IT decision-makers are moving to the Microsoft Teams collaboration suite at a record pace – it’s the fastest growing business application in the history of Microsoft. Its all-in-one environment opens up communications and virtual office capabilities that make teamwork easier – no matter where team members are located.
Michael Nelson, owner of Sacramento IT services company, TLC Tech works with organizations throughout Sacramento to help improve communication, increase efficiencies and foster strong collaboration, all built on Microsoft Office 365 and Microsoft Teams.
What are Microsoft Teams?
Teams is a versatile cloud-based collaboration suite that acts as a central hub for communication and file sharing. It combines multiple functions into a go-to work environment, managing operations such as:
- Unified communication – integrating real-time and asynchronous operations
- Robust functionality for collaboration with integrated tools like video conferencing, group chat, VOIP phone functions, file sharing, and real-time group editing
- Application integration – since it’s bundled with Microsoft Office, it seamlessly integrates Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and other Microsoft applications including Outlook / Exchange
- Connections with external systems like Salesforce, Zendesk, Mailchimp, and more allow secure data interface, with an API available to create new extensions – including career development resources
Individuals and workgroups can be organized into Teams – based on common projects, for example. Within each Team are Channels – which are communication environments for group chat and other shared activities.
Features and Advantages of Microsoft Teams
Teams are bundled with Office 365, so it’s effortlessly integrated into the ubiquitous software suite. Microsoft has called it “the new operating system” for customers, where they “will do everything that they need to do.”
The feature-rich Teams environment focuses on collaborative capabilities:
- Platform-independent teamwork – Windows, MacOS, iOS, and Android devices, Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer 11, and Microsoft Edge web browsers work together as equals
- Channels for topic-specific communications include secure private channel options (e.g. for management-level information security) and “guest” functions for including partners and vendors
- Groups and Channels can scale to any size for huge Team sizes such as government organizations and Fortune 100 companies
- Video conferencing includes custom or blurred backgrounds behind attendees, second-camera options for in-room objects like whiteboards or product displays, and much more
- Full-featured VOIP phone functions can integrate with – or even replace – PBX systems
- Real-time file sharing and group editing allows participants to collaborate on shared documents live during chats or calls
- Chat messaging workspace features group and private messaging, threaded and persistent conversations, integrates with applications such as meeting scheduling
Managed IT with Microsoft Teams
Teams are ideal for a managed IT environment. Teams are dominating the enterprise collaboration space – rapidly becoming the industry standard – so managed IT clients have a competitive incentive to adopt it.
Streamlined productivity – Teams mean less time in meetings and more time getting things done.
Easy coordination between managed IT providers and clients – Teams centralized communication platform allows the provider to better understand issues – and the client to be more effective in getting needs met.
Managed IT providers can offer downstream benefits to clients – providers have another important asset to offer in assisting clients with Teams’ implementation.
Competitive advantage – using Teams, managed IT clients can run tighter operations and maximize efficiency, making the best use of managed IT services. Using Teams helps businesses to focus on key operations – and most of all, avoid competitive disadvantage if competitors use Teams.
Company Culture Benefits of Microsoft Teams
Workplace satisfaction is essential for empowering and retaining top talent – and even for recruiting. Multiple studies have revealed key factors that impact employee engagement and happiness, several of which are directly addressed by Teams.
- Open communication
- Work relationships
- Recognition and appreciation
- Career development
Employee engagement and workplace satisfaction are a priority for many businesses. The collaborative, relationship-based Teams tool not only helps businesses operate more efficiently – it boosts these important human elements.
Unified communication tools such as Teams, plus competitors like Slack, are here to stay. Teams’ centralized collaboration platform solves the problems of patchwork communications where multiple functions take place in isolated silos.
From front-line employees to top management, better communication makes for better productivity, simpler operations, and a more streamlined workflow.
7 Effective Solutions For Main Challenges Of Usability Testing
The digital concept has revolutionized more than ever. Especially, the introduction of mobile technologies and advanced digital assets such as websites, software, and applications have completely changed the virtual world.
Nevertheless, the huge exposure to technology has made the users smarter than ever which leads to the fact that “Improving customer experience can raise KPIs by over 80% while a good user interface can increase websites’ conversion rates by up to 200%.” On the other hand, poor user experience is one of the most significant reasons for business loss which can be explained through the fact that 90% of users will leave a site solely due to bad design.
In short, working on usability testing is an extremely important process to foster. Especially, when you need to cultivate a sustainable business impression while retaining the user base, usability testing allows you to stay ahead of your competition. On the other hand, working on usability testing is not as simple as testing the functionality of all the features. Rather it is an approach that works on checking the overall user experience offered by an application or software which ultimately contributes to the conversions.
Therefore, it becomes necessary that testers should have a clear vision of all the potential usability challenges that they might need to deal with on their way to creating a competitive product. In this blog, we will try to underline 7 of the most significant challenges that testers encounter on their way to creating products with perfect UX. Also, we will aim at sharing the relevant solutions to all the challenges listed in order to help our readers on checking our products for great usability.
Defining Clear Objectives
The most basic challenge that QA testers may encounter on their way to usability testing is having no or lack of direction on objectives. Moreover, a project that has no objectives could allow testers to pick a wrong approach to the test process which may lead pointless recommendations to surface.
Losing the initial direction is normal and if testers have the right understanding of the steps that they could take to overcome usability issues, things can be much easier. Some of the few important things that testers could do to meet the defined objectives include:
- Understanding the most important areas of interest that might affect UX
- Understanding issues that cause impact to the organization
- Understanding the most realistic implementations that could affect the usability metrics.
Recruitment Of Testers
Though testing does not need you to work on large sample sizes, it is necessary to recruit the right testing team. Inability to accommodate a team of experts that do not have the right understanding of the test process could make you skip all the usability issues. In other words, skipping on the basic usability issues and missing testers with the right attitude may lead to loss of content.
- Understand your target audience at priority in order to find the focus of the test process
- Define a list of complete screening requirements that you should follow to find the right team of testers
- Avoid using a team of testers with the same skill to avoid any chances of missing usability scenarios.
Set The Right Tasks
Another significant challenge which is associated with usability testing services is the inability of the test team to set the right tasks. Since the whole idea with usability testing is to generate more value and money from the product, testers working on a predetermined document may not able to identify all the realistic issues of the system under test. For instance, a team of testers pursuing only the prewritten benchmarks of usability may not be able to use their potential to at fullest when it comes to checking a system from varying user perspectives.
- The primary step that testers should take is leading the exploratory work. It will help to find the most important factors that might hamper the usability of the system.
- In case, testing is done on some prototypes, the testers should ensure that the prototype must offer a realistic journey to testers for effective testing.
- It is always a good idea to start with no direction as it opens more dimensions to research and avoids leading testers to where developers want them to go.
Usability is meant to create the most dynamic and flexible user experiences depending on the varying attitude and usage patterns. Since the process is hard to articulate, UX research that does not involve the stakeholders does not allow organizational buy-in on any updates and actions required by testers.
- Ensure engagement of key stakeholders right from the beginning of the test process to meet the research objectives.
- Make sure stakeholders are part of the research and understand the research results to assist and encourage developers and testers on moulding the existing models.
- Research discussions must be fostered within the organization to get multiple evidence drawn from the research interpretation from pieces of evidence drawn from the research interpretation. This can even help testers to get a quick agreement on identified issues and required actions.
Planning The Format Of The Test
Another common yet big challenge that testers have to face on their way to usability testing is sparing no time to format the test. It is necessary that testers should measure the resources available to plan the nature of the test which can be moderated, unmoderated, which further involves silent observation or constructive interaction.
- Testers should define clear test format guidelines depending on the product.
- If a test is moderated, the users involved in the test must be clearly instructed on the nature of the test.
- It can even help to cut the discomfort that testers might need to experience on their way to conducting usability tests.
Quick Tip: It is necessary that testers must plan in-person usability testing as gives the ability to read the user’s body language and maintain consistent contact with them which is not possible with unmoderated testing or testing efforts that are worked remotely.
Define Tasks Within Test
The entire response and reaction recorded during a usability test depend on the information presented to the users. Therefore, it is necessary that testers should not create biased tasks for the user groups. Though such practices help you yield positive outcomes with the test results, it leaves no scope for progress and keeps all the error points open.
- Developers and Test team should plan tasks that are open/exploratory, closed/specific, as well as those that meet middle grounds
- All the open-ended tasks must be shared with users with minimum information on how to perform.
- All the closed-specific tasks and tasks with middling complications must be shared with the client to test any limiting scope of interpretation and confusion.
No Dry Runs
Last but not least, usability testing must be worked with space for dry runs. It is more about planning the rehearsals for the tests to ensure everything should go as per the defined plan. Moreover, a dry run even helps you find the time required to complete the test and cuts any chances of surprises that you may encounter in the middle of real tests.
- The internal teams should work on running the pilot tests before the final usability tests.
- The pilot tests must be conducted with members of the team that have no or minimal knowledge of the product under test.
- The insights from pilot tests should be used to define the schedule for the real-time tasks and their priorities.
When it comes to usability testing, the inability to work on a well-defined usability test format would leave the stakeholders deprived of the product success that otherwise can be achieved when tested properly. However, the need to create meaningful outcomes with usability testing does not demand much.
One of the most important factors that test teams or QA companies should keep in mind when working on usability testing is to overcome all the aforementioned challenges. Besides, there are certain best practices or characteristics of usability testing tasks that could help yield the desired value.
- Always propose a task to the users and not the questions
- Make sure you are highly specific to the users
- Test teams should avoid any instruction sharing with the users
- It is vital that users must have their own space when working on tests or writing feedback.
Sticking to these practices could help uncover the potential problems related to user experience and can even help the usability testing service providers to refine the entire process.
Author Bio: Kanika Vatsyayan is Vice-President Delivery and Operations at BugRaptors who oversees all the quality control and assurance strategies for client engagements. She loves to share her knowledge with others through blogging. Being a voracious blogger, she published countless informative blogs to educate audiences about automation and manual testing.
How to Become a UX Designer?
Just like every field, there are some requirements to excel as a designer. One must be learning and have an interest in pursuing the same in the future. Also, to get expertise in this domain.
However, it is important to complete a degree program. This gives a lot of exposure to know the significant and minor technicalities. A person who wants to become a UX designer should concentrate on designing and developing patterns. On the other hand, skills are polished with experience and hands-on practice. Focus on the learning aspects to bring improvements.
5 Tips to Become a UX Designer
There is not a hard and fast rule that works for everyone. Individuals learn at their own pace and timings. However, an app development company in UK emphasizes more practical understanding while others must be relying on the step-by-step procedure. But not a single shortcut works. One must have to go through the process, and it would take time as well.
Here are the Ways of Becoming a UX Designer:
1- Know-How of Designing Tools:
A number of tools are available to make designing more appropriate. A few of the names of agencies are Adobe XD, Figma, Sketch and InVision, etc. However, each of them is unique and function differently. So, to become a UX designer, it is crucial to select the upgraded software.
2- Master The Technical Skills:
The first and foremost thing is to concentrate on improving technical skills. A lot of structures are perfect because of targeting the suitable methods. This would help in the development and designing procedures.
3- Work on Professional Portfolio:
Initially, it is the best way to showcase your potentials. This is how the clients will be able to know the working efficiency. Therefore, to become a UX designer trying to build a professional portfolio. The reason behind this is to make things clear about the expertise.
4- Say Yes to Client’s Projects:
If somehow I manage to get some projects, it will be easier to get along with another task. This increases your confidence and boosts your skills. Never say no to low-budget projects. In the beginning, you would be getting less than the average amount, but that is okay. Within a few months, a lot of market exposure would be enough to complete the complex projects.
5- Go for a Suitable Internship:
There is no comparison between practically learned and implemented skills. Thus. It is good to find an internship to learn about the designing industry to become a UX designer. You will meet many professionals, and it will enhance your overall experience. After accomplishing good technical work, you would easily get aligned with the more difficult job responsibilities.
Follow the Right Pattern:
Undoubtedly, UX designing is becoming one of the demanding fields. To do something and make your official presence worthy, just focus on the positive ways as things shift to online platforms. Learning the fundamentals helps a lot in creating accurate patterns of designs for the users. It is significant to bring advancement in design patterns to make things more effective.
Best Small Video Gaming Room Ideas for 2021
The previous 18 months was a weird chance without a doubt, however, for a lot of gamers and tech sweethearts out there months invested locked inside weren’t by and large energy squandered. This as well as 2020 was a beautiful energizing year for innovation with the arrival of the Nvidia 30 series cards, the Xbox series X and S just as the Playstation 5. Yet, regardless of whether you haven’t been fortunate enough to get your hands on any of the new age reassures, this likely didn’t prevent you from going through a long time step up, killing beasts for great plunder, and searching for small gaming room ideas to update your gamer cavern.
All things considered, long gaming meetings are about solace, so clustering over a TV or PC in a confined corner essentially will not do. Plus, what gamer doesn’t need wonderful gaming room arrangements with multi-screen arrangements, gaming accessories, a control center of each sort, and encompassing lighting?
Fortunately, in the ripe minds of stay-at-home specialists, each cubby opening, dull divider, and beat-up work area transforms into a chance for reexamination. During the pandemic, a large number of gaming devotees posted up their own personal Battlestations for our fulfillment and motivation (much obliged, quarantine). Along these lines, we’ve volunteered to accumulate the themed gaming arrangements to assist you with building a definitive gaming room that will make your companions slobber.
Prepared to take your gaming experience to a higher level?
Here is our cool gaming room ideas
You can’t rearrange your loft in Cyberpunk 2077, however, you can beautify your arrange best gaming background room Cyberpunk 2077 style. Regardless of whether you can’t stand to totally patch up the whole room, you can look at these authoritatively authorized Cyberpunk 2077 banners for some madly cool divider workmanship. Welcome to the Night City.
Tech Meets Nature Gaming Room Ideas
Love tech, yet love nature as well? This gaming arrangement makes the best of both! A nature-themed work area backdrop and indoor plants balance out the cool combo of PC stuff and furniture and add a general delicateness to the whole stylistic layout. On the off chance that you truly have a green thumb, there’s no justification for why you shouldn’t push the boat out and develop a full upward nursery divider! You’ll feel like you’ve been out in nature regardless of whether you’ve been stuck to the screen the entire day.
Highly contrasting Gaming Room Ideas
Slam out a basic yet viable plan clearly. White speakers, a white console, and a coordinating earphone stand keep this plan fresh and clear. Utilizing white and dark as your base tones gives you a great deal of leeway to explore different avenues regarding LED lighting. Regardless of which colors you use for your lighting, it will consistently look great. Likewise, we totally love plunking down to a game at a work area that feels like it has a place on the extension of a spaceship.
Anime Paradise Gaming Room Ideas
anime gaming room
This crazy anime gaming room is simply dribbling with pastel tasteful. Everything from the console to the seat is decorated in child pink, and the entire space is tenderly enlightened by a neon blue sign written in Japanese. The dividers have the famous Demon Hunter veils from the anime ‘Devil Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba’ hanging simply over the PC, and on the floor, there’s an adorable mat highlighting Killua Zoldyck from the exemplary Hunter X Hunter.
Star Wars Themed Gaming Room Ideas
You will not need to go to a cosmic system far, far away to partake in this Star Wars-themed room. Washed in frightful blue and red lighting, it highlights Star Wars lightsabers, dolls, and Star Wars-themed divider workmanship.
Shading able LED lights, laser speck projector, and Nanoleaf triangles assist with making a powerful gaming experience by changing a dim bedroom into a science fiction film set.
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Pink Gaming Room Ideas
Kawaii divider craftsmanship isn’t a great fit for everybody, except each young lady otaku would be fixated on this bubblegum pink gaming arrangement. Certainly charming without being suffocatingly pink, the pastel accents and a coordinating with Nanoleaf board tie in pleasantly with the cherry bloom backdrops and the illuminated console, taking this cutesy work to a higher level.
Neon-Lit Gaming Setup
Frequently our gaming space serves as a utilitarian room, like a workspace. In case you’re a gamer around evening time, however a stay-at-home specialist by day, this cozy workspace will fit you perfectly. You can nearly feel the comfortable energies coming from this work area arranged almost a splendid window with bunches of encompassing vegetation. Yet, even with a window and a few plants around, you may in any case wind up gazing at a clear divider. To take care of that issue, go for delightful divider craftsmanship that highlights scenes of nature, woodlands, blossoms, and untamed life.