Thanks for the question. Here are some thoughts on this that I wrote up for my team members a while ago...
- Presenters are shutting down their laptops before a presentation has uploaded.
- In general, Presenters don’t know the status of an Upload from the presentation machine and how long it will take to complete.
Requested Solution – Upload Progress Notification POSITIVES
- The presenter would have a better understanding of how long it would take for the file to upload to the server.
- The presenter would likely be more assured that the system is processing the presentation.
Requested Solution – Upload Progress Notification NEGATIVES
(or at the very least, CONCERNS TO ADDRESS)
- This would likely cause many presenters to wait until the presentation was fully uploaded which is unnecessary. (The presentation will continue to upload even if the presenter is logged off the machine.)
- A client-side uploader notification only works from the machine from which the presentation was made. (Many presenters give presentations from shared machines.)
- This is a Pandora’s box sorta feature. The next natural requests are...
- Can I pause the upload?
- Does a pause only affect that user’s uploads? Or the uploads of all users on that machine?
- Do you disable pausing on shared machines considering that that user may not login for a long time in the future? If so, how do you determine it's a shared machine?
- How does one resume the upload?
- What happens if an upload is paused for a specific period of time? Does the recorder remind the user?
- How does the user get notified? On the client machine?
- Does the admin get notified on the server of a paused upload? Won't that add a lot of work for admins?
- Can I pause the upload?
- How much bandwidth is used while the upload is occurring?
- How does the software accurately estimate how long the file will take to upload considering that there are a lot of variables here?
- How does this behave if someone else is logged in? Should they only see the status of their own uploads?
- How does a person see the status of the upload regardless of what machine they’re on? (Then we come full-circle to what we already have.)
What we've tried to do to address this
- We've tweaked and retweaked the upload progess dialog multiple times.
- We've added an upload progress meter that users can see on the Relay website. (This has the added benefit of working in the shared/podium machine scenario.)
- We've worked hard to make sure the upload process is as reliable as possible and can pick up where it left off, even months later if that's the case.
- We've tweaked how the Uploader works so it can try to get the file up to the server as fast as possible.
- We've explained the upload process to customers whenever and wherever we can so they can understand it. This is a situation where if presenters understand just a little about how it works, they can recognize that if fast processing is important to them, they can simply power up their laptop when back in their offices and without even logging in (most times, under most configurations) and let the presentation finish uploading in the background.
Long Story Short – I understand the need, I just don’t like the Solution.
My biggest issue with the requested solution is that even if we are able to address all the what-if’s list above, you the customer is left with basically what we have (which works pretty well overall) but with a whole lot of other things to consider and not a whole lot of extra value in the solution. While, I think that helping you the customer feel more comfortable with the upload process is a good goal to have, I just want to do it in a way that creates some extra value without creating a whole lot of extra work for a process that already does its job.
So, that’s my 2¢.
With all that having been said, I appreciate your feedback, and you’re welcome to disagree with my assertions here. I’ve thought about this potential feature a lot over the past few years actually, and debated coworkers about it.
Walter Mitchell Pelowski
Customer Solutions Engineer