It’s been an intense few months as we’ve been reworking almost every single aspect of Vito’s implementation in an effort to bring us closer to delivering the experience we’ve had in mind from the start. The result is a bumper update full of UI improvements to the hub plus new features that give you more flexibility than ever before.
Easier hub navigation
You’ll notice a new explore bar with icons to navigate to your hub’s home page, all posts, events, livestreams and/or videos, and list of participants. This makes it quicker to populate your hub, and it facilitates a more consistent browsing experience for participants.
Add content blocks to pages
In addition to adding text blocks and card lists, you can now embed images, videos, live-stream blocks and events on any page. Customize the order in which each block appears and which type of user can see it to make each page in your hub your own. We display a label in edit mode indicating who can see which block, to make sure you always have an overview.
Attach rich content to posts
As an organizer, you can now add any content type to your discussion post. Share images, cards, events, livestreams and videos, and even send them as an announcement to folks’ email inboxes. Participants can also add images to their posts, allowing for more engaging interactions.
More flexible sidebar
We’ve done away with the idea of “above and below the line”, so you can set pages in the sidebar in whatever order you like. You can also add an internal link, for instance to a specific session or video in the hub, or an external link to your website, social media accounts and more. Finally, add dividers to create custom sections.
The picture-in-picture player has had a complete redesign. You can now change its size and position and we’ve added quick options for pausing, muting, entering full-screen and exiting the video, giving your participants greater control over their individual viewing experience.
New events and livestream views
Display all your events with their own schedule of sessions, and optionally attach livestream channels, display cards and more. We’ve baked in logic to indicate when an event or session is happening now, and how much time has elapsed. Edit the duration of a single session and the following ones update automatically in real time.
We’ve reworked the entire participants view in the admin area to allow filtering by source and access status and to make the labeling clearer, so you know exactly what stage all your invited participants are at.
- Preview your hub’s content as a collaborator, participant or visitor
- Redesigned cards display better on all devices
- Full-width cover images
- Design review to make UI elements more consistent, including colors, buttons, modals, borders, padding and more
- Alt-text improvements
- More reliable hub duplication
- Countless bug fixes
- Dependency upgrades
- Performance optimizations and monitoring
- Improvements to our internal alerting
- Added the ability for users to grant and revoke access to our support team for easier troubleshooting
It sure doesn’t feel like 3 months since our last update…
But in putting this list together it’s easy to see where the time has gone — we’ve shipped a ton of improvements. There's lots more in the pipeline, so it shouldn't be too long before we have another bumper update for you. In the meantime, we're moving to shorter cycles so that we can release new features and improvements even more regularly.
This is a big one! You’re no longer restricted to adding a single stream to a hub. Create additional livestream channels to handle multi-track conference scenarios and more. 🎉
More flexible public pages
We realised it didn’t make sense for the public page to be powered by form fields in the admin area when we could use the same modular approach as we do to customize pages within the hub. So now your hub can have a member view and a public view!
Tito webhooks integration
Connect Vito to Tito’s registration platform in 3 simple steps, and whenever someone places an order in Tito, they will be sent an automatic invitation link to access your Vito hub.
We’ve added some handy options behind the Vito logo within your hub to grant you quick access to your most recent hubs, let you search for hubs, or even create a new hub.
Vito now supports the proposed web monetization W3C standard. If you have an Interledger Wallet, you can add the pointer to your hub and get paid by visitors who have a web monetization provider enabled.
Leave (and rejoin) a hub
Finally, you can easily leave a hub if you no longer want to be a member of it. And if you change your mind later, you can simply rejoin.
- Simplified the signed-in homepage to show a unified list of hubs with options to filter by live, upcoming, past or all
- Added a list of your pending hub invitations to the signed-in homepage
- Added the ability to transfer hub ownership to another collaborator
- Added the option to exclude draft pages when publishing all changes
- Added a link back to the original post in the Code of Conduct violation report
- Added an extra layer of security by requiring users to confirm their email address when signing up
- Updated the marketing site footer to include useful links
- Fixed a bug that prevented some hubs from being deletable
- Fixed a bug to ensure the latest post always shows at the top of a livestream discussion
- Made the stream key hidden by default for increased security
- Various style and microcopy tweaks and some menu rejigging
- Performance improvements
- A bunch of dependency upgrades
- Created a new customer support dashboard for our internal use, so that we can respond to support queries more quickly and easily
We’re partway through the current cycle but there’s already enough to report to merit an update in the meantime! The headline is that we’ve switched to Plyr for an improved livestream and on-demand video experience.
Plyr for video
As recommended by Mux, the video API we use, we’ve switched to Plyr’s media player. It has support for displaying VTT captions and preview thumbnails for on-demand videos, speed controls for pre-recorded and livestreamed content, and offers a more stable and reliable viewing experience.
We now have a help centre where you can find instant answers to your questions. We’ve added the Intercom chat bubble so you can search our documentation or send a message to our support team from any screen of the app.
You can add a code snippet to a text block via the floating formatting menu or using markdown.
Pages now have clickable tooltips with help text when in admin mode, to help guide you through your hub setup.
- Tidied UI on mobile devices
- Better reporting of email invites delivery
- Clearer livestreaming instructions and status
- Styled notification icon to make it more prominent
- Homepage is now preserved when duplicating a hub
- Streamlined logged-in homepage
- A whole slew of bug fixes, dependency upgrades, and minor UI improvements plus some code clean-up
Woo! We have been busy!
Work on this new version started at the end of last year and we’re delighted to have this out on the wild for folks to start using.
An updated user interface
We’ve taken everything we’ve learned in the last ~11 months and are excited to have released a cleaner and more flexible hub design.
The crux of this change has been to move all of the content creation and content management out of the admin view and into the hub itself. This gives organisers a much better preview of what will be shown to participants.
This interface also moves us away from having a design centred around a stream and schedule. They are still part of our core offering but if organisers choose to omit them they aren’t left with a large part of the screen being wasted space.
- A cleaner, lighter design
- A Set-up Guide to step you through setting up a new hub
- Cards: a HyperCard inspired way to manage your hub data
- A fixed or pop-out menu depending on your preference
- A page for hosting your on-demand videos
- Better management of pages and sections
- Clearer participant menu
There are a whole bunch of improvements associated with the new UI, we’ll list a few key ones here:
The last cycle allowed us to ship a few smaller features while working on some larger infrastructure changes. This brings us nicely to the last few weeks of the working year where we’ll be clearing our plates of some hefty features before wrapping up for the holidays.
Duplicate a hub
If you’re running recurring events as seprate hubs this should save you some time!
Hide your post
Typo? Posted to the wrong channel? Well, you can now hide your posts. Note, for the safety of others, organisers and moderators will still be able to review hidden posts.
New to livestreaming or running online events? Here you’ll find guides, tutorials and tips to help you on your way.
Set a custom thumbnail for uploaded videos
The autogenerated thumbnail could sometimes be a little... unflattering. Now you can set your own!
- Better asset uploads
- Fix a bug where email notifications might be sent more than once
- Sort visible participants by when they joined the hub
- Improve the hub admin layout when using a smaller device
- Link to relevant section when editing the hub
- Switch to Video.js
- Added a video to our marketing homepage
- Restyled hub onboarding and log in screens to make better use of space
- Fix for the participants pagination bug
- Avoid empty replies that are just @ mentions
We’ve come out of our 2-week cooldown period and are now a couple of weeks into our next development cycle. We’ve been addressing some smaller tasks that were left over from our last cleanup, and some new ones we’ve added since. Enjoy!
Name pronunciation guide
After seeing a participant squeeze the pronunciation of her name into the display name field we thought this might be handy! Paul talks more about this feature in a series of Tweets.
What do you do?
Wondering who you’re chatting with? Participants now have the option to add a short description of what they do!
- Fix overflow-hidden issue on post dropdowns
- Remove ability to post when hidden
- Improvements to suggested @mentions in replies
- Add Google Analytics (with IP Anonymisation) to the marketing site
- Fix images in emails
- Preserve post formatting when sending it by email
- Remove Gallery view
- Better “From” address for emails sent from the hub
So much to log! We’ve been taking a leaf out of Basecamp’s Shape Up development methodology and just finished our first 6-week cycle. We split the time between working on small batch features and entering cleanup mode. We’re still learning as we go, trying to balance transitioning back to a calmer company while still iterating quickly.
You can now import your participants from other systems or a mailing list, either using copy & paste or a CSV import.
They’re finally here! Participants will now receive an email notification if they are @-mentioned in a hub. Emails will only be sent to participants who are not signed into Vito.
Collaborators on a hub now have the @hub superpower to message all of their participant. Perfect for important announcements or schedule changes this will also only be sent via email when the participant is not signed into Vito.
Invite only hubs by default
We’ve decided to make newly created hubs private by default. This is more inline with our safety and security principles and means that public access to a hub has to be set explicitly. You can change the access control for a hub under Settings > Access.
You can now reply to posts in a thread! Woo!
- Include a participant’s posts in their profile page
- Add Intercom support for hub organisers
- Add link to changelog for hub organisers
- Allow setting session/segment start and end times explicitly, as well as setting a duration
- Always link to a Presenter and show the View Profile link
- Remove the need to “Join the Community” when joining a hub
- Give the existing emails a facelift
- Add ability to add lists in page blocks with an icon
- Hide progress bar on livestream
- Add pronoun badges to post
- Add a mini bio to the participant dropdown on a post
- Increase the size of the code of conduct, welcome message and invitation message fields and allow them to be resizable
- Dynamically autosize the post box when more is typed
- Allow manual sorting of presenters
- And the usual flurry of bug fixes and performance improvements
It's been a while since our last update, but what a bumper update it is! We've added a ton of improvements and new features over the last month…
- Dates on a hub are now optional so you can create an ongoing community hub
- You can now set a pre-recorded video to go live at a specific date and time
- Added in-app notifications for follows and mentions
- Added ability for hub owners to lock or disable discussions per page or across an entire hub
- Following is now across Vito rather than just within a single hub
- Theatre Mode is now more usable
- A whole bunch of infrastructure tweaks and admin UI improvements
- Fixed a bug which caused some email clients to pre-click and invalidate the links
- Fixed a bug where hub schedule wasn't showing correctly on mobile
After a couple of months working away on chunky projects behind the scenes, we're excited to have shipped some high-priority features this week.
In the Vito back-end you can now preview your hub and add content in-line. You can create and edit pages and sessions, and as soon as you click "Publish", your changes will be visible in the hub without your participants needing to refresh!
So if a session is overrunning and you need to change the time, or you need to add a page with some useful content in the middle of an event, you can do it in the Dynamic Pages view and preview how it'll look, and then publish when you're happy. Your participants will see the changes immediately, without needing to interrupt your content.
- Added a new suite of safety/moderation tools including banning, in-app reporting, restricting the ability to post, and removing posts
- Added Dynamic Pages allowing you to create and preview custom content pages in the Admin UI and publish so that they appear instantly in participant hub
- Added support for playing pre-recorded videos within a hub and creating a playlist. Choose whether to have your hub be only pre-recorded content, only livestream, or a mix of the two!
- Added the ability to favorite a post
- Added support for adding banners and teaser videos to the public page
- Added initial support for hub templates: choose “simple” to start from scratch or “event” to populate some sensible default pages
- Switched to a new server stack
- Bug fixes
Had two pre-launch customer events run on Vito:
- SofaConf: a 5-day design conference from the folks at Clearleft.
- Introduction to Being an Antiracist: 3 hours of antiracist training from Kim Crayton. Over 1,200 tickets sold and 650+ watched the livestream and participated on the day. The hub is now being used to sell access to the recorded feed in preparation for her next two events.
We've been doing lots of behind the scenes work lately, so there's not as much to show from a user perspective. But exciting things are coming…
- Shipped a chunky back-end project to migrate to hubs model
- Made progress on Dynamic Pages (this will be big!), mentions and favorites features
- More dogfooding of Vito, using it to run our Admission Online event series
- A bunch more bug fixes
One of the first customer events took place on Vito:
- HalfStack Online: Epic 16-hour conference run by long-time Tito customer Dylan Schiemann. A superb achievement with excellent feedback from Dylan and his participants.
The last week has mainly consisted of big picture planning and work on our move to hubs, plus a healthy dose of dogfooding and documenting.
We're adding the ability to create hubs in Vito. Formerly known internally as the "attendee area" or "participant area", a hub is a single interface containing a media player, agenda, discussion panel, directory, pages, Code of Conduct and user settings.
You could create a hub for an event, but a hub doesn't have to be date specific, so could also be used to host communities, regular meet-ups, ad-hoc livestreams, or collections of content. We're pretty excited about the potential opportunities this opens up!
- Running some small-scale internal events on Vito for user testing
- Put together a comprehensive publicly available Playbook for Livestreaming on Vito
- Added the ability to download Order and Participant data from a hub
- Various bug fixes
As well as shipping a bunch of smaller features and improvements, we're working on a reframing and renaming exercise to move towards a "hub" model. More on that in the next update…
Pages is a light-weight CMS feature that allows you to add custom content to the participant area in Vito. Use it to add an about page, a list of useful resources, or whatever your event needs!
- The agenda in the participant area now auto scrolls to whichever session is currently live
- Added the ability to set an external live captioning link
- Participants can now mute one another
- The invite email now contains an .ics calendar file
- Redesigned the public page (example)
- Reorganized organizer admin navigation
- Added a metrics and graph for seeing number of views during a livestream
- Timezone improvements
- Performance improvements to the participant area
- Fix non-retina avatars and logos
- The usual flurry of bug fixes and design tweaks
- Ran our second Admission Online event on Vito
The first customer event ran on Vito this week with ~2,300 participants! Paul's also been running his own events, plus we've delivered a host of improvements. Time to start keeping a public log…
- Added paid registration for participants and screens in the admin UI to manage orders
- Improved how participant invites sent from the Vito admin UI
- Automated reminder emails can now be sent 30 minutes before an event starts
- Added the ability to shut off community posting
- Added some basic moderation for posts
- Shipped the ability to generate one-off discount codes
- Performance monitoring
- A whole load of bug fixes and design tweaks