The UX of DimDim

By | December 9, 2009

The other day, I needed to use a desktop sharing tool.  For the last few years, I had a corporate version of Gotomeeting.  It worked pretty well and even had a conference call number that worked most of the time.  I wanted to find the same thing, but free, and without the conference call number.

One suggestion I had heard was DimDim.  The website was very friendly and rich, so I decided to give it a shot.  The main feature I liked was “no install”.

I used the service to host a meeting with a designer.  I wanted to show my desktop. The system was a bit hard to figure out, but I got it started eventually.  Then immediately, it told me I had to install a desktop sharing exe file.  What??  I was pissed.  This is bait and switch.  I wanted “no install”.  Well, I bit the bullet and installed it.  It immediately complained that it wouldn’t work with dual monitors.  Ugh!!  I tried to use the “Share a webpage” feature, but it wouldn’t let me access the intranet.  Ugh, ugh grrr!  So I disconnected my second display and finally shared my desktop.

The next thing that went wrong is that the camera on the laptop immediately started showing video/audio which seemed to slow down the overall desktop sharing bandwidth experience.  I found it really hard to turn off the camera. After finally finding the button, I could begin my meeting in earnest.

It’s cool technology, but the management of expectations and the limitations drove me nuts.   I don’t think I will be trying it again .  They have a corporate license here for another product called TeamViewer.  I’ll try that next.  My advice to DimDim is to fix the limitation for dual monitors and to manage expectations that you need to install a program to use it.

2 thoughts on “The UX of DimDim

  1. Kevin Micalizzi, Dimdim Web Conferencing

    Glen-

    Thanks for sharing your experience. No install is required to host or attend Dimdim meetings. There is a small plugin that would need to be installed if you are sharing your desktop, but you should only be asked to install it if you use that feature. You shouldn’t have to unplug your 2nd monitor to share your desktop (see http://help.dimdim.com/activekb/questions/92/).

    I’m not aware of any hosted services that would be able to reach into your private network to share web pages. The browsing experience is synchronized through our servers to all attendees — which would create a security risk for you/your organization. For security and privacy reasons, we designed our web page sharing is designed for public web pages only. If I need to share protected internal sites, or sites that require login, I typically share my desktop and load the web page I need in another browser window.

    Unfortunately, the broadcaster really isn’t designed for you to be able to turn off the video features once you’ve started the meeting. You can pause your video, just not turn off the broadcaster. When you start/schedule a meeting there is a features tab you can use to enable/disable features within the meeting room, including webcam & microphone. I have a pic of that option on Flickr at http://www.flickr.com/photos/meetdimdim/4116866905/

    I’ve shared your feedback with the product development team. It’s feedback like this that helps us to improve the Dimdim experience, so thank you again for taking the time to share it. I hope you’ll consider giving Dimdim another try and let me know how it goes.

    Thanks!

    -k
    Kevin Micalizzi, Community Manager
    Dimdim Web Conferencing
    e: kevin@dimdim.com
    twitter: @dimdim

    Reply
  2. mdmadph

    Ever used Crossloop? Been using it for support for a while — it’s amazing. Zero-config, completely free, easy for even a novice to install and give you their access code.

    Reply

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