74% of IT pros look for a simple user interface

American industrial designer Henry Dreyfuss, most recognized for his work on the Western Electric telephone, stated in 1955, “When the point of contact between the product and the people becomes a point of friction, then the designer has failed. On the other hand, if people are made safer, more comfortable, more eager to purchase, more efficient or just plain happier by contact with the product, then the designer has succeeded.” And even after 60 years, while many of those points of contact have trended toward digital, the importance of a simple user interface has remained.

We recently surveyed 310 IT pros of the Spiceworks community to get some more insight into the communication features that IT managers considered essential in their collaboration systems and whether they were happy with the programs they currently utilize. And at the top, above features like “screen sharing” or “HD quality,” 74% of IT managers emphasized the importance of a “simple user interface” when shopping around for a new technology platform. This is a sentiment we hear time and time again from end users but an interesting revelation to hear from IT managers. The reasoning: no one wants to use a collaboration solution if it’s too complicated to learn and manage, especially if there are multiple logins involved. And if people aren’t using it, it’s wasted shelfware.

View Survey Results

The network effect, which states that the effectiveness of a solution grows exponentially with each additional person using it, is real, and the best way to maximize utilization (and minimize shelfware) is to make it simple to use. Here at Lifesize, we create our products with IT and simplicity in mind because we understand how crucial it is to remove barriers to use. Here is an overview of the Lifesize points of contact for simplified daily collaboration:

It Starts with a Centralized Directory

The Lifesize directory puts video, audio and web conferencing together with chat in one place so users can just click on a name to start a conversation. The only thing that changes is how they want to connect. No more complicated dial strings or hold music — just click on a name and get started. Building the directory is as simple as sending out a link. Anytime a new account is created, it’s automatically published to the global, centralized directory, including the directories in your conference room systems. Lifesize can also be integrated with a Single Sign-On (SSO) provider to make logging in that much easier. Tour the directory.

+ Plug-and-Play Conference Room Cameras and Phones

Installation is as simple as connecting a Lifesize camera to a TV and the internet, giving it power and pairing it to your account. We have more than a decade of experience designing and perfecting HD cameras and touchscreen conferencing phones to offer the most intuitive conference room experience possible. Once set up, users will be right at home navigating the same centralized directory they use on their personal devices to make and receive calls from the touchscreen of the conference room phone. Did we mention that they automatically update, too? No more software updates to install room by room. Check out the Unboxing.

+ In-Browser Guest Invite Process (NO DOWNLOADS REQUIRED)

You can send a meeting or calendar invite to anyone inside or outside of your organization and connect right from your browser — no downloads necessary. All that your guest needs is a camera, internet access and the link to the meeting and they’re ready for a full-featured video conference. Invite a friend.

+ Super Simple Calendar Integration

Lifesize can sync with your Microsoft® Exchange 2013, Microsoft® Office 365® and Google Apps for Work calendar to book conference rooms, show you a running list of meetings scheduled in the room and even send pop-up notifications to join the call with a single click as soon as the meeting starts. See it in action.

All Backed by IT-Focused Features: Security and Reliability

Lifesize communication streams support 128-bit AES and TLS (Transport Layer Security) encryption for all signaling by default, and we operate on a private 2,000 Gbps fiber network through IBM Cloud. To top it all off, we stand behind our award-winning service with a financially backed service-level agreement (SLA) with 24x7x365 support. Learn more.

A user interface is like a joke — if you have to explain it, it’s not that good. For IT, making things as easy as possible for end users is the best way to ensure the successful adoption and use of new communication tools. All-in-one solutions that minimize distractions by smoothly combining chat, audio, video and web conferencing into a single interface that improves the user experience, boosts collaboration efforts and makes working a lot easier.

More of a learn-by-doing kind of person? You can always check out a free trial of the Lifesize App!