We've got a really exciting update for you this Friday, our development team have released a brand new version of panels for everyone. This is a complete overhaul of the user experience; we've simplified the design and made panels easier and more intuitive to use. In this article i'm going to run through how to use panels and explain some of the upgrades we've made to improve your experience.
You can still access panels in the usual ways; via the 'contribute/collaborate' tabs in the navigation bar, via the homepage 'contribution widget' or directly from someone's profile. However, now when you click those options you'll see a black screen with the following options;
When you select the 'record' option you'll be given the choice of presentation or grid, but if you decide not to record then the panel will start in a grid format. Give your panel and name and press 'Create'.
On this options page in the top corner we've added a small menu bar which allows you to go to your previously created panels or make the screen full size.
Once you've clicked 'Create' then the next page you'll see will give you a preview of your video feed. On the right underneath 'join video panel' you'll also see a list of anyone else who's already in the panel.
Click 'Join' and you'll be inside the panel with the other participants. At this point you can start your discussion or invite other to join. The invitation panel below will be automatically open when you start the panel, but if you close it and want to go back you can select the little person button at the top right of the page;
When you're inviting users you can either send them the panel link, or select their name from the search bar. The search bar only works for registered users, but if you have an open community the panel link can be sent to anyone and then don't have to be registered to join.
One thing you'll notice as you start the panel is the video quality, this is because we've improved the processing speed and widened the aspect ratio. You can join a panel from your computer, laptop, tablet or mobile phone because the feature is now completely responsive. The video panel will take into account whether you're talking or presenting and adjust the viewing space as you reduce the screen size.
When you're done with your panel click 'Leave' and if you're a participant the you'll leave straight away. However, if you're the owner of the panel you'll see this options box;
This is a really important update and it should stop any accidental closing panels when people just meant to leave.
If you recorded your panel then the recording will be processing in the 'my videos' section which you can find by clicking on your avatar in the top right corner.
We hope you enjoy this update and are as excited as we are. If you have any questions or comments then please let us know email@example.com