Monday, August 10, 2015

vidyo and #uifail

My company uses a video chat product called "Vidyo". On the desktop it works pretty well, and we also invested in some hardware for various conference rooms, which is a bit more uneven. (I think the hardware comes from various other companies)

One incarnation of the dedicated hardware install has a large TV with a menu display like this:

It's clunky but not terrible. It's designed for generic hardware with a phone-like numberpad and an arrowkeys crosspad but no alphanumeric keyboard, so you press a button, and then a vaguely T-9 like menu pops up, and you press the direction you meant.

But you know, not bad use for limited hardware input. But now in the other room there are nice little desktop unit with touch screens! We can put this awkward and clunky UI stuff away and just type, right?

Nope! They use their lovely touch screen as a number pad, and a crosspad of directional buttons. Making things even weirder is how the "OK" button is actually in the middle of the virtual crosspad, took me a minute to figure that out.

And it's not like the product suite is a beacon of strict UI uniformity... some of the other dedicated hardware units have a very different UI:
So you can see there's a virtual onscreen keyboard... being operated by the remote's arrow keys.

So, the touch screen is used like low-key-count keyboard, and the remote is used to laboriously navigate over an onscreen keyboard. Brilliant! (actually I think a virtual keyboard is much easier for people to use than that weird T-9-like system, and I'd say about as fast except for super hardcore power users.)

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