Common Look and Feel – Audio Visual
A number of improvements have been made to create a common look and feel across the audio visual systems on the UBC Vancouver campus.
Until a few years ago, there have been a multitude of AV designers, integrators, and programmers doing upgrades to AV systems across UBC’s Vancouver campus. As a result, AV systems across campus differ in look and feel in almost every building or room. The inconsistencies in look and function of these systems has led to confusion and frustration on the part of users who have to navigate the varying interfaces and technologies, as well as difficulties for those who support the spaces.
To resolve these issues, the UBC Learning Spaces Team tasked UBC IT Audio Visual with streamlining the design and the functionality of the AV systems in classrooms across the UBC Vancouver campus.
Two main improvements include the:
Renewal of the AV Touchpanel Graphical User Interface (GUI)
UBC IT Audio Visual started in 2016 with the design and programming phase which lead to the first implementation in the summer of 2017. The implementation will continue through to an expected substantial completion of buildings with general use classrooms in 2021. This campus-wide renewal is a part of a larger initiative to create a more consistent look and feel for learning spaces across campus.
The new GUI will:
- Feature improved user experience by making the AV system controls more intuitive.
- Reduce the number of support calls by empowering classroom users, thus improving the educational experience at UBC.
- Be configurable for any type of AV related system, big or small, basic or complex.
- Allow for integration with other enterprise systems (Fusion AV Enterprise Management System, Enterprise Voice, Emergency Notification Systems, etc.)
As part of the touch-panel interface project, we are replacing outdated hardware in classrooms to meet existing industry standards, enhancing AV network connectivity across campus, and have written the new standardized programming code for the classroom AV systems at UBC. These new standards will now become part of the UBC technical guidelines.
Standardization of Design and Implementation
UBC IT Audio Visual now employs a full team of certified AV Designers, Project Managers, Installers, and Programmers to oversee all design and implementation of AV technology across the campus. There has been a conscious effort to streamline the AV systems in classrooms with the goal of this operational program to create a much better experience for instructors and others who use our classroom spaces. Another benefit of standardizing system designs is that the speed of service by AV technicians who support these spaces will increase. Technicians will have a more comprehensive knowledge base with an additional selective set of tools and equipment.
Hardware such as projectors, document cameras, video matrix switchers, and lecterns are now being implemented the same across the classrooms. The button control panels found in many rooms have the same layout, and functionality to ensure the same user experience no matter the room. When turning on the systems in the general use classrooms, the same UBC splash page will appear. The instructions screen for displays equipped with wireless presentation is now standardized and being implemented across campus.
All together, these changes make a significant contribution to creating a common look and feel for our learning spaces on the UBC Vancouver campus.