Accessibility support, localization, a meeting scheduler and more!

Nov 7, 2013 by Elise Keith in meeting technology, release announcement (5 minute read)

Our long-time colleague Tricia Cooper recently joined the team at Lucid Meetings. Like everyone here, Tricia's a multi-talented professional with many years experience helping organizations collaborate well online. Tricia's here to work with our clients and prospects as they explore holding Lucid meetings in their organizations.

And frankly, we haven't made her job easy. In the past 6 months, we've completely redesigned Lucid Meetings, added a ton of new features like, accessibility support, integration with Atlassian Confluence, and localization in six languages, and a meeting scheduler

Part of Tricia's job is answering questions about Lucid Meetings, usually starting with how a Lucid meeting is different than a webinar, and there's a ton that we do that we just don't celebrate here very well. Which lead our newest team member to ask us a whole bunch of great questions. Just in case you might have some of those same questions, I thought I'd reprint that conversation here.

Is Lucid available in other languages besides English?

Yes. You can also see the Lucid Meetings interface in Russian, Spanish, French, Simplified Chinese, and Arabic, and you can add agendas or take notes in any language.

In addition to providing a translated interface, Lucid also makes it easy to schedule meetings across time zones by showing each person dates and times in their preferred time zone and time format.

Want to see those meetings in Beijing 24 hour time? No problem.

What are the Security features of Lucid Meetings?

In our support section, there is a page that provides a high-level view of our approach to security. We also have documentation with more details that we can make available upon request. Tricia's now armed with the nitty gritty should you desire an opportunity to talk with her.

What about recurring meetings? Can you schedule those in Lucid?

Ugh. Recurring meetings.

Meeting icons

Recurring meetings, otherwise known as those standing meetings that you have on your calendar forever and ever no matter what for all eternity, are one of the leading forces of meeting evil. The recurring meeting is most likely to be that meeting sitting in the middle of your day that breaks up your time without helping you get work done. These are the potted plant meetings most like to receive a failing grade for overall meeting value.

And yet.

So - coming soon - Lucid will support scheduling recurring meetings. We'll also be working hard to help everyone make sure their standing meetings, designed to keep a team healthy, continue to serve that purpose over time. Stay tuned.Failure to meet often means failure to connect. Failure to build and nurture a team. Failure to coordinate, communicate, understand, strategize... fail fail fail. It's obvious that meetings matter. And in our increasingly hectic days, sometimes the only way to ensure your team can meet is to block off regular time on the calendar. With a... recurring meeting.

Does Lucid Meetings offer customized branding?

Yes.

When you sign up for a Lucid account here, you can customize each meeting room to add your logo at the top of the page.

In a future release, you'll also be able to select from a set of color palettes (all tested to ensure good contrast for those with low vision) to better reflect your organization's branding.

Our enterprise clients have more options in their dedicated Lucid installation, including:

  1. Your organization's name or logo in the top navigation of every page
  2. Your organization's color scheme and heading fonts throughout
  3. Customized email templates, so you can add your organization's email footer to every invitation, for example

Enterprise customers also have access to business system integration options not available in the smaller packages.

What about HD quality voice?

Yes, Lucid integrated audio supports HD quality audio when you connect using a SIP client. If you haven't tried SIP yet, it's a pretty easy way to get voice running on your computer - kind of like holding a call on Skype. Even better, this quality audio connection is included in each subscription with unlimited minutes at no additional cost.

Will Lucid support video?

Maybe. The increasing support for WebRTC video in modern browsers provides hope that video could becomes as reliable and easy to use as the other technologies currently in Lucid meetings.

And video can be great. It can really enhance meetings, bringing nuance and depth to a discussion that just isn't possible without the visual. It's helpful to see the person giving a report or status update as they're talking, and small group discussions help teams connect more successfully when they can see each other. Video gets closer to co-located, and co-located teams always connect best.

Video is great when it works, that is, and when people are prepared for it.

Some people hate video conferencing. This is particularly common with people who work from home, people calling in after hours, or those connecting from secure environments that can't be broadcast.

Some people simply can't use video or see video, so there's always a risk of leaving some folks out. And when you do have a whole team using video, getting everyone's camera to work consistently without losing connection can be a problem, especially with home and small office networks.

At its worst, video puts the focus on troubleshooting technology and not the goal of the meeting, enough to seriously detract from the group's ability to achieve the meeting goal.

So - while we don't support video now, we're watching the technology and considering it. What do you think? I'd love to have a conversation about why you think Lucid meetings should or should not include video options.

How does Lucid meetings handle meeting recordings?

Lucid integrated audio includes call recording. We do not support screen recording.

Lucid meetings is web based, with no downloads required, which means we don't reach into the underlying technology on your computer that makes it possible to do screen recording.

So while there are technical reasons we don't offer this feature, because we are focused on working meetings rather than webinars, we also have a fundamentally different perspective on what makes a good meeting record.

Notes, clarity on decisions and next steps, action items, copies of documents, etc. are all key to a quality record, as is the ability to organize and later reference these records in a usable way. Videos aren't actionable, can't be easily searched for specific content, and with working meetings, rarely get viewed.

Let's be honest: how often have you missed a work meeting and then really wished that someone had video taped it for you to watch later?

If you do want to record a session, we recommend using a screen capture application. When you have a meeting that people really might want to see later, a screen capture tool will give you better quality and more control over the recording than you can get using the built-in recorders from web conferencing providers.

Also, these applications will continue to work should you have connection problems, allowing you to keep recording audio if your internet drops, for example. Finally, you get to control the publication format and location of your recording, ensuring it's available in a format accessible to your key audiences for as long as you need.

What questions do you have?

Those were Tricia's questions. What are yours? Contact us any time and let's talk!

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