ZipDX is continually evolving, driven by the ever-changing needs of our customers. In the most recent update we’re extending the conference dashboard, both literally and functionally. Both of these changes are the direct result of requests from customers.
Most users never even see the conference dashboard. However, those who use it routinely find that it completely transforms what they are able to achieve. In our most recent update to the system we’ve extended the dashboard to better accommodate very large conferences, and provide enhanced text chat functionality.
New Dashboard Size & Shape
The size of the dashboard has remained unchanged since its introduction. Given that a typical conference has a relatively small number of participants, the default size of the dashboard was modest.
Jump forward some years and we find that those who use the dashboard most intensively generally have larger conferences. In some cases very large conferences, with a hundred (or more!) participants connected.
The revised dashboard (pictured above) occupies a larger area of screen, using most of the vertical space available. This allows many more of the connected participants to be visible, with less need for scrolling through the list.
Of course, the window can be resized to best suite your purposes. Further, it’s adaptive, automatically adjusting to different window size and orientation.
Text Chat: A Refresher
The dashboard has long featured a text chat functionality. In the initial implementation the text chat included several predefined chat “channels.” In a traditional conference there was a Main channel and separate channels for each breakout room.
In a multilingual conference there was a Floor channel, and separate channels for each language. This allowed text-based coordination between teams of interpreters working in tandem.
All of the text channels were visible to anyone with access to the dashboard. While it was possible to send a message to Hosts only, it was not possible to send a private message.
Next Generation Text Chat
Early in April all of the above will be replaced with a new approach that is both simpler and more capable. The chat now defaults to just two chat tabs; Main and Hosts, as pictured below.
Public Group Chat
The Main Chat tab is for public group messaging. All participants with access to the dashboard can see and use the Main Chat channel.
Private Host Chat
Hosts can use the Host channel for private group messaging. This channel is only visible to Hosts, but participants are allowed to send messages to the Hosts channel.
Private Person-to-Person Chat
The system now supports private, person-to-person chat. A pulldown menu just above the message entry box includes all of the participants on the call. Selecting someone from that list creates a new tab for private chat between you and that person.
In the participant list or the activity display, clicking on a participants name reveals a pop-up menu that includes an item to launch a one-to-one chat. This approach may be easiest on a very large conference.
The initial message to a participant creates a new tab on their dashboard. Private chat tabs are labeled with the initials of the other person.
In all cases, a new message is indicated by the tab being highlighted in orange. The highlight disappears once the message has been viewed.
Moving Between Chat Channels
Clicking on a chat tab selects that chat channel. It also changes the Message To setting to the appropriate selection to respond in that channel.
Closing Private Chat Tabs
Participants using one-to-one chat can close a tab if the exchange has concluded, minimizing dashboard clutter. If chat with that participant is later invoked the tab will be returned, with the chat history remaining.
The change in the chat function impacts multilingual conferences most of all. Especially those that run longer durations, where interpreters work in tandem.
Where previously interpreters used a chat channel automatically created for each language, they should now use the private one-to-one chat to coordinate with their partner. It takes only a moment to initiate this one-on-one chat as they are preparing for the conference to begin.
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