Pixel-Perfect Details: 116 Bug Fixes & Improvements
To help your team thrive when using Gather, we’ve launched 116 improvements and bug fixes that make it easier to use, more reliable, and a little more fun!
Pixel-Perfect Details: 116 Bug Fixes & Improvements
We love building brand new features that help your team connect and collaborate in new ways. No product is perfect, however, and we wanted to slow down for a couple weeks to focus on the details. The small improvements and bug fixes that make Gather easier to use, more reliable, and sometimes just a little more fun!
To help your team thrive when using Gather, here are 116 improvements we’ve made. They’ll be rolling out to all Spaces over the next week.
Better Guest Management
Gather gives your remote team a Space to bring people together. Usually that’s your coworkers, but sometimes it might include clients, candidates, friends, or even family members.
To help you manage these Guests in your Space, we refined and redesigned this experience and found ways to make it a bit more intuitive:
- Guests now have an icon above their avatar, so it’s easier for everyone to identify when they’re walking through your Space.
- You’ll see this same icon next to their name in the Participants Panel, so you’ll also be able to keep track of them there.
- When Guests join you by clicking on a meeting link, they’ll enter Meeting View by default. This feels a little closer to other video tools they may have used in the past, so it’s a great way to ease them into your Gather office!
- Guests can no longer mute someone else in your Space. (But Members of your Space can still mute a Guest.)
- Any Member of your Space can kick out a Guest if they’re overstaying their welcome.
- If a guest revisits your Space, they’ll respawn in the lobby (your default spawn location) after 12 hours of first clicking your Space link.
Pro-tip for Guest access to your office: To add an extra layer of security between your lobby and your office, add a Password Door.
Following Feels More Natural
Whether you’re following a coworker to a meeting or leading a candidate on an office tour, the Follow / Lead feature feels a lot more natural with these updates.
Here are all the updates we’ve made to the Follow / Lead feature:
- When multiple people are Following in a group, your audio and/or video will stay connected, making it easier for the conversation to flow smoothly as you move throughout your Space.
- When you request someone to lead you, you’ll see a “Request Sent” message so you know it actually went through.
- The "Request to lead" / "Request to join at [area]" message now shows appropriately depending on if both users are in the same area or not.
- If someone is Following you and you walk into a Private Area, they’ll also walk into the Private Area with you (instead of sometimes staying on tiles outside the area).
- If someone is Following you and you walk through a Portal, they’ll continue Following you in the new Room or Space.
- Ready to end the tour? You can now stop people from Following you.
Making meetings easier
We launched our brand new meeting experience a couple months ago. We didn’t want to stop there though – we want to make sure we get this experience just right so you can have efficient, productive conversations.
To help you hold efficient and productive conversations, here are the updates we’ve made to the meeting experience:
- When everyone leaves a Private Area, any chat messages that were sent will disappear. This will help keep private conversations fully private.
- When you lock an area, the button will say “This area is now locked,” giving you more confidence that you’re ready for a confidential conversation.
- If there’s an event on your calendar without a location set, you can now add one directly in Gather when you click on the event from the Calendar panel.
- We adjusted the width and styling of the Meeting Info pop-up. This makes descriptions easier to read from the Calendar panel, so everyone can be well prepared for the meeting.
- The “Copy Link to This Area” button works now, so it’s easier to invite people directly to a specific spot.
- If you’re trying to find a Private Area to meet in but there are none available, we’ll show you a message so you know that all the rooms are booked.
- If you try to go to a location that no longer exists, we’ll also show you a message so you’re not stuck in limbo.
- If you click “Take me there” from a Calendar Event, you’ll now see a small message at the bottom of the screen that says “Walking to [name of assigned Private Area]” so you know where you’re going.
- The “Take me there” button will work if you walk through a portal.
- Private Area names will show correctly in the Calendar tab when you’re in a different Room than where the meeting is.
- We renamed the Events tab to the Calendar tab.
Pro-tip: If you haven’t installed the Gather Meetings Chrome Extension yet, it allows you to embed Gather meeting links directly into your Google Calendar invites.
Smoother Social Experiences
When it’s time for a break or a quick ice-breaker, Gather Socials are the perfect way to bond with your team. We know for some these were not working as smoothly as intended, but these updates should make getting back to the fun easier!
Here are the improvements we’ve made to the Socials Courtyard and games:
- The Grand Prix Go Kart Social got a lot of bug fixes. If it wasn’t working right for your team, give it another try. It should be smooth racing from here!
- If you haven’t tried the Grand Prix Social yet, we also fixed the tutorial button, so it’s the perfect time to try it for the first time.
- We also fixed the leaderboard for the Grand Prix, so it will now reliably show you who earned bragging rights as the best racer in your office.
- If you leave the Race Track and go back into the Socials Courtyard, you’ll no longer get stuck on the roof.
- If you walk into the Socials Courtyard from your Office, you’ll no longer see a prompt to go try the office. (Didn’t mean to try to send you backwards!)
- Once you’re in the Socials Courtyard, the label on the door to select a Social is more clear.
- We updated the “Copy Link to This Area” icon in the Socials Courtyard, so it’s easier to invite your teammates to join you for an activity.
- The Tetris object works!
Interacting With Chat, Emotes, or Reactions
- You can send multi-line chat messages now!
- We’ve updated the sound that plays for chat notifications.
- We’ve reduced the volume on the “Applause” sound, so it won’t be as loud now. :)
- Sometimes if you used the Chat Panel, you couldn’t move your avatar until you closed it. That’s fixed, so you can move and type freely!
- We changed the fifth default emote from ❓to 😂.
- Have you discovered the emotes that animate? 👋 Some only would when clicking on them from the Emote Bar, but now they’ll also animate if you use a keyboard shortcut.
- If you added the same emote to different shortcuts in the Emote Bar, it would completely break. That’s fixed, so if you want five keyboard shortcuts to wave at someone – you do you.
- Confetti appearance is no longer impacted by selecting text on the page.
Getting Ready For a Big Update to Desks
We’ll let you in on a secret…we’re getting close to launching some really exciting updates to desks that will help you customize your workspace and interact with remote coworkers in completely new ways!
In preparation, our team has been testing these updates, and you may have actually seen some in your Space. They’re not quite ready though – so for now, we’ve rolled back these updates, temporarily simplified the desk experience, and made the following fixes to desks:
- The Desk Panel no longer overlaps onto the bottom navigation bar.
- The Desk Panel now has a ‘Close’ button to make it consistent with other tabs (and so you can close it when you’re done editing your desk or profile).
- The text in desk descriptions now wraps correctly.
- Locking and unlocking desks won’t break chat now.
- We were using some old code related to walking to desks. That feature is updated with newer functions now.
Customizing Your Space With Objects or the MapMaker
Making your office feel like your team’s personal Space is an important aspect of Gather.
To make sure it’s a smooth experience, we fixed a few bugs related to the MapMaker and Objects:
- When you’re in the MapMaker, there’s a new “Back to Home” button in the menu that will exit the MapMaker and take you back to your Space.
- When you’re creating a new room from an existing Space, the maps are sorted alphabetically to make it easier to scroll through.
- It’s quicker to add a Prompt Message to an object now. (This setting used to be hidden under “Advanced Settings.”)
- You need Build permissions to change the URL on an embedded object. If a non-Builder tried to change it, a generic error message would display. We’ve updated the text to provide more context.
- The Flags in the Object Picker had too many options, so the text made it difficult to actually select a different country’s flag (via the colors). That’s patched up.
- We fixed an issue with a portal on one of our Map Templates. If you’re using the 2-person garden office, you’ll be able to get back to the office from the Socials Courtyard.
Improving the Gather Experience
The rest of our improvements are centered around increasing control and clarity throughout the Gather app.
Here are some updates we’ve made to improve your experience with Gather:
- When using a Password Door, there’s now an option to “Show Password” while you’re typing. (Super helpful for making sure you’re typing out the right characters in those long, secure passwords!)
- If you step on a Spotlight tile, it’s more clear that you’re broadcasting to everyone in the Space.
- When you’re in Full Screen View, the AV controls have been moved to the bottom of your video instead of the center.
- If you turn on Do Not Disturb while sharing your screen, you’ll automatically stop sharing. (This is helpful if you’re talking to someone at your desk and forget to stop sharing.)
- Interacting with an embedded object while alone no longer puts you in an "Away from Tab" state.
- When you’re on the Gather app homepage, you can now right-click on Spaces to open them in new tabs.
- Admins can remove deleted Members from the Members list.
- If you sign in with Google, you’ll now always be able to choose which account you want to sign in with instead of defaulting to the currently signed in account.
- In the Participants Panel, avatars will show for offline members so you can still see what someone looks like.
- You can technically now remove your avatar’s pants (although your HR department might have something to say about it, at least until we release something new soon. 😉)
- We’ve updated the Resources tab in the Gather app homepage. This is where you’ll find links to our Help Center, Product Updates, Ambassadors, Pricing, and how to Contact Us.
No Details Week would be complete without a list of UI updates that make buttons more clear, elements more consistent, and the experience easier.
Here’s a collection of design updates the team made:
- The Map View button has been updated to look more like a map!
- There’s more contrast between videos and the background in Meeting View.
- There’s more contrast on the loading bar when joining a Space.
- The “Check Your Hair” screen looks better on vertically-small windows.
- We made alignment updates to the “Check Your Hair” screen.
- When you Locate someone, the color of the path is now consistent.
- When you Locate someone, there’s no longer a random yellow symbol.
- Our scroll bar styling has been updated so it looks the same throughout the app.
- When you turn on your video, the button will turn green immediately now, so you know you clicked it.
- The "Leave Space" tooltip text is now right-aligned above the button icon.
- The corner radius for modals is now consistent.
- We’ve increased the size of the Settings modal.
- The outline on videos has been slightly changed.
- The Sign Out dropdown on the app homepage is now right-aligned.
- The Gather app homepage has a nicer loading page now.
- We fixed the hover-state of a button in the Calendar panel.
- We fixed a typo in the shortcut for audio/video settings.
- We fixed a typo in a loading screen animation.
- We fixed a typo on an error message that shows when an invite to your Space fails to send.
- When the AV buttons first load, we’ve added a loading state (rather than showing them as disabled).
- The Z order of the Settings modal and “Create Event” pop-up have been fixed.
In addition to all the improvements we made, the team also squashed a bunch of bugs that caused things not to work.
Here are all the bugs you should no longer run into!
- Sometimes the Participants Panel wouldn’t update the area that someone is in. That’s patched up.
- The numbers that show when someone was last active were calculating incorrectly, but now they’re fixed.
- We fixed some UI elements that were showing the Room ID instead of the Room Name.
- Sometimes if you deleted your account and then tried to log back into Gather, you’d just get stuck and couldn’t use the platform. That’s fixed! We’re happy to welcome you back anytime. :)
- Sometimes sounds would go to different output devices (or just the wrong one). That’s patched up, so now all sounds from Gather should flow through your selected device.
- Hitting “Alt + Tab” no longer stops Do not Disturb mode.
- Pressing ‘Enter’ after typing a new status will close the pop-up.
- Modals with actions will also let you press enter to submit.
- We’ll now show a better error message if a Space fails to load.
- Participant Panel numbers should no longer shift when expanding "Offline Members.”
- When sending Space capacity notifications, we now correctly differentiate between a free Space of 25 users and a paid Space of 25 users.
- The new video loader should stop spinning in some situations where it wasn't before.
- Adjusting SFX volume should now update without having to move the character.
- If you right-click in a Space, the options will display above other labels, such as user names.
Things We Removed
In the spirit of keeping your office less cluttered, we removed a handful of things that appeared in the Gather app that no longer made sense.
- We removed an old “Space Notifications” setting.
- We removed extra text from the “Edit Area” model that was taking up extra Space.
- We removed an old “Want to stay in the loop?” message.
- We removed "Send beta feedback" from the Main menu in Spaces. If you’d like to send something, please use the “Report Issues” option in that menu instead.
- We removed an old survey that would show when you leave a Space.
- We removed an old survey asking “How would you rate your Gather experience?” Again – if you’d like to report something, please use the “Report Issues” button.
- We removed an old tutorial that would show on non-office Spaces.
Fixes For Our Own Team
And last but not least: We wanted to use this opportunity to make sure things also work for our internal team, so that we can continue making them work for you!
These updates won’t directly impact your Gather Spaces, but will help our team provide better support, performance, and assets:
- Previously we could only manage Space templates with the help of an engineer. We’ve made this more accessible for any of our admins, especially the Arts and Maps team so they can more easily iterate on new templates for you!
- Our Arts team can now upload animated object templates in the admin dashboard.
- We no longer cache object templates in our staging office. This will also help our Arts team iterate on new objects faster.
- In our internal admin tool, we've reduced the number of fields required for object templates so that we can test new ones quicker.
- We can customize tooltips for interactive objects more, including custom x, y offset and timeout time.
- There was a bug in our staging office where a “More items” button would show when it shouldn’t have.
- We also don’t show that button if there’s only one item in it.
- We took the time to ensure our app components load more performantly.
- We improved the stability of some of our testing methods.
- We’re currently testing new Map and Avatar Styles. To help them match, we can limit avatars to certain Spaces.
- If an avatar is in a Space that doesn’t support their clothing / accessories, we’ll unequip it.
- Because of all the avatar experiments, the layout of the Character Customization modal in our own office had some broken spacing. That’s all fixed (which will help when we roll out these updates for you!)
- In our internal admin tool, we previously had to include subscription fields like end dates, which sometimes led to our teams having to redo work. That should be fixed now!
That completes our roundup of improvements from our Details Week! If you have any questions about these updates, you can always visit our Help Center.
Making things better, bit by bit.
- The Gather Team