of every meeting or presentation.
Too many features to choose from
A company's IT/AV person can have a lot on their plate. They're the link between technology and users, and they're tasked with reducing complexity. But how to avoid it? The technology industry is moving at tremendous speed. You're bombarded with ads for gadgets with more and more features: 12K resolution, wireless setup, facial recognition scanners and every other crazy thing you can imagine. Which criteria should you use to help you get the most out of your budget while making sure you don't create more IT issues for your colleagues? How do you empower users to embrace today's AV technologies with all their features and functions?
Innovation for the sake of innovation
There are thousands of technology manufacturers whose sole purpose is to beat their competition by creating new products with more or cooler features.
Too often, product innovation isn't focused on solving a problem, but on something else that doesn't help your employees become less frustrated and more productive. For example:
None of these 'reasons to innovate' put the user at the center of the design process.
The value of technology
If an AV company is unable to describe the value its technology creates, then the technology does not have value.
Value, in the context discussed here, refers to the sum of product benefits as perceived by the customer, measured by how much they are willing to pay for the product. Therefore, value does not only refer to the price paid to make a purchase. The efficiency and effectiveness of the technology solution also matter.
Therefore, a product that has value is one that does the right thing at an acceptable price. The right technology, applied in a meaningful way, has the potential to make all the difference in the world for companies and for users alike. However, technology should be selected by looking at the needs of the business, the needs of the users, and the problems they face in their everyday professional lives.
Selecting the right technology
User experience has many facets, and we can write several posts just on defining the term. Instead, we've created a checklist to assess whether the equipment you're considering purchasing is the right solution for the users.
Are the AV solutions you're considering truly solutions?
Does the product address a real, common need? Is it something you have actually seen, or is it partly made up?
Can the solution be used to easily achieve the stated goals? Does it get users all the way, or just some of the way?
Are users able to quickly find the product's most important features and functions, or are they hidden away? Do customers have to think too much in order to use the product?
Do the customers want to use this product and/or product feature? Is the product intuitive and a pleasure to use?
Does the product provide any kind of value? Does it save time? Money? Does it improve users' methods? Does it help them achieve a goal?
Is the company that manufactures and supports the product a credible and dependable one? Does the product seem like something worth trusting, both in terms of build quality, but also in terms of functions?
Can everybody use the product, no matter their physical abilities?
While it's true that many of the latest and greatest AV technologies have many impressive features, it's important to remember that at the end of the day, it's about getting the job done in the easiest, most efficient way possible. And sometimes, simple really is best.