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Ask Slashdot: Replacing Paper With Tablets For Design Meetings? 143

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the where's-the-messagepad-now dept.
New submitter faderrider (3726665) writes I work in the healthcare design industry and our firm is looking to get away from using paper during our design meetings. My first thought was to load our reports and plans on a tablet, bring a half dozen or so tablets for attendees and somehow create a local ad hoc network that would allow them to view my desktop. A little more thinking brought me to consider the value of attendees being able to mark up documents on their own, or take control of what is being viewed to talk through ideas. Is anyone else out there doing something like this and if so what are you implementing? Specifically the challenges i see are creating the local network, establishing share/control relationships between tablets and managing any documentation markups attendees may make during the meeting. I am also looking at the Samsung 10.1 as the hardware but would be interested in any recommendations. I can also provide, most of the time, web access via my phone but would prefer not to rely on a service like WebEx or JoinMe.
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Ask Slashdot: Replacing Paper With Tablets For Design Meetings?

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  • The WHAT industry? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) on Wednesday July 02, 2014 @01:42PM (#47370241)

    >> healthcare design industry

    What do you design? Interiors? Landscaping? Workspaces? Networks? Something else?

  • Ah no (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Charliemopps (1157495) on Wednesday July 02, 2014 @02:28PM (#47370685)

    Stop, just stop,

    I do meetings like this ALL DAY LONG. No offense, but there's always someone like you that wants to introduce some new technology that is supposed to make us so much more efficient. Instead we spend half of every meeting trying to get that new tech working.

    The best way to lead a meeting that I've used:
    A conference room big enough for everyone.
    An overhead projector hooked up to a computer.
    Remote into your personal workstation from that computer.
    Have project goals in whatever tool you use at your company. Personally, I prefer a shared spreadsheet, either Excel or Google docs.
    Avoid large project management software packages because they require everyone that needs to see them to have a license. They rarely do.
    Log minutes in a text document that can track changes (word or whatever)
    If there are people not in the room you can share your desktop with them have have a conference bridge the can call into for audio.
    Discourage using whiteboards for the sake of your remote users. Also, you cant save whiteboards. I had ours taken out years ago.
    PAINT actually comes in handy if you get fluent in it. I can do some pretty complicated flowcharts using it, very quickly... then later put them into visio so they look nice and are editable. I'm actually vision certified and can use it fluently. But I can do a flowchart in Paint in about 1/10th the time. Box, Line, Circle, Text, done! It doesn't look great, but this is a meeting not an art studio.

    Now the person LEADING the meeting is not the person at the keyboard.
    "Charlie, bring up the requirements. Thanks..." etc...
    The leader, leads the person at the keyboard. The person at the keyboard is only focused on having the correct things up, and logging of whats decided.
    When you're all done, you send everything (or a link to everything) out to everyone that was there with a statement like "This is the result of our meeting, please review" etc... so corrections or clarifications can be made. Changes should be "requested" not simply made without talking to anyone.

    I know it's clunky, but it works. I've tried damned near everything. We have a lot of managers that like to fall for online marketing so every few months there's a new initiative. I'll keep letting them bring the stuff up and we can keep trying. I imagine one day there will be some new neat way of doing things. But it's not here yet, and tablets are certainly not going to do it.

  • Re:Use Paper (Score:4, Interesting)

    by vtcodger (957785) on Wednesday July 02, 2014 @03:06PM (#47371075)

    You'll waste the whole meeting fiddling with the technology and getting used to the UI.

    I'm old and retired and far past meeting age (thank god). But my take is.

    You'll not only waste the first meeting. Probably much of the first six meetings. And significant chunks of later meetings. And probably you'll need to spend time training any new participants in later meetings.

    And ... you probably want computers with real keyboards so people can type notes and make corrections and not have to worry about spurious touches doing stupid things.

    I've never encountered any sort of computer drawing tool that wasn't excrutiatingly painful when compared to paper and something pencil-like. Doesn't mean one or more don't exist. But usability for graphics in a free wheeling environment really is something you should consider.

    Not that what the poster wants isn't desirable. But what is really wanted is probably a process that can be "imported" and adopted to local needs, not a technology you can order 8 of from your hardware monger. In particular one should view any off-the-shelf commercial solution with the same attitude you'd take toward a large dog who is growling at you and foaming a bit around the mouth.

    Would salesmen lie to you? You betcha. It is what salesmen do.

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