What is new in the Okomo February release?

I am grateful to announce our first big update in 2020! While we did a couple of minor releases in January, this release includes a new Okomo Button, improvements to filters and about two dozen other improvements that help end-users, experts and admins to have even more personal conversations!

New Button Type: Expert’s Photos

The Okomo Button is the core entry point to Okomo on our customers’ websites. This week, we’ve passed our first record: more than 30’000 times has the Okomo Button been displayed on our customers’ websites in one single day!

The Okomo Button has a wide range of customization features, including colors, logos, shapes, and position. In the December Release, we’ve introduced the Okomo Banner, as another form of motivating engagement of a customer with the people behind a website (i.e. the company).

This month, we are ready to make the Okomo Button even more personal! It is now possible to show your experts’ profile pictures directly in the Okomo Button on the website:

New Okomo Button Type: Switching Experts’ Photos

In case some experts are online, only they are shown, thus, letting the website visitor immediately know who is able to help out with questions they might have. You can enable this Okomo Button type in the Admin Portal under Appearance > Widget & Button > Button > Button image > “Switching Expert Photos”.

Switching Expert’s Photos in action on the ITS Coop Travel website

Expert Filtering Improvements

Open the Okomo Widget with predefined filters to show all experts who speak “German” and answer “Press” requests

Identifying the best possible expert for receiving support or guidance can be challenging for end-users. Thus, Business and Enterprise customers can define filters by which end-users can search for and decide which expert to contact. This, for example, could be the expertise that an expert offers her or his consulting in, or the languages she or he is able to speak.

This update also contains several improvements to the filters. First of all, we’ve fixed several bugs related to editing and renaming filters. Furthermore, we’ve now introduced two fixed filters which end-users can use to easily filter to see all experts who are online and available right now. Also, if enabled, end-users can filter by ratings.

This update also includes a lot of under-the-hood improvements, which will allow companies to open the Okomo Widget with pre-defined filters. This will, for example, allow to only show experts who have expertise in a selected sub-area (e.g. show all experts who are responsible for the technical support of a project). We are testing this feature with selected customers at the moment, before rolling it out more generally. In case you are interested in joining the preview, please contact me.

Access Rights Management

We are also constantly optimizing the user guidance of starting a new audio/video call or screensharing-session. In these cases, there is a lot of complexity of accessing the devices’ hardware (e.g. camera or microphone) and giving Okomo the necessary rights to do so. Every operating system and browser handles these steps differently and it is our job to make it as simple and intuitive for users as possible, and hide most of the complexity.

Hence, in this release, we’ve added an overlay, which is shown whenever the user is asked to give permission to access a microphone, the camera or screen by the browser. Sometimes, users or experts missed the pop-up, and thus, a conversation could not be successfully started:

New overlay to better emphasize browser pop-ups which ask for permission to access the microphone or camera

On the pre-call screen, users can test their microphone, camera and speakers, before starting a call. Thus, we can increase the likelyhood that everything is working fine during a call. Contrary to PCs and laptops, almost all smartphones and tablets come with a microphone, speakers and a camera, reducing the need to test them beforehand. To keep it simple, we, thus removed the hardware testing on the pre-call screen of mobile users.

Rotating the Video Feed

One of our customers, Dicota, an internationally renowned Swiss computer bags producer, is currently in the process of launching a new bag brand tailored to gamers. To better advise potential buyers in their online-shop, Caturix, they built a small showroom in their office, with good lightning and a professional video camera. When a potential buyers needs help with selecting a product, they then use Okomo to call the Caturix sales people and get a live demo in a video call.

Since the video camera has a better aspect ratio when rotated 90°, we’ve implemented a feature which rotates the video feed by 90°, and to be complete, can also flip the feed horizontally or vertically.

Experts can enable this feature in the settings > Account & Settings > “Default rotation of video feed”.

Experts can select if their video feed is rotated by default.

Further Optimizations and bug fixes

  • The Admin Portal now also features the same login screen as the Expert Portal login. Also, we’ve revised and improved the company signup (registration) screen
  • We’ve improved the UI of the chat when used in full-screen
  • Fixed two bugs where the messaging channel was disabled, but was still shown during audio/video calls
  • It is now possible to disable file-sharing (under channel management)
  • Links posted in a Chat in iFrames and on iOS now open in a new tab
  • Sharing of images with non-standard aspect ratios (e.g. very wide images) were sometimes not shown properly in the chat preview. We’ve fixed the bug.
  • Improved the UI of showing reviews that experts receive after a support-case in both, the user and expert view
  • Calendar entries for scheduled online-appointments now contain the direct link to the Okomo call in the location property (to more easily access it and join a call)
  • Fixed a bug where messages were not sent after an expert didn’t pick up a call request
  • In the December Release, we’ve introduced a new channel, screensharing. While screensharing has been available for a while, creating a separate channel made it possible to start only a screensharing-session, without starting an audio/video-call. We’ve improved the user guiding to initiate a screensharing-session
  • We’ve fixed a bug in which loading the Okomo Button also pre-loaded experts’ photos unnecessarily, which delayed the loading of the Okomo Button.
  • Fixed two bugs which improves how experts’ availabilities are displayed
  • Several other minor wording improvements and bug fixes

Most of these improvements and new features were developed in very close collaboration with our customers, fans and testers. We want to thank all of them for their valuable contributions!

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