Hangouts App


UX Designer, Digital Strategist, Visual Designer, Product Owner

The Problem

This was a very personal project, inspired by an annoyance I experienced at at Yellow Pencil on a regular basis.

At Yellow Pencil we use Google Hangouts for video conferencing and there is a major hurdle in using it when you are not on your desk. It is virtually impossible to find the link to a hangout meeting from your iphone. This happens to me quite a lot, given I have a four year old, an odd gym schedule, and a bridge as part of my morning commute. I end up trying to text or message colleagues to invite me to the meeting, hoping someone is paying attention to their email or phone. read my blog post on this project

Design Solution

I combined some JavaScript Wizardry (and a whole bunch of trial and error hacking) with a sleek UX, based on some of the Google Material Design concepts. The outcome was a simple web app that solves my key user needs:

  • list my google calendar meetings for the next 24 hours
  • give me details if I need them
  • show me if a meeting has a hangout link attached or not
  • let me change users (I always seem to be logged into the wrong google account at any given time)
  • let me join a hangout

I added a couple of fun little things to the app. The background colour switches from green to deep red the closer you are to a meeting start time give you a visual urgency indicator. I also incorporated some subtle animation effects to help the app feel a little more app like and less like a website.

This is not an app that will set the world ablaze, but it does simplify my life and helps me get to meetings quickly and easily... and sometimes it's the little things that help the most. Check it out for yourself and never be late for a Hangout again.

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