I recently wrote a post where I went into a lot of detail on “How Cisco Ruined Webex Meetings.” It was probably too much for most people to chew through, but the upshot was that I considered their latest product update to be a disaster that made Webex Meetings difficult and annoying to use in practice.
After yet another Webex-based client webinar marred by technical frustrations, I am angry enough to pound a few more nails in this particular coffin.
1) Assuming you upload PowerPoint slides to your meeting and use Webex slide navigation, keyboard shortcuts are inconsistent and ambiguous. Some of my guest presenters tell me they have to press the Page Down key on their keyboard to move to the next slide. Others say that only the arrow keys work for them. The space bar seems to work pretty well, but if the presenter clicks their mute/unmute icon at the bottom of the window, the space bar then continues to activate the mute/unmute button instead of advancing the slides. I had oodles of fun trying to diagnose why my presenter’s microphone kept going on mute during our webinar!
2) Attendees using the desktop client see a message overlaying the top of the slide content stating the file name of the PowerPoint that has been loaded. File names are not for public consumption, and are not part of my meeting content. Attendees shouldn’t see that information.
3) I like to use screen capture software such as Camtasia on a second computer to record the attendee view of a meeting. That backup recording is now corrupted by overlays in the Webex console. If a chat message comes in, the overlay icons show up at the bottom of the slide window and stay there forever if you don’t open the Chat panel to see the content. If the host mutes an attendee, the attendee sees a red mute symbol overlaying the slide content. It just stays there, blocking a clear view of the visual materials. And if you move the cursor anywhere within the entire Webex console, it redisplays the overlay control icons and title.
One of my clients has used Webex for many years. All I have heard since the switch to the new interface is complaints and user confusion. This update is an unmitigated disaster for anything other than video conference calls. Cisco could have and should have done better. Much better.