Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Single-Purpose, Distraction-Free, Screen-Sharing Tools

A discussiona and review of single purpose tools ...

"Infoworld lead analyst and Test Center blogger in chief Jon Udell complains about screen sharing tools being too complicated and feature-rich. His request is for new tools to do one thing only while doing it very well.

Is he asking for too much?

As a matter of fact, Jon Udell is not asking for anything wild at all. His request is indeed very reasonable and expresses clearly the need for users of online collaboration tools to have just what they need.

I would fully agree with him, that dedicated small tools, or components / widgets dedicated to specific tasks are indeed a better and more sustainable approach to a wider adoption of online collaboration tools.

What instead surprised me of Jon interesting article, was his request for what he called a "radical idea": a no-frills screen sharing tool that would allow people to do screen sharing without having to read a manual first or having to wade themselves through a slew of panels and command controls.

There are in fact an increasing number of tools and web services that offer just that in fact, and it is too bad that Infoworld cites none of them.

I am sure Jon Udell, is well aware of Glance, one of the earliest and indeed best ever screen-sharing systems.

Glance is built around Jon's own very philosophy and it devotes all of its interest and resources to one-thing only: screen-sharing. No text chat, no IM, no VoIP, no annotation tools... nothing. Only, simple, one-click straight screen-sharing with PC, Mac and Linux attendees that has no learning curve.

If simplicity is all you are looking for, the only shortcoming Glance has, and this may be the reason why Jon failed even to mention such a unique tool, so close in concept and execution to his wishful description, is that with Glance the presenter needs to be on a PC. While attendees can be on any operating system platform, the Glance presenter has to be a Windows user."    (Continued via Robin Good)    [Usability Resources]

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