Hi, I'm Lauren, the lead end-user writer for IBM Sametime. Amy and I are going to spend the next few days covering some of the cool new features in the 8.5.2 release.
Today I wanted to tell you about using audio and video in Sametime meetings that open in a web browser.
With Sametime 8.5.2, meeting rooms that open in a web browser now have many of the same audio and video features as do meeting rooms that open in a Sametime window. This means that people who join meetings from outside your company, or people who don't have the Sametime client, can participate in audio/video calls.
If your company has these capabilities, when you are in a meeting room that opens in a web browser, you can use the call icons under the
Voice and Video area of the meeting room to call in to your meeting and then perform
For example, here's what you might see under Voice and Video if you are the room owner or a room manager; click the Green phone icon to start the call.
And, here's what you might see after the call has
started - icons to hang up the call, put the the call on mute and so much more:
Note: The specific
call icons that the meeting room owner sees depends on
the call capabilities you have and whether or not you are the
meeting room owner.
Hi, Sametime users.
Do either of these scenarios ring a bell for you?
- You are on the phone with a co-worker, and while you are on the phone with that coworker, you also open a chat with that same co-worker.
- Conversely, you are chatting with a co-worker, and decide to have a phone call, but you still use the chat channel with that co-worker while on the phone with him or her.
If these sound familiar to you, I'd like to hear from you! (And if they don't match how you work, I'd be interested to hear that, too!)
I'm especially curious to know what you are doing in the chat window that you can't do via the phone. Transfer files? Screen captures? Type something that your phone partner is having trouble understanding? Send links? Type something that you don't want to say out loud? :-)
Have you ever been in a web meeting and wanted all the browser "chrome" (i.e., the window title bar, menu bar, status bar) to disappear? Here are some shortcut keys you can use to do just that! Use the same shortcut to go back to the standard view.
On a PC (XP and Windows 7), you can use the F11 key in IE, Firefox, and Chrome.
On a Mac, use these keys:
Safari -- no keyboard shortcuts, but there are plugins you can install that will allow this behavior
There's more exciting mobile news with Sametime 8.5.2 and our new Sametime meetings client for the RIM Blackberry device!
Now from your Blackbery you can:
find, and participate in Sametime meeting rooms - Select a Web address (URL) to a meeting room, for example, in an email, calendar entry, or chat, to enter the room.
- View shared presentation content - Select the menu button and then Zoom In or Zoom Out; use the scroll or tap and drag on touch screens the pan the presentation into view.
- See the meeting room participants - In the meeting room, use the menu button and select "Participants" to see a list of participants.
- View and participate in "live" meeting discussions - In the meeting room, use the menu button and select "Discussion" to see postings made to the "Discussion" area of the meeting room.
- Connect to the audio call and the
meeting at the same time. (Available only with wifi and some carriers.) - To view the meeting room call information, on a selected meeting room in the room list or search result, or from within a meeting room, use the menu button and select "View room Information." Then dial in to the meeting room.
Wait until you see the new IBM Sametime Unified Telephony (SUT) Lite Client software. SUT Lite Client is a licensing option that is available with Sametime 8.5.2. For example, with SUT Lite Client you can:
your Sametime contact list, right-click the name of a person you
want to call – even someone who is not online -- and select Call.
can also click a contact and then click the Call icon or in the
toolbar at the top of your contact list.
one-on-one or conference video calls
the Find a person or number field at the top of the Sametime
contact list, type the entire telephone number or the SIP URI of the
video conferencing device you want to call. Select the number when it
displays. In the open call window, click Video > Start Video.
With Sametime 8.5.2, we've made it easy for everyone to see who is the active speaker during a call with multiple people. In the picture below, the orange frame around Amadou Alain's picture shows that currently he is the active speaker on this call:
If multiple people are talking, each speaker's image will be framed.
At IBM, we've been using agile development process for some time now, and that process includes designers being part of project scrums. But we've only lately started using agile methods *within* our design groups -- that is, having design-only scrum meetings, and 2-week sprint schedules to address the design work we have across the projects we work on.
As a design lead, I find the scrum process extremely helpful, so I know what all the designers on my team are working on, and can hear what's blocking people. The daily 15-minute meetings take almost no time, and we really hold tight to that meeting time limit.
One of the challenges we face is that design is an inherently iterative process, so we've needed to build iteration into our sprints. Also, new requirements crop up each day, as we learn more details from customers, get Beta feedback, or find that a developer has run into a hitch. So we've had to stay very flexible within our scrum process -- updating sprints as priorities shift.
Overall, though, I think it's been a great win. Much more productive than our older-style weekly "status meetings". I like the fast-pace of 15-minute meetings -- makes me wonder if more of my meetings could be that short!!
With Sametime 8.5.2, we've introduced a great new security feature, "managed access," that lets people join your meeting rooms only when you or a room manager is there.
You can select this option either when creating a new meeting room or by changing the room settings of an existing meeting room.
This picture shows where this setting appears when you create a new meeting room:
This same feature is available for meetings accessed from a web browser:
People who try to join your meeting when you're not there are put in a "waiting room", and they must wait until you're there before they can see any content in the room.
Use this feature whenever you don't want people in your meeting room when you're not there!
With Sametime 8.5.2, there are some new features that will help meeting room owners and managers manage their meetings.
First, we've added a new End Meeting button in the global toolbar so that meeting room owners
or managers can simply click the button to close the meeting room. This
action ends the meeting for all participants, so they no longer are in the room, and no longer see any room content. The room owner (or manager, depending on who presses the button) stays in the room, so they can be ready for their next meeting.
Here's what this new button looks like in the toolbar:
We've also added a feature that allows meeting room owners and managers to remove a participant from a meeting. From
within a meeting room, a room owner or manager simply right-clicks a
participant's name to remove that person from the meeting:
Users who are removed will see a notification that they've been removed, and they will no longer see the content of the meeting room.
When someone is removed from a room, there may be a "lockout" time, during which that person will not be able to re-enter the room. System administrators set this timeout period on a per-server level, using this configuration setting:
rtc4web.ejectionTimeout (default: 300 seconds)
Does your company use more than one community at a time? If so, you'll be very happy to see our updated server community icons, which can help you differentiate which users are in which communities. Based on your feedback, we've designed these icons to have greater contrast with each other, and also rotate through them when you add communities, so that, by default, new communities will have unique icons.
The new icons look like this:
We had our first Lotusphere User Experience lab prep meeting last week... We're busy working out new ideas for the coming year, figuring out what we need to improve in our lab. Feel free to post a comment here if there are things you'd especially like to see done and/or changed in our lab.
Hoping I'll see some of you in Orlando!
Hello Sametime Users,
Do any of you connect to multiple server communities, and if so, do you enable the community icon in the contact list? We are re-evaluating this design element and want to know more about why you choose to show it. If we were to remove this preference option, and therefore, the display of the icon from the contact list and the business card, would you miss it? Would it prevent you achieving a goal with the contact list?
Sametime Product Design
Greetings, Sametime community.
This is my first external post to this blog, the first of many to engage you in discussion regarding the design of the IBM Lotus Sametime instant messaging client. Following the success of other design blogs, such as Mary Beth Raven's Notes User Experience blog (http://www-03.ibm.com/developerworks/blogs/page/marybeth), I look forward to your input.
Let's get things started with a question about Sametime extensibility. I'd like to learn how you are extending Sametime. Feel free to respond to this blog, or send e-mail privately to (email@example.com)
- what types of plug-ins are you building?
- how well is the Sametime interface supporting the plug-ins you are building?
- how many plug-ins are you or your users adding to a Sametime client and running at once?
Let's start with these questions and I'll post some follow-up questions later in the week. I'm currently looking at how we should continue to evolve our extensibility model and interfaces.
Sametime Product Design Lead
Quick question - how many Notes sidebar or contact list panels do you currently have open right now?
How many are open, closed, or minimized to the panel icon row?
With Sametime 8.5.2, meeting rooms that open in a browser window have significant enhancements, so you can do almost everything you can do when using a meeting room that opens in a Sametime window. These enhancements include:
- Audio/video and telephony capabilities - Depending on the call capabilities available to you, in a meeting room, click the and select to join the audio call using
your computer, telephone, or video device (if video is available). When setting up your own meeting rooms, you can also choose to use audio/video and telephony for your meetings. See this blog posting for information about the new support for audio and video features in meeting rooms that open in a browser window.
- The ability to create and send polls - In the meeting room Library, click the Create a Poll icon to create a new poll, or click Send Poll on an existing poll to send it to meeting participants. After the poll closes, the results are posted to the Discussion area of the meeting room.
- Highlighter and pointer tools when sharing slides - In a meeting room, click Tools to select a color to highlight slides you are presenting.
- Jump-to slide navigation - When sharing a document, type in a number to jump directly to that page:
Now, with Sametime Unified Telephony 8.5.2, you can easily set up a rule to route all your calls to your mobile device, for example, if you're out of the office, but don't want to miss any calls.
File > Preferences > Voice and Video > Routing Calls.
For When my IM status is, select “Any mobile status” and
then enter your mobile telephone number for your preferred number.
When you log on to Sametime from your mobile telephone, all calls
will go to the device you specify in the rule.
Greetings Sametime Community!
It was great seeing many of you at Lotusphere. As always, your input was excellent, and I look forward to incorporating your feedback in our design work in 2008. If you did not get the chance to attend the conference, you can still provide product input. We'll be doing more usability testing this year, and you can participate in the lab, or remotely via a web conference. If interested, drop us a note at: firstname.lastname@example.org, or sign up here to be a tester for our other products: http://www.notes.net/usability
We're currently wrapping up our first release of Lotus Sametime Advanced, which introduces persistent chat rooms, new topic-based community chat tools that help you to create and reuse knowledge identified during chat sessions, and an "Instant Share" tool for screen sharing and remote control built directly into the Sametime chat window. Look for this new product by the end of Q1.
In the meantime, if you haven't tried it out yet, you can find trial downloads and feature summaries for Sametime 8 IM, Webconferencing and Sametime Gateway here:
Stay tuned as I'll be asking some questions about Sametime Advanced in the very near future.
Sametime Product Design
Hello and Happy Thanksgiving,
As we approach the end of 2008, 'tis the season to start looking ahead to Lotusphere. I look forward to the opportunity to meet you in person if you are attending in 2009.
I'll be presenting information on Sametime Advanced features, and I'd like to include information about best practices and real world examples of how Sametime Advanced is helping you to meet your business objectives. If you have any examples of how you are using Sametime Advanced in your organization, or desciptions of new extensions, customizations or deployment configurations you would like to share, please e-mail me at email@example.com, and we can help our fellow Sametime community members in mindshare at this year's Lotusphere and throughout the new year.
Sametime Advanced Product Design
Come see some new ideas the IBM Collaboration Solutions Information Development team is working on for videos
We're considering using some animations in our videos, and we'd like to know what you think. Watch some short sample videos in the Online UX Lab
and comment with your thoughts and opinions. Link to the activity: http://tinyurl.com/ibmvideo71211
The discussion is open until Monday, July 25.
Lotus Design on Facebook
This isn't new, but one of my favorite preference settings is this one:
This preference prevents you from accidentally starting a chat or call with a group when you didn't meant to. (You still can, you just get prompted first).
You can find this setting on the Contact List tab of preferences.