Monday, June 22, 2015

Sway: Taking a Test Drive With One of Microsoft's Newest Collaboration Tools

A cool tool - but work to be done, still

Well, I made my first "Sway", and I have to say, I love this new method of whipping up presentations and sharing content, while having the option to collaborate with other authors on a project! Sway is very simple and easy to use, and the supply of working examples truly help to provide some inspiration about how to get started. Before I share mine, I just wanted to go over a few features that I think are truly awesome, and then highlight a few small areas that I think there is still work to be done.

Awesome Features

  • Sway is 100% web-based, meaning it can be worked on and accessed from ANYWHERE.
  • Content is easily searchable from within the web-based Sway editor, but access to private content is available through direct upload or OneDrive.
  • Multiple ways to present content allows for fresh and evolving presentation, helping to keep the project from feeling boring or stagnant.
  • It is extremely easy to share the presentation via multiple social channels, as well as through embedding or link sharing.

Areas for Improvement

  • There are very few options for Font, and customizing Font and design colors (background, etc.)  in different parts of the presentation did not seem to be possible (unless I missed something)
  • Font sizing didn't seem possible; I only observed a regular text size, and then the "Header" size, but nothing in-between.
  • The ability to drag elements around within the Preview would be awesome! For instance, I would like to drag the Heading text around over the background image for optimal placement.
  • The ability to videos within a "Stack" group, mixed in with pictures, would be really cool. 

Obviously Sway is still in "Preview", so I am sure many improvements and changes are coming. I am excited to see it in its current state, with its current set of capabilities, and I look forward to what is to come. Enjoy my Sway about the Awesomeness of Rackspace Hosting as a provider!

Stay techy, my friends!