One thing that strikes me as I look at different web conferencing products is cosmetics. How are frames within the main console arranged? Where are buttons located? Do some frames (or pods) detach from the main web conferencing console for placement anywhere on my desktop?
I thought about this topic today during a Microsoft Live Meeting web conference. I used the web based interface (as opposed to the downloadable client) and I was quite impressed with the way I could place the list of attendees anywhere on my desktop. The same went for the meeting’s notepad feature. WebEx also features detachable frames.
Another interesting cosmetic feature can be found in Adobe Acrobat Connect. In this product, frames (or pods as Adobe calls them) can be dynamically re-arranged within the main console by the presenter. As a result, if during one phase of a webinar, the presenter wants the attendee list, presentation space, and a notepad pod visible, he can do that and then later in the webinar, dynamically eliminate the attendee list, expand the presentation pod and perhaps add a polling pod. What the user sees is a very slick, smooth transition from one console scheme to another. I find it an elegant way to keep your attendees awake.
Of course, functionality (vs price) is probably the key criterion in choosing a web conferencing platform but how much does cosmetics matter to you? Give me your thoughts!