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Pesto Roadmap Update

Doug Safreno
Doug Safreno
Jun 16, 2022 - 5 min read
Pesto Roadmap Update

The Pesto team is working on a series of improvements currently planned to be launched by October. We wanted to share these with you to give you a sense of what to expect and an opportunity to share feedback.

As a startup, our roadmap is constantly in flux, so please read this as a loose plan that can and will evolve significantly as time goes on.

We have three project areas planned: performance and stability, custom rooms, and organization.

Don't be misled by the first one's name - all three projects should significantly improve performance and stability.

Performance and stability

Performance and stability consists of one process (fast debugging and fixes for customer A/V issues) and two projects (making large team video calls work better and improving general app snappiness).

In progress: Fast debugging and fixes for customer A/V issues

We know that, for many users, there are too many frustrating audio/video issues today. However, all too often it's hard for us to understand exactly what happened when a customer reports an issue.

Our goal with this process is to get to a point where every report of "my video blacked out" or "I couldn't hear the other person" reaches a specific resolution - it happened for X reason, and if it's in our control we launched Y fix, and if it's not we added Z notice to explain to the user why the issue is happening and what they need to do to solve the problem.

To get there, we've already added a ton of logging that we now send in realtime, so that we can look at exactly what happened when a particular customer reports a problem.

Even with all of the new logging, it's super time intensive to get to the bottom of every issue reported by a customer; but, there's no quick fix. We need to dedicate the time to solving these issues. For the foreseeable future, that's all our co-founder and CTO, Vivek Nair, will do - receive customer reports, diagnose them, and make sure we get fixes out. Several others on the team are supporting him.

To help us be successful here: report your issues via the in-app chat right when they happen. That way, we can look at your logs and figure out what went wrong.

In progress: Making large team video calls work better

There's a bigger project around large team video calls that we are working on in parallel. Right now, we don't do a good enough job of recognizing when too much video is going over the wire (either in or out) for a given client and handling it appropriately. We've already started on a series of fixes that should make this much better.

Planned: non-A/V app performance

Once we've made sufficient progress on the above projects, we'll switch some focus onto non-A/V app lagginess, CPU usage, memory usage, and other performance issues. "Custom rooms" and "organization" should help us a lot here as well.

Custom rooms

"Custom rooms" are a new room type that will eventually replace all room types, turning into just "Pesto rooms." The goal is to make all of the existing room functionalities (like lofi, trivia, spatial) components that can be added to one focused new room type, thereby improving customizability, workflow, and performance.

Please note that all screenshots below are concepts, and the end result can/will look very different.

The first thing you'll note about custom rooms is that we separated the room experience into two areas, which we're tentatively calling the "stage" and "audience."

In the staging area, we're planning to have screenshares and other "components," including existing room functionalities (lofi, trivia, etc) and new ones (timer, agenda / notes, and some sort of queue control to start).

Below the stage, we intend to show who is in the room and provide the same functionality as you're used to in Pesto today.

Screenshares / other components are designed to expand into a theater mode, as below.

And when no one is sharing and there are no components, the avatars would take center stage.

To keep the sense of co-presence with your team, the room is just one artifact within the larger office - albeit one that now expands to maximize focus.

Please forgive the unpolished multi-room view.

Overall, custom rooms should:

  • Feel more connected to the larger team
  • Improve focus on the task at hand
  • Allow for customizability and deepen meeting workflows
  • Reduce the amount of UI we need to render, dramatically improving performance

In progress: Beta Custom Rooms

We intend to get a version of custom rooms, as a standalone room option for now, onto our new beta channel at some point in July. This would launch with screenshare/video supported, but no other components initially.

Planned: Several components

We plan on gradually introducing our music, trivia, timer, notes / agenda, and "queue control" (eg for managing order during standups) components while custom rooms sit on the beta branch as a standalone room type.

Planned: Migration from Custom Room to Pesto Room

Eventually, we intend to take custom rooms out of beta and migrate all existing rooms to custom rooms (eg a lofi room would become a custom room with a lofi component). At that point, we'd rebrand custom rooms to just Pesto rooms.

Organization

This is our least flushed out area of work, and we haven't started anything here yet.

Overall, this initiative is designed to tackle:

  • Performance at scale - when there are more than 20 people on the team, a ton of UI is rendered, all of which contributes to performance issues
  • Losing the sense of "team" at scale - it's hard when there are >30 people on a page to really feel like one "team". We need to break down a single Pesto instance into smaller subunits to regain that strong sense of "this is my team."
  • Rooms getting lost - in our main view, the little colored bar on the bottom of each person's window isn't a good enough indicator of who is in a room together. We need to better show who is actually in a room together.
  • Where you are when you're in the "main office" (not in a room)? Currently feels too disconnected, we need to do better.

To tackle all of these, we're exploring a lot of ideas. I've included some ideas below, but it's worth noting that we don't have strong plans to implement any of them. We are very much still in the design stage here.

A better visual representation of who is in a room together
You can create subteams within teams to keep things more organized

What's after October?

We have lots of ideas, but it's too early for us to share anything.

Feedback & Ideas

We'd love your feedback on our current roadmap.

If you'd like share a product idea, feature request, or feedback on one of the concepts above, please join the Pesto community and share your thoughts there.

You can get an invite to the Pesto community by reaching out via the in-app support.

If you'd like to report a bug that you'd like to see fixed, please reach out through the Pesto team in-app support.


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