26 stories
·
2 followers

The UX of Conference Calls

1 Share

One of my favorite aspects of remote culture at a digital product agency is embracing the reality that successful communication and collaboration have to be intentionally cultivated — something that collocated teams oftentimes assume comes for free just from existing in the same building.

At DockYard, much like brick and mortar shops, we acknowledge that face-to-face feedback, connection, and community are top-priority values that are woven into even the most seemingly minor interactions. At the end of the day, we believe the best way to do strategic and creative work is by empathizing with the experiences of one another the same way we care about our users — these simple but significant behaviors listed below are a great start to putting your teammates’ needs, goals, and comfort first.

Be on Time

This is the keystone of professional etiquette. If your call starts late, you run the risk of either not covering the planned discussion topics or of running over. These both inevitably require follow-ups, and both somewhat arrogantly assume that your partners — and your coworkers — are open to your work habits consuming more time than they’re prepared to give.

Be Somewhere Stable

Sounds like a no brainer, but you would be shocked at how many otherwise solid presentations and conversations I’ve seen undercut by background noise in open floorplans and coffee shops. Check your calendar at the beginning of the day, and if you have any calls where you are expected to be an active contributor, plan to get somewhere quiet well in advance and stay put.

Have an Agenda

Nothing says gelled like a team that can run a call together. Whoever is responsible for leading must, without exception, document the agenda points, link all resources, and share these materials with invitees in advance. Then it is the responsibility of every attendee to show up prepared and to stay on topic. If a call does not come with an agenda, ask for one. If someone strays off topic, nudge them back on track.

Leave Your Camera On

We advocate for an 80/20 rule on camera use. This prioritizes face-to-face discussion, helps folks learn one another’s physical cues, and shows partners that you are fully present and interested in making a connection — but also admits that not everyone working from home feels they and their offices are “camera ready” all the time.

Talk to the Green Dot

If you are having a 1-on-1 or a small group discussion, some advice I once received that I love to share is to look at the “green dot” that signals that your camera is on. This helps mimic the eye contact felt in real-life scenarios, and can also help mitigate against the camera anxiety we all feel from time to time, especially if you know you’re larger than life on a conference room’s mega screen.

Introduce Yourself

On first-time calls with a new partner, or in large groups that don’t often collaborate, always identify yourself and your role on the team. “Hey, this is Sarah” is fine, but “Hey, this is Sarah, the technical lead on this project” is not only collegial, it lets your audience frame the type of information you will likely provide and need from the call.

Count to Three

Even with your camera on, and full attention on the conversation, it is still extremely difficult not to accidentally interrupt or speak over someone. As a general rule, try to count to two or three before contributing after someone else has spoken. Or better yet, use your call’s chat feature to raise your (emoji) hand rather than talk over someone — a practice our UXD team has embraced.

Ask Individuals

Ask an open question and ye shall receive deafening silence. Open questions look like you don’t know how to direct a clear inquiry, and you put others in the room at risk of appearing checked out just because they don’t know if or how they should respond. If you want a competent and complete answer, you have to ask for specifics from people by name — not the group.

Turn Off Notifications

Not only are they distracting to you, and a potential gaffe if you’re screensharing — they are very loud for everyone else. I’m looking at you, iMessage. Just turn them off, no additional explanation needed.

Consciously Reject Distraction

Saved the most challenging for last. This means no Slack, no email, no mobile devices, no work product. Mirror the respectful behavior expected in traditional conference rooms, and accept the challenge to pay full attention and dedicate your whole mind to the people sitting right in front you — they will know they are your top priority and appreciate the courtesy.

DockYard is a digital product agency offering exceptional strategy, design, full stack engineering, web app development, custom software, Ember.js, Elixir, and Phoenix services, consulting, and training. With a nationwide staff, we’ve got consultants in key markets across the U.S., including Seattle, San Francisco, Denver, Chicago, Dallas, Atlanta, New York, and Boston.

Read the whole story
jafarim
35 days ago
reply
Share this story
Delete

Man stole $122m from Facebook and Google by sending them random bills, which the companies dutifully paid

1 Comment and 2 Shares

Last week, Evaldas Rimasauskas of Lithuania plead guilty to US wire fraud, aggravated identity theft, and money laundering charges, admitting that he had stolen $99m from Facebook and $23m from Google between 2013 and 2015.

Rimasauskas's grift was pretty bold. He merely sent Google and Facebook invoices for items they hadn't purchased and that he hadn't provided, which the companies paid anyway. The invoices were accompanied by "forged invoices, contracts, and letters that falsely appeared to have been executed and signed by executives and agents of the Victim Companies, and which bore false corporate stamps embossed with the Victim Companies’ names, to be submitted to banks in support of the large volume of funds that were fraudulently transmitted via wire transfer." He also spoofed emails that appeared to come from corporate execs.

Apparently, no one checked first to see if these corresponded to invoices/POs that had been issued within the companies.

Rimasauskas was pretending to be the giant Taiwanese hardware manufacturer Quanta Computer Inc, and had registered a company in Latvia with the same name.

He's agreed to forfeit about $50m. It's not clear what's happened to the other $73m, but Rimasauskas was a prolific and baroque money-launderer who squirreled cash away in Cyprus, Lithuania, Hungary, Slovakia, and Latvia. Google has said that "We detected this fraud and promptly alerted the authorities. We recouped the funds and we're pleased this matter is resolved."

Rimasauskas will be sentenced on July 29. He faces up to 30 years.

"As Evaldas Rimasauskas admitted today, he devised a blatant scheme to fleece U.S. companies out of over $100 million, and then siphoned those funds to bank accounts around the globe," stated Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman in the DoJ press release containing the unsealed indictment from March 21, 2017.

According to the indictment [.PDF], Rimasauskas registered and incorporated a Latvian company with the same name as the Asian computer hardware manufacturer Quanta Computer Inc as reported by Bloomberg, and also opened multiple accounts at banks from Cyprus, Lithuania, Hungary, Slovakia, and Latvia to receive the fraudulent payments.

Lithuanian Pleads Guilty to Stealing $100 Million From Google, Facebook [Sergiu Gatlan/Bleeping Computer]

(via /.)

Read the whole story
jafarim
85 days ago
reply
Share this story
Delete
1 public comment
tekvax
91 days ago
reply
some people will try anything!
Burlington, Ontario

Startup Coding Bootcamp Modern Labor Says It Will Pay You $2,000 a Month For 5 Months To Learn To Code, and Take Roughly 15% of Your Salary For 2 Years Later

1 Share
Modern Labor promises to teach you to code in five months and help find you a job when you graduate -- but you're on the hook for the next two years. From a report: Most coding bootcamps almost sound like get-rich-quick schemes: Devote a few months to learning a new skill from home, and walk into a job that could pay you $70,000 a year to start. For the most immersive programs, you'll need to put your life on hold while you learn full-time. Usually, students pay for those coding bootcamps upfront while they take time off their jobs to learn. Startup coding bootcamp Modern Labor pays people $2,000 a month for five months while they learn to code, following a curriculum remotely from wherever they live for at least 30 hours every week (working out to roughly minimum wage). After graduation, if they land a job that pays at least $40,000, Modern Labor takes 15 percent of their salary for the next two years. For example, if they find a job that pays $80,000, they'll pay Modern Labor $24,000 over two years. [...] Modern Labor's business model is an example of an "income sharing agreement," a scheme that's on-trend for Wall Street and Silicon Valley entrepreneurs looking to disrupt education.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Read the whole story
jafarim
86 days ago
reply
Share this story
Delete

JavaScript Overtakes Java As Most Popular Programming Language

1 Share
An anonymous reader writes: Today, HackerRank released the 2019 edition of its annual Developer Skills Report (PDF [PDF]), surveying over 71,000 software developers from more than 100 countries. Every single industry requires software developers, meaning competition for technical talent is fierce. The idea here is to help everyone from CEOs and executives to hiring managers and recruiters understand the developers they're pursuing. We've put together a quick video to summarize the results.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Read the whole story
jafarim
146 days ago
reply
Share this story
Delete

A trick to see the blood vessels in your own eye

1 Share

Neuroscience researcher Guillaume Riesen put together this video in 2011 but it's just as mind-blowing today. In it, he shares a trick that allows you to see the blood vessels in your own eyeball! It works, I tried it.

(reddit)

image via bigalid

Read the whole story
jafarim
240 days ago
reply
Share this story
Delete

Use of Internet, Social Media and Digital Devices Plateaus In US, Pew Research Center Finds

1 Share
A new analysis from the Pew Research Center finds that "the share of Americans who go online, use social media or own key devices has remained stable the past two years." From the report: The share who say they have broadband internet service at home currently stands at 65% -- nearly identical to the 67% who said this in a survey conducted in summer 2015. And when it comes to desktop or laptop ownership, there has actually been a small dip in the overall numbers over the last two years -- from 78% in 2016 to 73% today. A contributing factor behind this slowing growth is that parts of the population have reached near-saturation levels of adoption of some technologies. Put simply, in some instances there just aren't many non-users left. For example, nine-in-ten or more adults younger than 50 say they go online or own a smartphone. And a similar share of those in higher-income households have laptops or desktops.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Read the whole story
jafarim
265 days ago
reply
Share this story
Delete
Next Page of Stories