Over the next two weeks for Rapid Release domains (about a month for Scheduled Release domains) Google is rolling out a new set of improvements to Google Meet’s hand raising feature that make it more user-friendly and functional. In addition to a new visual icon and animation which can be seen below, the tiles of people who raise their hands will be moved into a more visible position on the grid.
Not only that, but an audio notification will sound off for all participants when the first hand is raised (but not subsequent hands). A clickable notification that shows how many people have their hands raised will also appear so that the host can get to each person in queue in order of who raised their hands first.
More importantly, once someone raises their hand and is then called on to speak, their hand raise icon will be removed automatically when they finish to simulate their hand being lowered. None of these new tweaks will need to be enabled, as they will be turned on by default once they are rolled out.
I really love how Google is doing its best to imitate the real life action of raising and lowering one’s hand. While it sounds trivial and honestly kind of ridiculous, you have to keep in mind that with millions of individuals shifting over to a digital workspace due to the pandemic and creating a new way of life and work through the internet, the tools have always lagged behind in terms of how they provide a comparable experience to that of a physical classroom or workspace.
If we’re going to succeed in these environments, we must remove the friction and the barriers to interaction, and this is just one more way that the company is attempting to do so. It really is the little things that make all the difference, and Google Meet’s polish is getting to a new level this year. Give me your thoughts on these updates to Meet using the comments section below, but remember to raise your hand before speaking!
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