Post composer

A more beautiful way to create on Padlet.

Post composer

We're introducing one of our biggest updates ever – a brand new way to compose posts on Padlet.

What's changing?

Since the early days of Padlet posting has worked the same way:

  1. You added or edited your posts inline, i.e., exactly where they would eventually appear.
  2. As you typed or added attachments, your changes were broadcast in real time to others, character by character.

We are changing that. This is how it'll work now:

  1. You will now add or edit your posts in a post composer that floats on top of a padlet's content.
  2. Your changes are only broadcasted to others once you finish composing a post and click the "Publish" button.

What's better about it?

More beautiful: The new composer is really beautiful and fun. Plus, there's support for dark mode to give your eyes some rest at night.

Focus: The new interface allows you to focus on your own writing as changes are happening on the padlet around you. The composer floats above all other posts and all real-time changes happen in the background. The old interface could often be quite distracting.

Multi-tasking: If focusing isn't your forte, the docked view lets you work on your post while keeping an eye on the padlet and any changes happening there. You can also start multiple posts and switch between them.

Drafts: You can type out your post ahead of time, keep it minimized, and publish when ready. (Please note that drafts are not persisted between sessions and across devices yet. That'll come later this year.)

Reflection: Because changes are not broadcast character by character, it gives you the ability to collect our thoughts, make mistakes, change your mind, without worrying about other people seeing all your typos and corrections.

Editable attachment captions: You can now add, edit, or delete captions for attachments in posts. We've written a separate blog post here that goes into more details about how this works.

What's not as good about it?

We feel that these changes are going to be a big improvement for a majority of our Padleteers. However, we know that when a software works a certain way, we create our workflows around it and changes as big as this can disrupt those flows. Let's look at two possible things you may not like about these changes.

First, there's no denying that character-by-character real time collaboration, while sometimes distracting, can often feel magical. Seeing changes as they happen gives a feeling of activity to the padlet and a sense of presence to collaborators. You lose that when posts are only broadcasted upon completion.

We did not want to lose this experience. So we are introducing Activity Indicators. Activity Indicators show which other collaborators are currently posting on the padlet.

Activity indicator on top of the page

Second, some of you may have workflows that rely on character-by-character collaboration. We know teachers that give students live feedback on their spelling and grammar as they type. With this update, you can no longer do that because as a teacher you will only see a student's contribution when they have finished writing out a post. We are really sorry about that, and hope that the advantages of our new post composer will outweigh this inconvenience.

What else?

This change also sets the groundwork for some exciting new features we have been working on. E.g. the new composer will allow us to detect and moderate harmful content more effectively. (It is really hard to do that when every character a user types is broadcast to everyone.) Expect some news in the next few months.

As always, should you have any comments, feedback, concerns about this change, we'd love to hear from you here.

Love, laughter