Remote collaboration is evolving—and Fonto is here to help. Comments and Change suggestions eliminate the need to coordinate in-person discussions and provide collaborators with better insights. With the upcoming Fonto 8.0 release, we have made the collaboration experience more seamless by providing in-context Balloons for today’s remote world.
What was the problem we needed to solve?
Because Comments and Change cards were put in sidebars, there was always a disconnect with the content they related to. Users needed to scan the content and sidebars independently to gain full context. They also needed to switch back and forth to open other sidebars, only to then proceed back to the content for editing.
This disconnect prevented teams from staying productive and gaining a holistic overview of all feedback for each section. We, therefore, reevaluated the experience to provide teams with a more fluid workflow. The solution was to introduce Balloons similar to what users might already recognize from Microsoft Word.
So what are Balloons?
You’ll find Balloons attached to the right of your document, side-by-side with the related content. Balloons help users stay focused on what’s currently being edited without needing to glance back and forth. Supportive material in sidebars will now also be available if needed without additional mouse movement or clicks.
Navigating feedback effectively
If authors or reviewers need to rapidly process feedback in one go, they can simply use the new Navigator in the top right corner. An easy tool to automatically jump to the next Balloon in the document. They can also speed up the process by filtering out various feedback types in the same view. Additionally, we have made it easier to resolve comments when ideas or concerns about the content, have been addressed, helping users to stay focused on what’s new.
Better collaboration practices for all
Balloons have been integrated into Fonto Editor as well as in Fonto Review and Document History to increase efficiencies in all stages of the workflow. Further, we have revised the contrast between content and its background so that balloons can be read across a diverse group of people for a more inclusive collaboration.
Getting your hands on Balloons?
Balloons will come with the Fonto 8.0 upgrade. The traditional sidebars with cards for Track Changes, Annotations, Fonto Review and Fonto Document History will automatically be replaced. This means that certain functionality is deprecated, such as editing the labels and icons of those sidebar tabs. In your code editor, you will see some deprecation warnings instructing you to remove those calls.
The layout within the Balloons has changed from the cards in the sidebar for an improved experience. The Fonto Review reference configuration is updated as well. If you have any custom configuration for Fonto Reviews cards, please rebase those changes on top of the new reference configuration. These steps are optional, but your end-users will benefit from the changes you can make to improve their experience!