Mass conferencing,

Bosch DCN Multimedia

From the United Nations to city councils and boardrooms, the new Bosch DCN Multimedia developed by TEAMS is making conferencing more convenient and fun than ever, and for up to hundreds of users at one time.

Sitting in on a small group discussion is a daily activity for many people. But can you imagine taking part in a formal discussion with over 100 people? Small details, like knowing who is speaking are made even more challenging. Keeping track of the agenda can be tedious. In the end, the goal – to move people forward and to draw a conclusion – is easily hampered.

Getting hundreds of people to enjoy conferencing may be difficult, but at least by making it more manageable, large organizations can move forward faster, increasing productivity and bolstering communication. Bosch approached us, knowing the intricacies involved in large group conferences and in looking for the solution, turned to TEAMS to drive the design process.

To understand the masses, focus on each participant

Public hearings, voting sessions and decision-making processes require that participants understand information clearly, and then take the appropriate action – whether that be voting, voicing an opinion or simply noting important information. Even more, high stakes conferencing requires simultaneous handling of an array of tasks, while following the quick exchange of ideas in an on-going debate. One small glitch or a mistake caused by unclear interaction – such as voting on the wrong subject or losing track of the main speaker can have substantial effects and lead to unproductive results.

Our team of user experience and interaction designers quickly became experts on the topic at-hand, quickly mastering the software needs and how it applies to large group discussions.

A system that caters to both younger, mobile participants as well as senior speakers is another critical factor in moving large groups forward. If participants can’t understand or use the software intuitively, more time is allotted to troubleshooting and assisting.

Taking all of this into consideration, our interaction design teams focused on the user needs and interactions of large groups in the first round of workshops.

Our first system architectures and wireframes for the individual use cases revealed a leaner, multi-function interface with an optimized level of user-friendliness, reducing mistakes that could be caused by input and navigation. Making the hardware device as small as possible meant that participants could see the speakers face, which is often blocked by larger conferencing devices. Allowing more desk space so that users could focus on the agenda and not the device itself was another, smaller touch.

Interactivity leads to productivity

Much research has pointed to a lower level of productivity in big meetings, especially when the level of interactivity is suppressed. In order to boost the dynamisms of large group meetings, we looked at increasing the interactive features of the system. 

The DCN multimedia included the integration of audio and video documents so that all meeting content is available at the same time. With this in mind, users can locate documents, share presentations and use the internet to access relevant information. At the touch of a button, users can also case their vote on important topics. The high-resolution touch screen provides a flawless interaction where participants can browse information about the topic, consult meeting subject lists, and even look up details about the speaker.

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