Free Design Idea: Fixing Conference Call Frustration With Software

Conference calls are an unfortunate fact of life. No one loves their conference call system, but even in the age of Skype, Join.me, Google+ Hangouts, and countless other ways to collaborate, conference lines remain the standard way for remote teams to communicate. And for good reason: access is universal, and you can participate while driving 65 MPH down the interstate.

One of the most fustrating parts of conference call systems is getting dialed in. If you are anything like me, your dial in process probably works like this:

Software to the Rescue

The dialer user experience should be adapted to better handle the conference call scenario. Here is one example of how this could work:

In many cases, it should be possible for the phone to detect when a user is trying to enter a conference call. Indicators would include initiating a phone call from inside a meeting reminder containing the words “conference call”, “bridge”, “passcode”, “meeting ID”, and the like. Meetings with multiple attendees and a phone number in the location field would be another good sign that the user wants to join a conference call.

In these cases, the dialer should open with the keypad open and the OS’s best guess at the conference passcode listed above the keypad.

A feature like this would prevent a lot of frustration, and save me literally SECONDS each week. If any mobile OS product people are reading this, please discuss this implementing this idea on your next product design call!

Charles Worthington (@cew821) is a freelance product designer living in Washington, DC. He would love to hear from you!

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