Virtualy coaching visuals


2006-8-1

I was recently asked to help a friend with the visual design for his upcoming website. Now we could have worked in the normal fashion of a designer/client relationship. I do some proposals, he comments, I modify etc. That is an incremental process that works well via email etc.

But my friend Carl is a veritable coach and teacher in his own right. He knows this stuff himself, and he does not need anybody to do his work for him. What Carl really wanted was for someone (me) to sit with him and do this together. To have someone to guide, comment right there during the process. Which would have cost an oversea flight from Nürnberg to Buffalo NY to make happen. Not an option at this point we agreed.

What we ended up doing was very interesting, fun and promising. Carl has been using VNC based technaology in his "virtualk assistant" coaching for some time now. The idea is to share one screen and virtualy work at the same document. VNC based tools like MyIvo and UltraVNC make this very practical and in some cases even easy to set up. Especially MyIvo get's our hands down vote for ease of use and performance. Even over my steam-powered 64k ISDN connection I have to live with here I could reasonably watch and comment on what Carl was doing in Photoshop on his PC. And the fact that I am on Mac OS X and he on WinXP was totally not problem at all.

What made these "look over my shoulder and guide me" sessions very successful was also our parallel use of Skype. Talking via Skype and commenting on what I saw on my screen was all that I needed to guide Carl through some very difficult design descisions.

So here's our recipe for instant virtual collab and hand holding:

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alles Bild, Text und Tonmaterial ist © Martin Spernau, Verwendung und Reproduktion erfordert die Zustimmung des Authors

Martin Spernau
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