Zoom 2.0: Redesigning Zoom for better classroom engagement

Sneak Peek of Zoom 2.0 Prototype

Participation Tracker

Built-in participation tracker with a scoring system

Control Room

Control room with all breakout rooms within one window

Design Process

Double Diamond framework

Target Users

Contextual Inquiry (CI)

Example questions for teaching staff:

Example questions for students:

Affinity Diagram

Affinity Diagram
User Needs & Goals (Teacher / Student)

3 Key User Tasks

  1. Assign breakout rooms and monitor breakout room activities (teacher)
  2. Communicate during a breakout room session (teacher and student)
  3. Track participation of students during a class efficiently (teacher)

User Personas

User Journey Map

User Journey Map for our Teacher persona, Ben

Scenarios and Storyboards

  • Assign participants to breakout rooms via pre-defined excel file
  • Allocate tasks to each breakout rooms, allowing teachers to monitor the progress of the breakout rooms as students update their progress by checking off completed tasks
  • Monitor students in each breakout room via a “Control Room View” without needing to join the room ⇒ allows for quick intervention if teacher spots a group that needs help
  • Communicate with participants in breakout rooms from the main room, either by joining the room or by chat messages ⇒ allows teacher to quickly address students’ queries via chat and still be able to respond to other rooms at the same time
  • Make a verbal announcement to quickly convey new information to all breakout rooms
  • Broadcast messages should appear in chat history (instead of the current disappearing behaviour in Zoom, as of this writing)
  • Assign participation scores to students with an in-built tracking tool in Zoom so that participation tracking is streamlined
  • Participation scores can be loaded from and saved to Excel
  • Metrics can be used to provide more information to teachers about statistics of students’ participation in class (e.g. how long a student spent talking)


Individual Hi-fi Prototypes

Scenario 1

Editing of tasks after breakout rooms were created. Note that the same interface layout is used for creating breakout rooms as well.
  • Editing and creating tasks use the same interface layout, thus maintaining consistency
  • Visibility of system status (Assign > Set tasks > Create!)
  • Inconsistent with Zoom design language (different font, different blue hue, non-rounded buttons)
  • Chromatic aberration (red on blue) leading to bad contrast
  • User did not recognise the task progression bar (Tasks are a new concept, so “1/4” is not intuitive)

Scenario 2 (Teacher’s POV)

Sending a broadcast message to all rooms from the main room (i.e. “Control Room”)
  • Consistent with Zoom’s design language
  • Breakout room controls are located at the bottom, right above Zoom’s existing controls. This close grouping of controls makes it easy for user to find the control that he needs.
  • Broadcast messages show up in chat history just like normal messages
  • Broadcast messages are not distinct from normal messages
  • Hard to differentiate participants across rooms as the spacing between each row is too small
  • Broadcast messages show up in chat history just like normal messages
  • Broadcast messages are immediately distinguishable from normal messages by colour
  • View of participants video feeds is inconsistent with Zoom’s existing layout (names are not displayed above the video feeds)
  • Too much space between each row of rooms
  • Font size and buttons are too large
  • Suboptimal visual hierarchy — breakout room control panel takes up too much space at the top, leaving less space to display the more important information (i.e. view of the participants in each room)
  • Breakout room control panel is very far from Zoom’s existing controls, so users have to look up and down to find their intended controls

Scenario 2 (Student’s POV)

Participant asks for help from inside the breakout room
  • Participants can see the amount of time remaining to complete their tasks
  • Participants can invite the host into the breakout room if they have questions for the host
  • Participants can send chat messages to the host (outside the breakout room) via Chat
  • Inefficient communication as participants have to click on both Invite Host and Chat to inform the host as to why they require the host to join the room. A better solution would be to let participants send an accompanying message to the host when they invite the host to their room.

Scenario 3

Awarding participation marks to students
  • Consistent with Zoom’s design language
  • Participants can be awarded marks regardless of whether they raised their hands
  • Display of participation scores of each student integrates well with the existing Participants panel in Zoom
  • User wanted a feature to randomly pick a student to answer a question
  • Participants who raised hands will get sorted to the top of the list
  • Participants can only be awarded marks if they raise their hand, but this is too restrictive on the conduct of the class
  • Showing participation statistics causes unnecessary information overload and is too big of a change to the existing Participants panel in Zoom
  • Purpose of “Done” button is unclear and ambiguous

Assigning participants to breakout rooms via excel file

Before / After

Breakout room notification banners

Before / After

Viewing participants’ shared screen in breakout rooms

Before / After

Announcement notification banners

Before / After

Zoom 2.0!

  • Easy assignment of breakout rooms by uploading an Excel file
  • In-built task allocation within the Zoom breakout room creation process
  • Control Room View providing an overview of all breakout rooms allows you to monitor activity in all rooms
  • Task progression bar allows you to gauge room progression and easily pick out rooms that need help
  • The ability to speak and send chat messages to any room while still maintaining an overview of all rooms allows for easier and more efficient communication
  • Broadcast messages now show up in chat history, allowing both teacher and students to easily refer to past broadcast messages at any point in time rather than disappearing
  • Verbal announcements can be made to all breakout rooms at one go to convey urgent and important information
  • Participation Tracking tool built into Zoom itself to reduce the use of external tools for manual tracking. Metrics can be stored and loaded for accumulative tracking.
  • 5-star rating system to allow scoring of student’s answers during participation
  • Checklist of allocated breakout room tasks.Tasks progression can be seen by the teacher in real time
  • Ability to instantly communicate with teacher via chat messages when he/she is not in the room makes it easier to clarify doubts



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