CrossClave App

Designing a video calls feature

Project Overview

When we had the initial kickoff for the CrossClave app, we identified chat and file sharing as the two core modes of collaboration that folks needed in order to break up with their current, privacy-deficient collaboration SaaS solutions.Shortly after launching feedback from our community of users made it crystal clear that we had overlooked a crucial piece of the collab experiences—namely video!


Feedback indicated that in order to effectively leverage the collaboration tools we had built into CrossClave, our users were routinely hopping onto a video conferencing app to discuss a file they were working on  together, or chat about something face to face rather than via the existing text chat.

Further research through surveys crystalized a few key design requirements:

  • Needed to allow for small-medium groups to (2-10)
  • People needed to still be able to interact with the chat/files UI while in a video call
  • Needed the ability to automatically notify workspace members of an ongoing call
  • Needed to work well on desktop and mobile platforms

Ideation and wireframes

Initiating a call within the a Space (think channel) was a fairly straightforward problem to solve. My approach was to simply add a call buttot to the exisitng Space title bar which was already home to the chat/files features.

A simple, lof-fi wireframe image showing a "tools" tab below the main navigational menu of a website

Incorporating the video call feature as a tab in the UI created some interesting challenges when it came to allowing users to still utilize the chat/files features and seamlessly navigate between all of them while on a video call.

Mobile necessitated a slightly different approach to multitasking where the UI shifts up to allow for a “in progress” call  banner at the bottom of the screen.

Hifi prototyping and internal beta testing

With a solid understanding of how calls could be integrated into the existing chat/files model of CrossClave, I generated hi-fidelity prototypes utilizing the existing CC design system components as much as possible.

Animated prototype of a video call feature on an iPhone
In an effort to ship fast and learn, our team opted to release 1:1 only MVP version of the video call feature while we continue development of the full feature.


While the final video calls feature has yet to be fully released publicly—if internal beta testing is any indication, the video call feature will aleviate a huge painpoint for many of our users and remove huge barrier to an all zero-trust all the time collaborative workflow.

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