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Face It: If Your User Interface Design Would Embarrass a Millennial, You’re Doing It Wrong

User interface design has to improve if we want to reach younger customers (who aren’t so young anymore). Here are some UI design tips.

Christopher Maione Leave a Comment
Face It: If Your User Interface Design Would Embarrass a Millennial, You’re Doing It Wrong

Most of us in the AV industry — especially the few “bratty” millennials — were not trained on how to use Windows, MacOSx, iOS, and Android. We simply grokked them and moved on, mostly because of their competent user interface design.

We appreciate intelligent user interfaces and don’t understand why anyone should have to suffer the clunky, hack-job UI that’s so pervasive on typical AV touch panels or physical button panels.

The successful user interface design must be an extension of the good UI we already know is available, and the room utility should be simple, straightforward and deliberate (nothing more).

There is nothing worse than digging for the HDMI plug in a table cubby only to find one broken RGB and one with 2 colors working.

Regardless of the size or type of space (collaboration areas, small huddle rooms, larger rooms), the last 6 feet of connectivity is critical to the room’s utility. Make sure that it is always working, always current, and above all, always guest-friendly.

Some quick user interface design best practices:

  • It all comes down to productivity gains and having the right space for the job to be done
  • Clients will keep investing in technology if the return on investment is proven
  • AV systems and spaces must be flexible and transparent to geographical and time zone boundaries
  • While digital interactions are preferred, it’s useless if connecting is time consuming

Have you ever played the game where you guess everyone’s salary and benefits, add them together, and divide by the time wasted to get connected to the screen, to the phone conference, or to the screen share?

It is amazing how much wasted time and wasted resources we tolerate. There has to be a better, faster and simpler way — but for the time being, you may want to compare your UI design to what millennials would use naturally.

About the Author


Christopher Maione is an expert in the AV industry with over 28 years of audiovisual expertise. Currently, he assists the end-user on large scale
AV projects and helping companies grow their business within the AV market and is also an Adjunct InfoComm Faculty Member.

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  • I was working for Cisco Systems at the time when enterprise wireless LAN networks were finally becoming stable and secure. We were preaching pervasive coverage as the key tipping point for users to view WiFi as their ‘primary’ network connection. For the vast majority of customers, this was proved true years ago and the though of a user walking into a conference room with a laptop and Ethernet cable is ludicrous. Yet many of these same customers and the AV integrators who support them still view wired connections to display devices (LCD/LED and Projectors, etc.) to be mandatory. Granted the first couple of generations of wireless presentation solutions were let say clunky and unreliable so the concern was warranted. But today we do have strong contenders to make wireless presentation and collaboration the ‘primary’ method.
    At MKC Collaboration we have used nearly all of the available wireless products but our hands down go to solution are the Mersive Solstice products for a clean, intuitive and consistent UI that integrates into the enterprise network security and with scalability. We love that it also can be customized with the customers images and calendaring system. But no, we still provide wired connections for actual collaboration purposes, such as with touch interactive displays like SMART Technologies that require a USB and HDMI/DisplayPort connection. Viewing higher-end requirements as ‘secondary’ means we can scale out a consistent lower cost wireless environment pervasively – much to the delight of Millennials and those older and even younger.

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