[111attendees] Positive observations and proposals for improvements to Meetecho (was: Re: Re: So, what are jabber scribes actually doing, these days?)

Spencer Dawkins at IETF <spencerdawkins.ietf@gmail.com> Fri, 30 July 2021 17:38 UTC

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From: Spencer Dawkins at IETF <spencerdawkins.ietf@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 30 Jul 2021 12:37:46 -0500
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To: Jay Daley <jay@ietf.org>
Cc: Bron Gondwana <brong@fastmailteam.com>, 111attendees@ietf.org
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Subject: [111attendees] Positive observations and proposals for improvements to Meetecho (was: Re: Re: So, what are jabber scribes actually doing, these days?)
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I should have changed the Subject a LONG time ago! But this thread has
morphed into helpful observations and suggestions, so, if I might add a
couple of things ...

I agree that Meetecho has been improving (and just for fun, the Meetecho
guys were participants in the MEDIACTL session I was co-chairing in
Hiroshima at IETF 76 in November 2009, and they roped in a team member from
Italy during the discussion using whatever the toolset was back then, so
many of you have no idea how MUCH they've improved 😀).

I see that we've already mentioned detaching the chat window, and usually I
remember that we can detach the chat by Tuesday of each IETF meeting week
at the latest, which is almost certainly a result of not having THAT much
experience with Meetecho during the four months between meetings. Now that
we can use Meetecho for interim meetings, that will help me remember more
clearly, so good there, too.

The one thing I've noticed this week is how difficult it is to figure out
who is speaking if they aren't sending video, and there's a long list of
people in the queue. The suggestion to move the speakers above the queue
would improve that, and so would simply displaying the active speaker names
in the screen space where their video would have gone, if the person had
been sending video.One reason that matters, is that it's helpful for
everyone to get the speaker's name right in the minutes. That's not just
for new attendees, I'm starting to forget what people sound like, unless
I'm talking to them regularly, or they have a very distinctive speech
pattern, so I've definitely depending on seeing names when I'm taking
minutes. .

The one thing I was thinking about, as I read through this thread, was that
we are kinda *not *talking about what the IETF thinks the target audience
for our conferencing tool is.

   - For probably the last couple of IETFs, I have a GREAT setup for remote
   participation (my laptop screen, plus two 25-inch monitors). But I do have
   tiled windows on all three screens.
   - If we think people who can't throw a few hundred dollars at monitor
   screens are part of our target audience, that's worth noting.
   - If we think we're going to have hybrid meetings, in at least some
   scenarios, it's going to be good to use Meetecho in the conference rooms
   (especially if we need to be distancing, so more spread out, front to back
   in the conference rooms).
   - Even if we aren't doing hybrid meetings, I've participated in some
   working group meetings from my hotel room, but I wasn't tryng to co-chair a
   meeting, or even to present at a meeting.
   - When Michael Richardson and I talked to the Cellar working group
   participants about switching to Meetecho for our (monthy) interims, the
   first question we got was, "is there an iOS/Adroid client?" I haven't
   checked Meetecho on my phone in years, but I'd bet offhand that (1) it
   would work, but (2) it might not be as easy to use as some other
   conferencing systems, on those devices. Do people have experience with that?

I'll let you folks continue to share these positive observations and
proposals. Make Good Choices, of course.

Best,

Spencer

On Thu, Jul 29, 2021 at 6:15 PM Jay Daley <jay@ietf.org> wrote:

> Thanks Bron.  Personally I think that’s a great usability adjustment and
> will forward to the Meetecho team for them to consider.
>
> Jay
>
> > On 30/07/2021, at 10:58 AM, Bron Gondwana <brong@fastmailteam.com>
> wrote:
> >
> > On Fri, Jul 30, 2021, at 05:21, Jay Daley wrote:
> >> No we have absolutely not pushed Meetecho into being "just a
> contractor", they are a valued partner and we work very well together.  If
> you have any doubts about that then ask them directly.
> >>
> >> It is disappointing that you have escalated a personal concern that you
> have with our services into such a strong criticism when that is entirely
> unsupported by any evidence.
> >
> > Jay, I agree with your sentiment here - this attitude to Meetecho is
> counterproductive.  They've done great work for the last couple of IETFs
> and the experience is improving each time.  I have particularly appreciated
> the embedded slide management, and I'm sure that will be even better next
> time too.
> >
> > Regarding the specific interface issues that remain, I do think there's
> a question of "where do we propose improvements in a way that will be
> noticed"?  I've seen the suggestion made very many times that the "speaker"
> area (where the video shows) should have additional lines for each person
> sending anything, rather than that information being at the top of the
> participant list.  This is much more like the experience with other chat
> systems, for example Zoom shows either a photo or a blank item for somebody
> who isn't currently sending video, but they're otherwise treated "the same"
> as a person sending video in terms of real-estate and where to look for
> their presence by default.
> >
> > Right now with meetecho, my eyes are normally at the video are when
> people are speaking, but if a non-video person is speaking I need to look
> across to the other side of the screen to see the audio indication.
> >
> > And as was also suggested in this thread, you can't scroll the
> participant list to find someone to chat to, because they jump to the top
> when they are sending, then back to alphabetical position.  This is also a
> usability pain.  Separating "the list of participants" (which wouldn't move
> about) and "the list of people sending something" with the video and audio
> indications being together in one place would be a significant
> improvement.  And as an additional benefit, when you're looking at the chat
> window, you would still be able to see all the details of who is sending
> (including yourself - if you're sending then the indicator of your own
> audio should be the same as the indicator of everyone else's audio, rather
> than being in yet a third location up under your own name).
> >
> > <image.png>
> > So those two names would appear in the right hand side, and also still
> have their name in the participant list, and the video feeds would each
> have a "here's what's being sent".  Chairs would always have a presence on
> the right, with whatever they were currently sending - and the
> "participants" tab would only have the list of participants, and not be a
> place you needed to go to see activity, so you could mostly keep the chat
> tab open.
> >
> > Bron.
> >
> >
> > --
> >   Bron Gondwana, CEO, Fastmail Pty Ltd
> >   brong@fastmailteam.com
> >
> >
> > --
> > 111attendees mailing list
> > 111attendees@ietf.org
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>
> --
> Jay Daley
> IETF Executive Director
> jay@ietf.org
>
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