omNovia keeps adding interesting and unusual features to its web conferencing software. The company doesn’t make formal product release announcements… It has a habit of just slipping new functionality into the product and letting users discover it on their own. The latest addition hasn’t even hit their Product Enhancements notification page as of this writing!
A couple of weeks ago, they added an option for administrators to enable a Notes module in the conferencing console. omNovia tends to address different functional tasks inside a webinar through the use of modules that show up as tabs… Much like tabs in the major web browsers. Administrators have a lot of flexibility in configuring how the tabs appear. You can choose to split the conferencing display space into two halves, with tabs assigned to the left or right half. Presenters can then choose to display the left or right in full screen, or show both halves side-by-side. You can let attendees jump between tabs themselves or lock the tabs so only a presenter can choose what the audience sees at any particular time.
The new Notes tab is basically a simple word processor. Presenters can write text in the space, format it, add hyperlinks, and so on. You can choose to show the updated notes to attendees by clicking a button, or you can turn on automatic updating so changes are constantly broadcast to the full room. You can also save the notes into a Word, TXT, PDF, or HTML document and place it in the shared download space for the room so everyone can save a copy to their computer. I can see this as useful for recording formal meeting minutes or for use as a virtual flipchart for brainstorming sessions.
Today I got word that another feature joined the ranks. Presenters and Moderator/Administrators who are new to the software can turn on an optional “Tutorial Mode” on their screen. This adds little question mark icons in strategic areas around the console. Clicking on a question mark takes the user to help text or in a few cases a quick instructional video on the use of the associated feature. It’s a nice way to get context-specific text for new users without cluttering the screen for more experienced presenters. Since we all know that nobody reads help manuals, breaking things into little snippets increases the odds that a user might actually look at the help text before calling support.
If you want to see a brief video on the Tutorial Mode while getting a glimpse at the omNovia conferencing interface, you can see their introductory YouTube video at this link: http://youtu.be/ZJFhZ-LZjoY