Via the #GladYouAsked-campaign, customers asked us which video conferencing tool they should use when project work contains more complex workshops like co-creation sessions. They noticed that standard tools do not sufficiently support the interaction required for those specific workshops, so we took the liberty to do some user experience tests of several tools with different user cases for online workshops.

! We want to emphasize that we are aware of the security issues regarding some tools, but particularly want to underline that this blog mainly focuses on user experience.

Our tests resulted in a top 3 video conferencing tools for online workshops:

The tools got scored on five main domains, during different user cases:

  • Ease of getting started with the tool
  • Ease of facilitating a workshop
  • Ease of hosting a video conference
  • Ease of participating a video conference
  • Ease of organizing and being an admin

The picture below clearly shows the results for the three top scoring workshop tools.

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BlueJeans

BlueJeans has an excellent usability but is less complete than its competitors. Right from the start, there is a clear introduction video. Although it is long (40 minutes) it has clear-cut sections, which allow you to skip to the sections of your interest. BlueJeans is more selective in functionality and made sharper choices than Zoom e.g. This results in a video conferencing tool that is perfectly usable without watching the introduction video. Setting up a video conference is very easy and when it comes to managing your profile, there are great explainer videos of all the admin stuff you need. BlueJeans is a great choice when you want to facilitate a workshop but is a bit less efficient in comparison to Zoom if you want to extensively use the chat and break-out rooms.

GoToMeeting

When getting started with GoToMeeting, it takes a while to find relevant video tutorials. Nevertheless, the videos are available and easy to understand. There is even a step-by-step planning to organize your meeting, where you can install all settings as you wish. When it comes to hosting or participating in a video conference, GoToMeeting has a competitive score in comparison with the rest of the top 3, but it lacks the functionality of managing break-out rooms. Nevertheless, we applaud the new User Interface of GoToMeeting which feels like a huge leap forward in the right direction. The only regrettable thing is that the break-out room and the raise hand feature are only available in GoToTraining, which is a more expensive version (if you only use it for video conference workshops).

Zoom

Overall, Zoom has a very complete usability when it comes to video conferencing tools for use in online workshops. When getting started with Zoom there is a great video tutorial available which explains you all the essentials of the tool, inclusive the breakout room feature. After the tutorial, you can easily plan, change or delete an event. As a host or as a participant all the needed functionalities are present and have a fine usability. When it comes to facilitating a workshop with many participants, this is the part where Zoom shines. Providing you with the break-out room feature which can be used to manage your breaks, request breaks as a participant and allow you to split your zoom meeting in up to 50 separate sessions.

We will not pick one of the abovementioned tools to propose to you as the holy grail to organize remote workshops, because every organization has other requirements that are more important to them than others. Nevertheless, with this best practice overview, we hope to have made your choice of which tool to use a bit easier. If you have any questions or you need some guidance with organizing remote meetings or (Agile) workshops, do not hesitate to get in touch!

If you have any questions regarding remote work (on team spirit, practical or technical questions, online workshops or Agile meetings,…), do not hesitate to contact us by sending your question to remote@threon.com or by filling in our contact form. Because remember: we are #GladYouAsked!

Jurgen Denul

Jurgen Denul
Sr. Lean Agile Consultant at Threon

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