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Faceme

Collaboration at work.

Client

Faceme

What we did

Mobile Apps

UX and Visual Design

Year

2014

FaceMe provide video conferencing services for businesses across New Zealand and abroad.

Originating in Auckland FaceMe have continued to grow as the use of mobile solutions in a business context accelerates. FaceMe now operates in New Zealand, Australia and the UK while also having a number of other overseas clients.

The Challenge

Having recognised the absence of effective video conferencing tools available FaceMe saw the opportunity to capitalise on this market by delivering a high quality solution to business clients.

After their initial release FaceMe underwent the rebuild of their cross platforms to further enhance their user experience.

The aim of the rebuild focused around providing an engaging, professional and accessible app that was secure and simple to use and would add to current their service.

With this in mind FaceMe approached Roam to developed a native iPad video conferencing and messaging app.

Solution

We developed a iOS iPad app to support both 3G/4G networks and wifi to deliver optimal functionality.

In order to achieve the best result it was decided to develop a completely new native app rather than rework FaceMe’s existing mobile platform. As a result the redesign of the FaceMe’s iPad app evolved to separated its functions into ‘in’ and ‘out’ of meeting experiences to simplify navigation and improve user experience.

To login users are required to have their own FaceMe account or to have been sent an email invite by a FaceMe user for them to appear as a guest. This allows the app to be used not just within your own business and account holders but to others as well.

From there the app can be broken down into ‘out’ of meeting or ‘in’ meeting experiences.

The ‘out of meeting’ experience consists of an activity feed that shows options for one to one chats, videos, a personalised contact list and calendar and allows meetings to be schedule. The main content panel of the screen changes depending on the activity selected.

Out of meeting users can have one to one chats with other users and access past chat history as well as organise larger meetings. To schedule meetings the creator can choose from their personal contact list on that device. Contacts can include both users and non users of FaceMe as holding an account isn’t required to attend.

To personalise meetings the creator can give it a title as well as notes descriptions can be written. PDFs and image media can also be uploaded before the meeting takes place. In addition the time, date and length of the meeting can be customised.

For scheduling meetings with users in different countries a breakdown of timezones has been included to add ease while streamlining the process. When setting up their profiles users enter their typical working hours, flexible hours and times they are unavailable within the app that other users can view. When meetings are set up these individual times are displayed graphically with a vertical line highlighting the best time for all participants. This was implemented to provide ease for users making the experience a lot more efficient. Video recording of meetings can also be selected to allow users to go back and review content.

The ‘in meeting’ experience expands on these features; users can perform multi chats with up to 15 people displayed by four video streams on the main screen. Users can drag and drop fellow users giving them a permanent position on the content panel or use the voice recognition feature. When 5 or more video streams are present, the app will switch users video stream depending on how much they have spoken.

Facial recognition is also used to keep users faces in the centre of the screen and in chat bubbles. While in a meeting each user is given access to a variety of tools simply by sliding up the action bar. From there users can mute a user, stop the video stream, pause the meeting, have separate one to one chats with users along with removing a user from the meeting.

The design also catered nicely for multi-tasking during meets. Documents can be shared and edited using the whiteboard feature where users can edit, circle or highlight content through the use of a pointer or zoom. The whiteboard feature can also be selected on its own where users can create their own content during a conversation.

Result

A complete video experience The combination of features alongside the enhancement in quality and functionality have delivered a complete solution for FaceMe. This gives their clients an enjoyable user experience as well as help improve their own productivity with projects both locally and abroad.

Successful integration of mobile with existing platforms The rebuild allows for easy integration where users can interact with other members easily. Each user can now access FaceMe from their own preferred platform with no reduction to video quality. The introduction of a mobile solution through the iPad app has also extended FaceMe’s service as it allows on the go employees to utilise the benefits of FaceMe’s technology.

Increased productivity Before we took on this project the app was purely focused on video streaming. By adding additional features the overall meeting experience came to life as participants could share media and construct collaborative works through the use of the whiteboard feature. Through the use of these new features productivity is enhanced as FaceMe can be used as a singular tool to host meetings and share information between employees and to clients. The added efficiencies through the introduction of media editing and sharing further reduces the need for face to face meetings and therefore reduce costs for businesses.

Extra functionality By updating to more modern technology high quality videoing was achieving alongside a simplified navigation for FaceMe users. Users can now be more confident about the technology and in turn can focus more of their attention to the contents of the meeting and less about the organisation of meetings.