One of the most powerful nudges Humu has found during this crisis is a reminder for people to set up what we call virtual watercoolers.
“Set up a meeting, and have it run on Zoom or Google Hangouts on whatever platform you want, forever. … Set up a three- month long meeting. So anyone can just pop in when they need support. That reinforces affinity and kind of replicates that randomness and serendipity you have where people bump into one another,” Bock said.
What we’ve learned about how remote work is changing us
This is an interesting idea. One of the things I miss, not just since self-isolation but since returning to PEI, is the lack of idle chit chat around design or the work we are doing.
There are a lot of traditional graphic designers, fine arts folks, and a handful of talented people in UX, but there is very little in the way of afterwork mixing going on, or much taking at all really. Likely people get enough of that in their workplace, and treat 5pm as a time to leave that behind. There was a meetup of sorts, but it was generally poorly attended and as far as I can see has been put on hiatus.
There are many avenues online to have serious discussions about design or design research et al., but that’s not really the same, and to be honest not as interesting to me as it was before.
What I did try last week, was starting a Facebook Live session. I thought since my goal was to continue to ignore Twitter and read something of interest I could in a short video share what I was reading. This would have the added effect of some accountability and perhaps most importantly, help me confront my hatred of seeing myself talk on video.
So I started the session early in the morning while I was drinking coffee, picked Interaction Design Lessons from Science Fiction By Nathan Shedroff as my first read, and pressed Start Live Video. All of a sudden I had I think 700 people watching my live stream, a number of who peppered me with questions like, “Where are you from?”, “What are you doing?”, and etc.
Not exactly what I was expecting.
The beauty of having an audience of a few (like this blog) is you can do whatever you want. All of sudden during that live-streams I realized that someone might actually watch it and that might require some preparation, which gives it a sense of seriousness I was not really counting on.
I may try it again, by embracing the banality of it (fitting extension of this blog) or by trying something else. But like a casual talk, I hope I don’t have to prepare.