Pospelova, Maria Supervisor: Prof. Gudrun Klinker Advisor: Eghtebas, Nassim (@ga53xoy) Submission Date: [created]
Since the start of the pandemic in 2020, conventional working processes have started to shift towards digital communication technologies such as Zoom. As a result, new problems such as Zoom Fatigue have arisen, which may be caused by an increased amount of additional non-verbal information a person has to handle during online meetings. One potential cause is hyper gaze from a grid of staring faces. The issues can be caused by the design of the software, and new products may inherit the same issues, as we don’t know the impact of the current online communication tool configurations and don’t have an understanding of the impact of the virtual positioning between multiple people. This thesis introduces the Synchrony Experimental Platform to solve these issues and introduces synchrony as a research tool for the social aspect during online meetings. The experimental platform allows researchers to design a virtual experiment with as much laboratory control as possible. We established the need for this platform by conducting user interviews with different researchers studying synchrony in different areas. This thesis guides the reader through the whole developmental process of the Synchrony Experimental Platform, including the organizational and technical setup and the technical implementation. Our results expand the research field for improved digital interface design of online conferencing tools and enable a broader variety of synchrony experiments in the virtual online meeting setting.
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