In the develop of the Viz Lab and research commons the model and proposed use was based on existing campus VisLabs on campus. These labs are set apart from general areas, isolated, and not used much. The concept of having a very open and central facility was purposely made to draw attention. In the early phases of introduction to high level research groups from faculty and school the space was introduced as meeting space utilizing the video conferencing facilities. This took off quickly but with it inherent IT issues and having to quickly learn new and additional capacities to meet expectations.
An initial hurdle was the fact that the Viz Lab had been locked down to only allow Video Conference out of the room as instigator of a session and having to know the exact IP address of where you were dialling too. This information had to be sort from ICT and there seemed to be a resistance to hand over an address book of room IP addresses. The compromise was to introduce a generic room address book onto the controlling iPad. This was far superior, however one had to work out exactly what room one was dialling to, and to get people to double check these from regional campuses. It was also found to be limiting in that if you were dialling multiple rooms one had to sequentially dial in each room but if you connected with a wrong room one had to hang up all rooms and start again.
One other limitation we learnt was that it was not possible to directly dial into a teaching room. Even if one had booked a teaching room only AV could link your room to a teaching room. What we learnt was to get the Viz Lab accessible on the address book, and to strongly suggest users book Video Conferencing in advance via AV using a form This has proved to be more reliable however one still has to be on stand by to ring up ICT or inform remote users about muting and/or turning on speakers plus to re inforce the use of microphones for sound in the Viz Lab.
After a year of operation and review we have refocused the purpose of the Viz Lab and consequently allowed it to function more purposely as both a meeting space and as a research space.