New Year, New Meeting Experiences
Social distancing and working remotely have revolutionized the way we use video conferencing platforms in our day-to-day lives. At BlueJeans, we have always understood the power of video to help remote meeting attendees “read the room.” Interestingly, the pandemic has validated that it’s not just about seeing each other that makes a difference—having the ability to interact in non-verbal ways is equally important to enabling successful meeting outcomes.
Ultimately, the best meetings deliver on the promise of collaboration—something that can only be realized when all meeting participants are able to be seen and heard. With this in mind, we are excited to launch several new features that will improve participant engagement and foster more inclusive meetings:
Participant Reactions Meeting participants can now express their feelings without interrupting the flow of the discussion. Users can add reactions like clap, thumbs up, celebrate, and smile during a discussion to demonstrate how they feel about a certain topic. These non-verbal acknowledgments give everyone an opportunity to engage in real-time, without having to wait for their “round-robin” turn to share their point of view.
Participant Time Display As meetings go global, the burden of keeping up with members in different time zones often creates scheduling challenges. By having participants’ local time displayed right over their video tile, we hope to provide better visibility for those meeting attendees who may be participating well after hours. By having a simple context clue, meeting participants will be able to increase empathy and take into account their fellow attendees’ situation as they proceed through the meeting. This simple enhancement will go a long way in avoiding those future 4AM or 10PM invites.
Participant Scrolling As the pandemic has progressed, the number of folks attending each meeting has continued to grow as well. In an effort to ensure everyone in attendance can be seen, we are adding participant scrolling to both Gallery and People view. Users will now be able to view all meeting participants’ video tiles by scrolling through multiple pages of attendees. In Expanded Gallery View, each subsequent page will retain the five most recent speakers at the top while supporting various layout types.
Participant Interactions When meeting hosts and attendees now click on an attendee’s tile, they will be served up a set of features to better control the meeting experience and boost collaboration. Moderators will be able to spotlight an individual participant for everyone to see and all meeting attendees will be able to pin specific video tiles if they want to create a custom viewing experience. Additionally, all participants will now also be able to DM (direct message) each other without having to access the People sidebar.
In a further effort to make meetings more secure and less distracting, moderators will also be able to mute audio or video for any participant through their video tile. Whether you’re dealing with members who have forgotten to mute their audio while telling their dog what a good boy he is, or someone who is accidentally sharing more than intended on video, moderators will be able to easily keep the meeting professional by muting individual audio or video.
In this new era of WFH, where members are remote and video conferencing is a necessity every working hour, we at BlueJeans our committed to enhancing the user experience and creating more opportunities for teams to make their meetings more inclusive and engaging. Remember to add a smiley to your introductory greeting in your next BlueJeans meeting :)