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UI/UX case study

Zoom Redesign

Designing a screen-shot embedded note-taking feature for Zoom

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Team project for Design for Future course





UX Designer

6 weeks (November 2021)



Nicole Tran, Morgan Li, Connor Isenman, Mengyuan Zhang



Users of Zoom often experience a cognitive overload or encounter slips easily due to such a tedious workflow and many interactions ends up being counterintuitive and counterproductive. If a user wants to note-take during a Zoom meeting often involves switching between multiple applications. These complicated interactions are required in order to achieve very simple intentions.


Reduce cognitive overload and slips by facilitating easy note-taking and better context based-communication by designing a screenshot-enabled note taking feature.

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Note taking menu bar the right side of the window

Screenshot and editing menu

Competitive Analysis
Competitive Analysis

Google Docs

  • Advantages

    • Easy to convert into PDF or other file types

    • Live collaboration 

    • Online storage for the documents

  • Limitations

    • Split-screen in order to take notes (difficult to view/note take while in the conference call)

    • Constantly switching between windows (Zoom to watch → Google Doc to note take → Back to Zoom → Back to Google Doc)

    • Tedious functioning on smaller devices when on Zoom and Google Doc (mobile, iPad)

    • Must go back and open both Zoom recording and Google Doc to review past video

    • No synchronization between specific note section and Zoom time frame


  • Advantages

    • Easy screenshot and annotation to facilitate live streaming process

    • Allows direct communication between participants and host: send screenshot to chat function

  • Limitations

    • Does not allow screenshots to be used personally: compiling and editing them into notes

    • Does not extract image or transcript separately 

    • Mostly beneficial for visual art related streaming process



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Note-taking Features


  • Allows for direct screenshot inputting

  • Simultaneous note-taking alongside Zoom call

    • No switching between Zoom and note taking 

    • Especially useful on smaller devices


  • No collaborative functions

  • Limited fonts and colors to save the space

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Notes Collection Features


  • Creation of multiple notes

  • Notes synchronize with the timestamp of Zoom call

  • Easy to convert into PDF or other file types

  • Send notes to another user



  • Selecting and using features takes too many clicks

  • Single notes may be preferred over having multiple notes

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Screen-shot menu Features


  • Real-time screenshot for editing

  • Easy to compile into notes or files and sends to chat

  • Easy to convert into PDF or other file types

  • Extracts transcripts


  • Menu overlays on the of the Zoom window

  • May be slower than Windows snipping tool

Hi-fi Prototype
Hi-fi Prototype
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Next Step
Next Step

For our next steps, we’ve thought about further improving our design first by doing more user testing for an even more efficient note-taking system and flow. Also we would want to experiment more with the potential HCI technology used to facilitate a smoother Zoom experience, for example, using natural language processing to detect critical date and event information for setting automatic calendar events.

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