Valued at over $60 billion and used by millions each day for work and staying in touch with friends and family, the COVID-19 pandemic has helped make Zoom one of the most popular and relevant enterprise applications.
On one level, its surge to the top can be summed up in three words: “It just works.” However, that doesn’t mean Zoom’s user experience is perfect — in fact, far from it.
With the help of Built for Mars founder and UX expert Peter Ramsey, we dive deeper into the user experience of Zoom on Mac, highlighting five UX fails and how to fix them. More broadly, we discuss how to design for “empty states,” why asking “copy to clipboard” requests are problematic and other issues.
Always point to the next action
This is an incredibly simple rule, yet you’d be surprised how often software and websites leave users scratching their heads trying to figure what they’re expected to do next. Clear signposting and contextual user prompts are key.
The fail: In Zoom, as soon as you create a meeting, you’re sat in an empty meeting room on your own. This sucks, because obviously you want to invite people in. Otherwise, why are you using Zoom? Another problem here is that the next action is hidden in a busy menu with other actions you probably never or rarely use.
The fix: Once you’ve created a meeting (not joined, but created), Zoom should prompt and signpost you how to add people. Sure, have a skip option. But it needs some way of saying “Okay, do this next.”
Steve O’Hear: Not pointing to the next action seems to be quite a common fail, why do you think this is? If I had to guess, product developers become too close to a product and develop a mindset that assumes too much prior knowledge and where the obvious blurs with the nonobvious?